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Updated: May 24, 2023 @ 1:44 pm
I wanted to write a series on healthy summer travel since many of you have upcoming travel plans. I, myself am traveling internationally this summer and have been putting these plans into place now.
Our first topic is healthy digestion while traveling. Most people struggle to go to the bathroom and can suffer from traveler’s constipation when they travel. It’s very important to move your bowels daily, whether traveling or not. Healthy elimination is a detoxification tool. Waste, toxins, and used-up hormones are being excreted daily and if you don’t move your bowels, these things can get recirculated into your system. If you aren’t moving your bowels at least once a day or you are straining to move your bowels, you may be constipated. When we travel, we often drink less water (to avoid unnecessary pit stops or to avoid questionable lavatories). But fiber and adequate water intake are necessary to help keep stools soft.
Other health issues can cause constipation like overuse of laxatives, an underactive thyroid, and even certain medications.
To keep going regularly follow these tips:
• Make sure you drink 8 oz of water for every hour you’re on a plane (this helps with detoxification too). I take along electrolytes to help my body absorb the water versus it passes right through me.
• Limit alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they can cause dehydration.
• Move your body as much as possible – Walk around the airport instead of sitting and waiting for your flight, if driving – get out at rest stops and get some full body movement in, which helps keep you regular.
• Consider traveling with magnesium citrate, which can help you go (but it can also cause loose stools so use caution here and find your dose before you leave), Magnesium glycinate is my personal favorite for stress, sleep, and hormone support. But if you need to get your bowels moving, magnesium citrate is the better option.
• Don’t delay the urge to have a bowel movement. The longer you wait the stool can become harder to pass.
• Keep in mind that a low-fiber diet and foods like rice, bananas, and cheese can slow digestion.
• At most meals, try to get at least one plant in to provide fiber for your gut. Fiber is either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and creates a soft, gel-like material as it passes through the digestive system. Examples are Brussels sprouts, pears, black beans, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, chia seeds, psyllium, and sunflower seeds to name a few.
• Insoluble fiber retains most of its structure as it goes through the digestive tract. Both forms of fiber soften it and make it easier to pass. Insoluble fiber-rich foods are cauliflower, kale, green beans, okra, radishes, berries, walnuts, almonds, and celery.
• You can also take a probiotic, but I recommend starting any supplements at home first to see how your body reacts to them.
Stay tuned next week for tips on what to pack on your trip to stay healthy!
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