Traveling and Digestive Function:
How Trips Affect Your Gut
Changes in climates, time zones, diets, and hydration levels are a few of the expected parts of traveling. Together with stress or motion sickness, these factors can affect how you feel in your gut. The last thing you want sabotaging your trip is bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Being prepared for what your body needs during travel goes a long way. TravelSana® is your passport to good gut health while you travel—don't board a plane, train, or car without it.
4 Tips for Good Digestion
1. Take More Time To Eat
- Slow eating is the basis for good digestion. Eating too quickly stimulates the production of gastric juices, which are very acidic, burn and give a feeling of heaviness. Larger pieces swallowed too quickly cause the pylorus to close, which acts as a door between the stomach and the small intestine. The stomach must work more to reduce the food into small particles.
- Here are some tricks to take your time with a meal: Eat at the speed of the slowest person at the table, take small bites, chew longer, avoid eating in front of the television, and eat smaller meals.
2. Avoid Certain Dishes And Foods And Encourage Others
- Some foods are known to cause problems. Although it is not necessarily useful to ban them entirely from the diet, try not to overindulge and limit their quantities.
- The caffeine in coffee increases gastric acidity, which can cause stomach burns and serious pathologies in the long term (e.g., ulcers). Certain spices, peppers, alcoholic drinks, and vinegar can cause similar symptoms. Finally, high-fat foods are difficult to digest and metabolize more slowly. Eat fried foods, cold meats, cheeses, butter, or ice cream in moderation.
- Eat lots of fiber to improve digestion. Good fiber exists in fruits (e.g., apricots, apples, pears, raspberries, prunes), vegetables (e.g., artichokes, peas, carrots, beets), legumes (lentils, beans,) or seeds (e.g., flax, wheat or oat bran, spelt). However, consuming too much fiber can irritate the digestive tract or cause colon fermentation. Manage your fiber intake and drink lots of fresh water.
3. Take Probiotics
- Probiotics are bacteria or yeasts (e.g., Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus) naturally present in the body. These living micro-organisms participate in digestion and have many benefits. They allow better regulation of the intestinal transit and reduce the frequency of diarrhea and the risk of the appearance of symptoms such as irritation of the intestinal wall. Probiotics also promote the development of a balanced intestinal flora and reduce the risk of infection from opportunistic pathogenic bacteria.
- You can find probiotics in food supplements or in a balanced diet. The best known are brewer's yeast and lactic acid bacteria (found in yogurt).
- Exercise promotes the proper flow of food through the digestive system and improves its overall functioning. Blood circulation in the digestive system increases during exercise. The repeated contraction of the intestinal muscles allows for faster digestion and better absorption of nutrients needed by the body. Scientific studies have also shown that frequent exercise reduces the risk of constipation and takes care of the gastrointestinal mucosa.