By Dr. Priti Bhatia, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Traveling is a wonderful way to explore new places, cultures and even exciting cuisines. But before you reach your destination, it is essential to decide what you must eat and what you must avoid before and while traveling. This is because certain meals or snacks can upset your stomach easily or cause a feeling of heaviness, nausea, bloating or sluggishness. The key is to eat light and it is always better to carry fresh homemade food instead of eating out.
The benefits of carrying homemade food while you are traveling -
- Very light: Homemade food is very light and can be digested easily. Eating light is very important during travel, as no one wants to spend their time with an upset stomach or constant nausea breaks. If the travel duration is long, eat light for at least two days prior to the day of travel.
- Flexibility: Carrying homemade food gives you the flexibility to eat as per your convenience and prevents you from gobbling junk food while on the go.
- Cost-effective: It is a very well-known fact that carrying your food is cost-effective than eating outside.
Foods to avoid before traveling -
- Carbonated drinks: Sodas or beer can make you feel bloated and cause stomach pain while you travel.
- Salty and deep fried food: Such foods make you feel excessively thirsty and bloated as they dehydrate your body. So, avoid sugar cereals, deep-fried snacks, salty chips, and bread.
- Coffee: Avoid drinking too much coffee as it can cause frequent urination.
- Legumes and beans: These are well-known for causing gastric discomfort, thus should be avoided.
- High-fat foods: Stay away from cheese, cream, sausages, butter, and ham as they can lead to nausea or headaches.
- Others: Avoid alcohol, broccoli, cabbage, radish, turnips, peaches, barley and rye as they can lead to the formation of gas.
Foods to eat before traveling -
- Water-rich foods: Cucumber, raw carrots, lettuce, celery, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, and grapes are loaded with water and will keep you well-hydrated.
- Citrus fruits: Eat fresh oranges, plums, different kinds of berries, kiwi and grapefruit to get your dose of vitamin C and antioxidants will also keep you hydrated.
- Sweet potatoes: These take time to break down in your gut and release energy slowly. Plus, they are loaded with essential vitamins, manganese, potassium, dietary fibers and have less fat and sodium.
- Buckwheat: You can have this instead of white rice, as buckwheat is high on antioxidants. It will reduce your stress level, boost immunity, and provides sufficient magnesium to make you feel relaxed.
- Avocados: Loaded with healthy fats, vitamin E, potassium and folic acid, avocados are very healthy and make for yummy dips and salads. You can have it with brown rice or oats.
- Others: Dry fruits, lean meats, brown rice and oats are some other foods you can have.
Meals to eat while traveling -
Whatever you choose, make sure it should be light on the stomach, easy to pack, and carry. Some of the options that you can consider are -
- Fruits: You can keep fruits like bananas, oranges and apples handy. These are easy to carry and eat and are light on the stomach, which makes them a great snack.
- Dry fruits: When you are feeling down slightly, try munching on a couple of almonds or raisins and as they uplift your mood. They also provide instant energy. However, you should be careful, so as to not consume them in excess.
- Simple rolls: Roti rolls or wraps are not only easy to pack but are tasty and convenient to eat when traveling.
- Sandwiches: Carrying a box of whole wheat bread sandwiches are a good meal to have while traveling. As, they are easy to digest and pack.
- Other foods: Some other food options that you can go for are salads with healthy dressings, poha, idli, besan chila and upma, etc.