Do long journeys play havoc with your digestion? Eat right to avoid uncomfortable bloating when you're on the move
Stomach problems are an inevitable discomfort of long-haul flying or even a lengthy journey by road. Get to know what triggers your bloating issues and adjust your diet before and during your trip to ensure you arrive at your destination fit and well.
This advice from the menu planners at Singapore Airlines should help.
The company's food & beverage manager Hermann Freidanck says, 'Singapore Airlines prides itself on providing customers with a culinary feast and promoting good food at altitude, whilst serving menu options that are also gentle on the digestive system.'
They aim to provide food that will benefit your journey - take a tip from their nutritionists to give yourself a healthy boost while you're en route.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL: Bread, broccoli, beans and peaches can produce intestinal gases by expanding in the stomach, so avoid them before your flight to help prevent bloating. Also limit your intake of fatty foods, which slow down digestion, salty snacks that encourage water retention and fizzy drinks that contain carbon dioxide.
DURING YOUR TRIP: Stomach-settling green tea is good for stimulating digestive enzymes and has all-round detoxifying properties which help to alleviate trapped wind, a common in-flight problem. Drink before and during your flight or journey if possible.
Pre-biotics are also said to reduce bloating and are commonly found in foods such as bananas, berries, chicory, onions and garlic, so pop a banana in your bag for a light in-flight snack.
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BEFORE YOU TRAVEL: If you are a nervous traveller, nibble on celery before you fly, as it can have a tranquilising effect. Vitamin B, found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables also has a profound effect on the nervous system, helping to reduce stress levels.DURING YOUR TRIP: Dehydration can also cause stress, headaches and irritability so drinking plenty of fluids while you travel, especially when flying, is important.
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DURING YOUR TRIP: Air travel can have a sluggish effect on your digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Foods to combat this include potatoes, which contain a compound called alkaloids that are thought to have an antacid effect, and turmeric (a common ingredient in curries and spicy food), which is known to be a potent digestive aid. Choose your in-flight meal accordingly. Pineapple is another digestive aid which contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps break down food in the stomach.
Vegetables and whole grains also promote digestion and the protein structure of fish makes it easier to digest than meat.
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DURING YOUR TRIP: Choose foods that will boost brain power rather than sap it if you want to be in tiptop form when you arrive. Zinc, which is found in protein-rich foods, has been linked to better intellectual performance in clinical tests. Eating protein with vegetables or fruit provides the brain with the vitamins necessary for mental stimulation. The most popular dish ordered through the Book the Cook option on Singapore Airlines is Lobster Thermidor, which is high in protein - perfect for business travellers looking to work inflight. Equally, chilli is one of the most commonly used ingredients within menus and has been shown to aid improved sleep and leave people feeling more awake the next day.
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DURING YOUR TRIP: Research has shown that eating the right kinds of food can leave people up to 16 times less likely to suffer from jet lag. Meals act as ‘time cues’ for your body, so adjusting the amount and type of food you eat can make a big difference. When flying, opt for a light meal that is relatively easy to digest as it's best to arrive feeling slightly hungry. Eating a high protein meal once you land means you’ll be able to keep as active as possible in a bid to switch to the new time zone.
Protein boosting meals
Ginger is well-known for its anti-nausea properties: think about ordering a ginger ale as your in-flight drink, and choose an oriental meal as your main course.
Pack a ginger tea bag in your hand luggage to sip instead of coffee while you travel.
Dr Pixie's advice on keeping travel sickness at bay
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