Experts Share Their Go-To Snacks For Beating Travel Bloat For Good
Summer is officially here! And here at mbg we’re all about traveling light and creating space for real transformation. Whether you’re jetting off to faraway lands this year or just exploring new pockets of your neighborhood, these next few months are reserved for exploration and play. This week, we’ll be sharing our favorite wellness routines that will keep you feeling your best through long days getting lost in new cultures. Today, we’re highlighting a few healthy snacks that won’t weigh you down in transit.
Whether or not you're prone to bloat, a few hours (or more!) on a plane can wreak havoc on anyone's digestive system. The change in air pressure can cause your body's gases to expand and contract (think of how a water bottle brought on board reacts to the flight, then imagine that inside your body). Additionally, higher altitudes (the pressure in the plane is kept to around 6,000 feet, a little higher than Denver) can cause dehydration. Couple all of that with the guaranteed sedentary nature of a flight, and you have a perfect recipe for gut discomfort. Luckily, there are a few easy fixes.
1. Stay hydrated and keep some veggies on hand.
"I always have a big bottle of water with me on the plane and avoid alcohol in-flight. Since airplane and restaurant foods tend to be high in sodium, which can also contribute to bloating, I bring some snacks that are high in potassium," says Jessica Cording, a registered dietitian with a practice in New York City. She also stashes a few easy produce staples in her carry-on bag. "My current obsession is cherry tomatoes—they're great because they don't need to be refrigerated and are less fragile than berries. I almost always have a zipper-bag-full in my purse when I travel. Avocado is another great option. A banana is another one of my go-to snacks that's high in potassium because it satisfies a craving for something sweet and also has a peel, which is appealing if you're kind of a germaphobe like me and don't want to think about what it's been in contact with."
2. Raise the bar.
Carlene Thomas, RDN, also keeps a water bottle on hand but prefers her plane produce in bar form. "Perfect Bar is one of my favorites that can stand alone as a meal made with a ton of whole foods ingredients, including spinach, tomato, and seaweed, but tastes like a dreamy dessert. Because they rely on refrigeration as the main preservative method (but are good out of the fridge up to a week), there's only 3 percent of your daily value of sodium, which means you're not fueling the travel bloat," she explains.
3. Look for veggies with a high water content.
Best-selling Body Love author and celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque prefers to eat her hydration. "I always pack a freezer bag of chopped water-packed veggies like cucumbers," she says, noting that she also has a stainless-steel water bottle with her as well.
4. Try a tonic.
Beyond hydration and sodium-balancing potassium, you can support your digestive system directly, with gut-balancing tonics and remedies. "I love taking Pique Teas Digestive Elixir with me when I'm traveling (or anytime, really!)," says Will Cole, D.C., a functional medicine practitioner and author of the upcoming Ketotarian. "This ancient formula is a blend of ginger, mint, citrus peel, and licorice root, all super beneficial for healthy digestion and gut health."
5. Bring it back to basics.
Taz Bhatia, M.D., and best-selling author of SuperWoman RX, keeps it simple with lemon or ginger water. "It helps my digestive system and prevents me from bloating!" she says. An easy way to get your fix through airport security? Simply slice a lemon or grate some ginger into the bottom of an empty stainless-steel water bottle. Post airport security, bring the bottle to a cafe and ask them to fill it half with hot water, and half with cold. Voilà! A perfect bloat-reducing tonic that will keep you feeling great, even at 36,000 feet.
So, why is everyone in wellness bloated anyways? We've got answers.
Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.