Travelling to new environments and eating new foods can play havoc with our body, resulting in bloating, constipation, and other annoying bodily complications – it’s an uncomfortable part of travel and takes a toll on our digestive system. The good news is there are things we can do to help. Hannah Belsham, Resident Nutrition and Health Coach at Innermost shares her tips on beating the bloat this summer.
Why do we get bloated when travelling?
Bloating is particularly prevalent when we take to the skies, and it all comes down to atmospheric pressure changes that occur throughout the flight. From take-off to cruising, the body works overtime to help equalise the changing cabin pressures with the air that naturally gathers within your intestines. However, as we descend and the cabin pressure gradually falls, this gas begins to expand. As a result, you may start to feel pressure building in your stomach and digestive system, hence the jet-belly.
Hannah’s top tips for beating the bloat when travelling?
- Hydrate – Drinking plenty of water each day (6 – 8 glasses according to the NHS – that’s about 1.2 litres) allows our bodies to eliminate waste, keep our digestive systems running smoothly and filter out any additional sodium retained after flying
- Keep on moving – Staying sat down for a long period of time, especially after snacking out the flight trolly, doesn’t do too much to help your digestive system, especially when breaking down food. Therefore, try and take some time to get your body moving. This will not only improve circulation, but it will also help the body to release excess gas held in the muscle due to tension. So if you can, grab yourself an aisle seat and get walking.
- Mindful eating – plan ahead. Cutting down on higher-FODMAP foods (FODMAP = fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides,
monosaccharides, and polyols) 24-48 hours before flying can really help beat the bloat. These gas-forming foods include things like onions, blueberries, garlic, apples, grains, pulses, legumes and those with a high concentration of fructose from canned fruit, dried fruit, or fruit juice, so try to give these a miss
- Supplement with ‘gut friendly’ bacteria – whilst I would always recommend a food-first approach to health, sometimes a little extra support, such as that provided by gut-friendly supplements like The Digest Capsules, doesn’t go amiss. These daily capsules contain probiotics and prebiotics to encourage the growth of good gut bacteria, with digestive enzymes and ginger root providing additional anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral effects , to support digestive processes and reduce indigestion. The Innermost Digest Capsules, £24.95 from www.liveinnermost.com
By following these simple steps to reduce your bloating, you can now feel a little less uncomfortable and more satisfied that your days away can be without being in pain, and without that pesky bloat cramping your style!