In addition to seeing family, giving gifts and celebrating the season, the holidays are all about indulgence. Whether it’s your mother’s signature casserole or something questionable at an airport food court, many of us see no reason not to help ourselves during those extra few days off for the holidays. After all, we promise ourselves that we’ll get back on our diets after the new year…
But indulging in the wrong foods can make those long holiday flights absolutely miserable. With airports packed and flights delayed, the last thing we want is to be running to the plane’s lavatory over and over, begging the flight attendant while the “fasten seatbelt” sign is on.
Luckily, you can keep your body happy and still enjoy many of your favorite holiday treats if you simply avoid eating the following before you board the plane.
Not sure what those are? Think cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, rutabaga, and brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables contain loads of fiber and complex sugars that can cause bloating and cramps. When you combine this with the pressurized cabin of an airplane, you can imagine that it’s quite uncomfortable.
You may absolutely need it, but you should moderate your coffee consumption prior to boarding an aircraft. Caffeine is a diuretic that dehydrates you, which is the last thing you want in a low-humidity airplane cabin. Diuretics also make you have to urinate frequently, so you’ll be running to the back of the plane far more often if you have an extra cup or two.
Foods like beans, starchy vegetable such as potatoes, whole-wheat bread, rice, and pasta cause a lot of gastric “tension” when your body is subjected to temperature and air pressure changes, such as in an airplane cabin. This can result in a lot of gas. Though it doesn’t affect everyone, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re going to eat these foods before flying, at least stick to small portions.
It’s common for airline passengers to chew gum to help relieve ear popping due to pressure changes as the plane climbs and descends. However, chewing gum also lets a lot of excess air into your body which can cause bloating, cramping, and excessive gas. If not for yourself, avoid chewing gum on flights for the good of your fellow passengers.
Garlic and Onions
This is another one that’s more for the comfort of your fellow passengers. Although they have numerous health benefits, garlic and onions also cause extremely bad breath that can stick around for hours, even if you’re popping mints and chewing that pesky gum.
So, What Should You Eat Before a Flight?
Although it’s unlikely that you’ll avoid every food on this list before flying, you can prevent a lot of discomfort by avoiding heavy meals and only having a light snack before you fly. Something like a banana, a smoothie, or a small salad with avocado and nuts can satiate you while still keeping your gut relatively happy. And don’t worry, you can still indulge in those holiday treats. Just try not to eat them right before you fly.
Stay Prepared with Travel Medical Insurance
There’s always a chance that your brother’s signature holiday dish won’t be cooked correctly, and suddenly you’re finding yourself at the hospital with food poisoning. This can be a major hassle if you’re traveling internationally, as your domestic health insurance is unlikely to be accepted.
If you’re traveling abroad to a location outside the USA, be sure to have travel medical insurance. It’s specifically designed to help you navigate getting healthcare in a foreign country for an affordable price.
If you’re heading to the United States on an international holiday trip, visitors medical insurance is the coverage you’ll want to have. Healthcare in the US is incredibly expensive, so you’ll absolutely need to have a way to help you pay for necessary treatment. Visitors medical insurance can help you do that.
Click on the links above to learn all about this important coverage, and travel insured this holiday season.