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Gut Health

Gut-friendly tips to stay healthy on your holiday

Gut-friendly tips to stay healthy on your holiday
bimunouk
Writer and expert18 days ago
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“Travel broadens the mind”, as the old saying goes. But what does it do to the body?

Well, if you’ve ever had a holiday ruined by an upset stomach, flatulence, or felt fatigued for days after you’ve returned home, you’ll probably have some idea. However, what you may not know is that your gut health is key to avoiding this.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer who enjoys finding your own way around the world, someone who just likes a bit of sea and sun once a year, or you’ve jumped on board the cruise ship trend, keep reading to learn how you can protect your wellness overseas without compromising on the holiday of your dreams.

Why do I feel ill after my holiday?

Travelling between different time zones and climates in just a few hours can be quite a shock to the natural rhythms and systems within your body. Your sleep is disrupted, you’re introduced to new microbes that your immune system isn’t used to dealing with, your eating habits will likely change and – let’s be honest – you might consume more alcohol than you would at home, too. All of these things can weaken your resistance to bugs and leave you feeling under the weather.

The gut microbiome is one of the most important communities in your body. It’s made up of trillions of different microbes that all work together with your body in one finely balanced digestive ecosystem. Many parts of the world have lower hygiene standards when it comes to preparing food and sanitising water, which means some areas carry more risk than others – notably parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

It’s no surprise, then, that the most common travel-related illnesses are directly related to our digestive system – studies report that up to 60% [1] of international travellers report suffering from traveller’s diarrhoea [2], meaning you’ve probably either had it yourself, or you know someone who has.

However, your gut health can affect everything from your immune system to your mood, and it can be quite delicate. If the balance of good bacteria and other microorganisms in your gut gets thrown off, it can contribute to anything from feelings of fatigue to those post-holiday blues.

Looking after your gut health abroad

So, what can you do about it? Well, being careful about what you eat and drink overseas, particularly in high-risk countries, is a given. But if you’re someone who likes to immerse themselves into other cultures by sampling a wide variety of foods overseas, does this mean you’ll end up missing out?

Luckily, the answer is no! There is a wide range of delicious gut-supporting foods out there that you can enjoy – plus other tricks you can use to manage your digestive wellness.

Look for fermented foods

Fermentation is the practice of using bacteria and yeast to break down the natural sugars in food. This process creates probiotics – living microbes that support the healthy balance of your gut microbiome. Fermented foods can be found throughout the world, so you can find them wherever you are! Examples include:

  • Kefir – A delicious yoghurt-like fermented milk drink, kefir is widely available in Europe. It’s rich in a probiotic called Lactobacilli, a healthy bacteria that helps promote healthy digestion.
  • Kimchi – A highly seasoned side dish made with fermented vegetables, usually cabbage or radish. Kimchi originated in Korea but is now commonly enjoyed throughout Asia.
  • Curtido – A Central American relish made with fermented cabbage and other vegetables, seasoned with oregano and lime juice.
  • Gari Foto – Originally from Senegal, Gari Foto is made by fermenting and frying cassava.

Eat high fibre foods

Breaking down fibre is essentially a form of fermentation. Our gut microbes ferment fibre in our tummy, which helps maintain a healthy gut environment. That means high-fibre foods are also great for your microbiome. Beans, lentils, yams, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients are relatively easy to find in dishes across the world, so you can find them in local cuisines no matter where you are.

Prepare your gut

Preparing for your holiday doesn’t just mean packing a suitcase and picking up some sun cream – your gut needs some preparation, too! There isn’t an unlimited amount of space in your gut, so healthy and potentially harmful bacteria are in a constant battle for space. Think of it like a pair of scales, there is a delicate balance to maintain. Increasing levels of beneficial bacteria and minimising potentially pathogenic bacteria can make your resistance stronger. While it doesn’t guarantee immunity from anything, it does tip the scales in your favour.

By making sure your gut is in the best possible health before you leave, you make it more likely that the healthy microbes in your gut will fight off the new, potentially nasty bacteria you’re likely to be exposed to on your travels.

Post-Holiday Tips

As you settle back into the rhythm of everyday life after your holiday adventures, let's ensure your gut health stays on track with these friendly post-holiday tips:

  • Stay hydrated, Stay happy: Keep that holiday glow going by hydrating. Sip on water throughout the day to support your digestion and overall well-being.
  • Food harmony: If your taste buds went on a rollercoaster ride during your travels, gently guide them back to familiar flavours. Slowly reintroduce your regular diet to give your digestive system a chance to readjust and thrive.
  • Sleep: prioritise quality sleep to help your body sync up with its natural rhythms. A well-rested you equals a happy gut!
  • Move with joy: Engage in gentle physical activity like a leisurely stroll, a relaxing yoga session, or a refreshing swim to keep your digestion humming along smoothly

If you’re looking for that extra gut support, try why try Bimuno® Original, our high-in-fibre prebiotic supplement that has been scientifically proven to feed and stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

Don’t just take our word for it...

“I’ve been taking bimuno since 2019, having been recommended before I took a trip to India. it works so well, keeping my gut very healthy.”

- Jane, TrustPilot

Whether you start incorporating it into your routine before your holiday or take it along with you on your travels – it’s ideal for suitcase-stuffers who like to bring an outfit for every occasion!

References:

[1] Travelers Diarrhea - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9651512/

bimunouk
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