Travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, though it can still be a challenge for many of us, not to mention the stress that it can put on our bodies.
Although there’s nothing like the excitement and anticipation of heading off on a long-awaited holiday, this can also be accompanied by the unwanted feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear; and dare I mention the undesirable digestive and sleeping problems that can also make an appearance.
That’s why I’ve gathered together my recommended 8 Essential Supplements to Support Healthy Travels for helping you to keep healthy whilst travelling so you can enjoy a stress-free, digestion-trouble-free, healthy, energy-filled holiday!
No. 1 – Probiotic Supplements and Fermented foods
A lot of people find their tummies go a bit on the blink when they go on holiday, whether from nerves, the travelling itself or the change in diet; but you can support your gut with the right foods and supplements. This is where probiotics are a great friend to have at this time.
Fermented food and probiotic supplements contain probiotics that aid in digestion, healing the gut, boosting the body’s ability to absorb more nutrients from your food, improving mood and helping to support and boost your immune system.
Probiotics can also help with the travel bloat and IBS, common after a long flight.
So here’s my advice; firstly, if you’re not eating them already, add some fermented foods into your diet a couple of weeks before your holiday to support your gut ahead of time, and start taking a good probiotic. This will help build up your levels of good bacteria, keeping harmful substances from entering your body, and helping to strengthen your immune system.
Secondly, bring some probiotics with you, keep them handy if you’re flying away and take them daily to optimize your digestion.
Supplement: Probiotics are also available in supplement form, and can be an excellent way to ensure you’re getting a specific strain/strains and strength of bacteria or yeast.
Some of our favourite brands include Optibac, Udo’s Choice, Living Nutrition and many more!
Food: Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, water and milk kefir, kombucha, yoghurt, miso and many others, as these contain an abundance of live beneficial bacteria that are naturally created by the process of fermentation in foods. (see my previous blog on making your own sauerkraut here)
Travelling is a great time to eat all the different foods that different cultures offer, and many countries have their own types on fermented foods unique to the country, so here’s a way you can support your gut and taste the culture!
No. 2 – Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes will be one of your best friends on holiday, trust me.
When you travel, you’re eating at different times, you’re likely to eat a lot of different foods you’re not accustomed to, or even just over-indulge on the foods you are used to when you go away somewhere new; and because of this, digestive enzymes are a lifesaver, or rather, a digestion saver.
Because digestion has a tendency to go a bit skew-if when travelling, try taking a digestive enzyme before each meal to help support and aid the digestion of your food.
These are also great for people who suffer from gas and bloating, especially if you’re consuming different foods and travelling.
I unfailingly carry digestive enzymes in my bag at all times and this way if I end up with something I know I won’t digest well, I have help in the form of my enzyme friends!
Stock up on them before you travel and bring them with you everywhere you go! I love Udo’s Choice Digestive Enzymes.
No. 3 – Magnesium
Magnesium is a fantastic mineral to consume when travelling because it helps with all matter of problems that arise when you’re out of routine.
Can’t sleep? Magnesium helps ease insomnia.
Sore from carrying all those bags to and around the airport; walking around ancient cities or hiking through jungles? Magnesium eases tight muscles.
Constipated? Magnesium can tackle that no problem.
Stressed out or feeling nervous? Guess who’s got your back? Magnesium.
No. 4 – B vitamins
Travelling puts a strain on the body, so you need to make sure to top up on your B-vitamins to help support your nervous system and your energy levels. They are great for helping your body respond to stressors better, promoting energy and reducing the effects of jet lag.
They are also fantastic for supporting the immune system, especially when taken 1-2 weeks prior to travelling to really whack up those levels.
No. 5 -Vitamin C
Fantastic for immunity and a powerful antioxidant, vitamin c helps counteract the effects of free-radical damage on the body. This can come from anything, from water, sunshine, food choices and even radiation from aeroplanes.
It’s a great option to add to your diet before and during your holiday to keep your immune system happy and give your body an extra protection from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
No. 6 – Adaptogens
Essentially adaptogens are herbs or botanical substances that help the body to adjust to the different stressors in your life.
These can include environmental toxins and pollution, stress, poor sleeping habits, insomnia, anxiety and extreme nervousness. That pretty much sums up the stresses that result from travelling hey?
In order to support your body before, during and after travelling, I recommend adding one or two adaptogens into your supplement routine.
These can be added to smoothies, mylky drinks (turmeric lattes/hot cacao beverages/mushroom lattes/matcha tea), teas, porridge, or as a capsule supplement.
Here’s a small list of just some of my favourite adaptogens to help you before during and after travelling:
Rhodiola is an amazing herb for combating stress, fighting fatigue or when you’re feeling blue.
Rhodiola helps you to meet the challenges of today’s fast-paced, high-stress world, with its anti-stress and fatigue-fighting properties and its ability to promote energy, endurance and stamina.
Maca is a root vegetable that grows in the Peruvian Andes and is high in antioxidants, boosts stamina, energy, mood and vitality and supports the hormonal system.
Read more about it here on What’s the Scoop on Maca
Chaga mushroom is a great supplement to take before, during and after a holiday or flight, as it’s perfect for easing anxiety, stress, and nervousness. And not only that, but Chaga also has anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, on top of being able to help support and regulate the immune system and works as an adaptogen to help the body in times of stress.
Chaga also contains extremely high levels of antioxidants which help to fight free-radicals which can cause cell damage. Since travel has a way of wearing down the immune system, and airports, rest stops and planes are infamous breeding grounds for germs, keeping up with your antioxidant intake will allow your body to be better prepared to protect itself.
Reishi is the ultimate balancing adaptogen. It supports the immune system and soothes the nervous system by easing anxiety and promoting relaxation and sleep.
It’s important to know that reishi needs to be taken over a longer period of time to get the full benefits.
Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation consisting of three fruits native to the Indian subcontinent: Amalaki, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. Triphala is most commonly known for its use as a gentle bowel tonic, being helpful in digestion, and supporting regular bowel movements. It’s also a natural antioxidant.
No. 7 – Stress Reducing/Sleep Enhancing Supplements
Passiflora (aka Passionflower)
Passionflower is a fantastic remedy for anyone feeling burned out, exhausted, nervous, anxious or having trouble sleeping. It’s a wonderful natural sedative, a nerve calming agent and a sleep aid which is often able to help people relax, unwind and enjoy a well-deserved good night’s sleep. Something that doesn’t always happen the days leading up to a holiday, or the jet-lagged filled days following.
If you’re struggling to wind down, try taking some Passiflora herbal tincture. This herb is particularly useful for supporting those who are prone to worrying, feeling under pressure or stressed.
Nordic Naturals Melissa Dream
Combining lemon balm, l-theanine, chamomile, magnesium and b vitamins, Nordic Naturals Melissa Dream capsules are incredibly supportive to anyone who’ struggling to sleep because of an overwhelming amount of thoughts, worrying or stress. The combination of herbs, vitamins and minerals help to calm you down during the day or prepare you for sound, deep sleep.
Alternatively, some people find valerian tincture to work out better for them, taken 30 minutes before bed or when trying to sleep on the plane.
For more information on ways to reduce anxiety see my previous blog here on Overcoming Anxiety Naturally
No. 8 – Greens Powders/Tablets
Not only will you feel so much better when you up your intake of greens, but you will also radiate this feeling right out of your body. Your skin health will glow, your hair will shine, your energy levels will rise and your digestive system will be more than delighted.
Greens in the form of leafy green veggies, algae like spirulina and chlorella and grasses like wheatgrass and barley grass are packed full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants to help optimise health, boost energy and vitality levels, support the immune system and fill in any nutritional gaps.
If you need an extra hand in getting your veggie intake up, try incorporating a supplement like Nuzest Good Green Stuff, Synergy Super Greens, Nua Naturals Wheatgrass, Sara’s choice Spirulina, Pukka Clean Greens, One Nutrition Barley Grass or Iswari Organic Super Green Protein.
A heads up if you’re planning on a cheeky drink when away, 8 x chlorella tablets before and 8 after alcohol consumption with plenty of water can help remove toxins from the blood and help relieve a hangover. This does not mean you should drink in excess, but it will support your body and especially your liver in clearing out the toxins, ultimately easing your hangover.
Some evidence suggests that chlorella may increase skin sensitivity to the sun so make sure to apply your sunscreen and keep it at hand if you’re going out in the sun.
For more info check out my previous blog What’s the Scoop on Greens
Happy Holidays folks 🙂
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us via our Facebook page or email!– Emily
Instagram – nourishireland
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication