Tops tips to have a healthy holiday

A British Airways plane taking off. Picture by Tim Ockenden/PA Wire
A British Airways plane taking off. Picture by Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

Are you going abroad this summer? As well as remembering to pack your sunglasses, flip flops and sun cream, remember to think about your health while on holiday too.

Michelle Winspear, from Advanced Nutrition in Sanderson Arcade, gives tips to help stay healthy on holiday.

Although we prefer not to think about the risk of diarrhoea, stomach ache, nausea and vomiting on holiday, many travellers do suffer as a result of eating or drinking contaminated produce.

‘Alien bugs’ that our bodies are not used to upset the friendly bacteria that keep harmony inside our guts, resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting as our bodies try to get rid of the intruders.

It has been estimated that up to 50 per cent of travellers to less developed countries will develop diarrhoea within 48 hours of arrival.

• Remember to pack a probiotic.

To protect your stomach against harmful bacteria, try taking a probiotic such as Pharma Nord’s Bio-Culture before, during and after travel abroad. Start around one week prior to your holiday and continue two days after your return.

Probiotics contain living micro-organisms that alter the balance of bacteria in favour of beneficial organisms within your intestine. This helps protect against stomach upsets and diarrhoea.

Up to 80 per cent of our immune system is linked with the digestive tract so probiotics can help boost your immune system.

As we age, the balance between beneficial and detrimental bacteria in the digestive tract is altered, making a probiotic particularly important. After the age of about 60, there is around a 1,000-fold decrease in the levels of beneficial bacteria compared to younger adults.

There are simple steps you can take to make sure you get the most from a probiotic. Many fail to reach the intestines as they are destroyed by the acid in our stomachs. Look for a probiotic in an acid resistant gel matrix to avoid this problem.

There are also probiotics that don’t need to be kept in the fridge. This is far simpler when travelling. The recommended dose is 10 to 20 billion probiotic bacteria a day.

If you are taking antibiotics while on holiday it is even more important to take a probiotic to maintain a healthy digestive system. Continue this for several weeks after the course of medication. Allow three hours after each dose of antibiotics before taking a probiotic.

• Try to stay calm.

While holidays are intended for you to take time to relax, unexpected things such as flight delays and problem hotels can cause unnecessary stress. Stress can contribute to an unhealthy digestive system so try to stay calm when faced with any holiday set-backs.

Probiotics can help reduce stress too.

Remember to make a note of emergency numbers, such as tour operator, airline and travel insurance provider before setting off so you can make any challenges as stress-free as possible.

Our ability to calm and regulate mood also relies on the mineral magnesium and if we are stressed this uses up fast. Some of the best food sources are green, leafy vegetables, nuts, fish, sweet potato and avocado.

Or you could try taking Bio-Magnesium, which combines three different forms of magnesium for maximum absorption in our bodies.

• Avoid common mistakes.

Try to avoid common mistakes made on holiday, such as eating food which has not been thoroughly cooked, drinking contaminated water (including ice cubes), eating vegetables washed in contaminated water, and consuming contaminated shellfish.

Think twice before purchasing food from street vendors as it is not always kept at the correct temperature and protected from contamination.

Remember to wash your hands regularly too.

• The power of plants.

Sunburn is, of course, one of the main dangers we face on holiday. This is an inflammation caused by free radical damaged tissue.

A plant extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree can help to protect the skin against the harmful effects of sunshine.

By neutralising these free radicals, Bio-Pycnogenol helps protect skin from the stress and damage of sunburn.

The natural plant extract has also been found to help prevent deep vein thrombosis, which can result from long-haul flights.

Come down and see us at Advanced Nutrition for further advice on health and nutrition.