It’s holiday time! Bikini? Checked! Passport? Checked!
But how about your first-aid kit?
Travelling abroad can be an amazing experience, full of good times and good memories. However, it can also be challenging to the body and to our health in general. Nutritionist and health writer Cassandra Barns has compiled a holiday checklist that could help you to stay in good health and make the most of your holidays.
• Live bacteria supplement One of the first supplements recommended for travellers is a live bacteria supplement. When we travel to different countries, we can be exposed to foods that we are not used to, which can easily imbalance the bacteria in our intestines and upset our digestion. We can also be at higher risk of exposure to bacteria that can cause illness, especially if we travel to third-world countries, or other places where food hygiene may not be up to standard. Probiotics can help to balance your gut flora and support digestive tract. Choose a supplement that is designed for travelling and that doesn’t have to be kept refrigerated, such as Prop-Ven Probiotics’ Travel Probiotic (www.provenprobiotics.co.uk, £7.95).
• Anti-microbial To protect further against so-called ‘Delhi belly’ when travelling to high-risk places, it may be worth taking an extra supplement that could have natural anti-bacterial or anti-parasitic activity. Grapefruit seed extract is an excellent option. Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with essential travel hygiene practices such as avoiding non-sterilised drinking water and ice in drinks, avoiding salads that may have been washed in tap water, avoiding food that could have been lying around for a long time or has had flies on it, and making sure you use anti-bacterial hand wipes or gels where necessary.
• Travel sickness support Ginger is a traditional remedy for motion sickness and other types of nausea. Although it doesn’t work for everyone, a lot of people find it very effective. Try taking one to two ginger capsules a couple of hours before you travel, and again during your journey if necessary.
• Sun protection Holiday almost inevitably means sunny weather so sun protection is a must. Avoid the harsh chemicals and pore-clogging ingredients that are found in most sunscreens and instead try one made primarily from natural ingredients, such as Green People’s No Scent Sun Lotion SPF 25. There are also certain nutrients that could help to protect the skin from sun damage. These include beta-carotene and other members of the carotenoid family such as lycopene and astaxanthin, which have been found to reduce UVA-induced damage to our cells. Try Nature’s Plus AgeLoss Skin Support (www.revital.co.uk, £34.24) supplement. It is ideal to start taking the supplement on a daily basis at least two weeks before you go away, and throughout your holiday. It does not replace the need to use an appropriate sunscreen, however.
• Aloe vera gel A traditional skin soother, it is moisturising and healing for the skin and can therefore be an excellent choice to use as a natural aftersun. Choose an aloe vera gel that contains minimal added ingredients, such as Soothing Skin Gel by What Skin Needs, which comes in a light, cooling texture (www.whatskinneeds.co.uk, £14.99).