According to insurance companies, gastrointestinal disorders are among the most common health problems on vacation. This happens due to changes in dietary patterns and eating habits. The following tips will help you spend your vacation without digestive tract problems and help you choose the right food items for you.
1. Plan meals on vacation in advance
When planning a vacation, consider the features of your digestive system. If it responds to a change in diet or you have a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract, consult your gastroenterologist about the possible negative effects of staying in a particular area. Get his recommendations on diet and medicines that you should take with you.
2. Observe hygiene
Stick to the rules of personal and food hygiene to prevent a common phenomenon of diarrhea of travelers. Wash your hands thoroughly before eating, drink only filtered or bottled water, wash vegetables and fruit well, do not eat foods of dubious quality.
Vegetables and fruit with damaged skin, cold snacks, undercooked dishes, raw or poorly fried fish, seafood, unpasteurized milk, and ice cream are the most dangerous.
Particular care must be taken in the countries of Asia, Africa, South, and Central America. In such countries, drink exclusively bottled water, wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly, eat only in a hotel or in respectable restaurants.
3. Do not skip breakfast
Try not to skip breakfast, as this is one of the easiest ways to live a healthy life. Even at the airport, it isn’t worth staying hungry until noon. Eat at least banana and Greek yogurt.
It often happens that travelers oversleep breakfast at the hotel, go sightseeing, or to the beach without having breakfast. As a result, they have to eat local fast food of poor quality. For breakfast, it’s better to eat protein and whole grains.
4. Diet will help you adapt to new conditions.
On vacation, the temptation to break your diet is significantly increased, but we do not recommend doing this. Irregular nutrition inhibits the functioning of the biliary system and leads to stagnation of bile. In the case of gastritis or GERD, long breaks between meals can lead to poor health.
5. Drink enough water
Always take water with you. Make sure you drink enough, especially in hot weather. The average amount is 2 – 2.5 liters of liquid. It’s a good idea to start your day with one or two glasses of water on an empty stomach.
A sufficient volume of fluid is important not only for the normal functioning of the digestive tract but also for the cardiovascular system. A lack of water in your body leads to the thickening of the blood and increases the risk of escalation of cardiovascular diseases.
6. Eat moderately
Try to spend the first day or two in a sparing mode and give preference to familiar dishes. The more common foods will be on your menu, the easier the digestive system adapts to changes.
The “one plate” rule for the main course can help you not overeat on vacation. Fill half of this plate with vegetables, a palm-sized space with meat or fish, and the rest of the plate will serve for bread, garnish, or whole grains.
7. Be picky about what is in your plate
Ignore strange food if you feel an unpleasant odor or the product does not look fresh enough. Street food is dangerous, especially in countries with low hygiene. Refrain from dishes containing raw meat or fish – a different type of parasitic infection is possible.
8. Do not get involved in local cuisine
Seriously, don’t let yourself get carried away with exotic cuisine. Sometimes experiments can end sadly. Exotic fruits and seafood dishes, as well as fatty, spicy, and unusual food, can cause the digestive system upset. If you don’t know what this dish is made of – ignore it. Instead, choose what you have no doubt about.
Japanese cuisine traditionally uses raw fish, which can lead to parasitic infections. Arabic cuisine contains a lot of vegetable protein. Local sour sauces are also unusual for foreigners, they increase acidity. Indian and Thai cuisine is full of spices and seasonings, which can cause digestive upsets and exacerbation of chronic gastrointestinal diseases.
9. Be cautious with alcohol.
Try not to abuse alcohol. It is not only caloric but also arouses appetite. In addition, alcohol itself is harmful to all body systems.
10. Get medical attention
If symptoms of a gastrointestinal upset persist for more than a day, you should seek specialized medical help. Be sure to take your medicines and a first aid kit with sorbents, intestinal antiseptics, pro and prebiotics. Consult a doctor before packing your personal first aid kit.