Diet for People Taking Long Flights

A long flight can be a tiring and taxing experience.  As such, you should try to keep healthy and in a good physical state before your next flight. 

What you eat and drink can make a lot of difference in how you feel during and after a flight.

Foods to Avoid Before Flying by Samantha Brown and AARP Travel

Foods to avoid

  • Fried and greasy foods. The body has difficulty digesting foods laden with saturated fats.  Being inactive at 33,000 feet makes it even more difficult for your body.  You will feel bloated and uncomfortable. As such, avoid high salt, high fat and high sugar foods when flying.
  • Gassy foods. Avoid foods that are associated with gas.  Flying often causes you to feel bloated so avoid onions, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, lentils as well as foods like protein powders, eggs and meat which feeds microbes create gas. High-sodium foods make you thirsty and drinking too many fluids can cause you to retain water thus making your bloated feeling worse
  • Alcohol causes dehydration, which is not healthy for your body. In addition, it is a diuretic and makes you go to pee more often which is inconvenient.
  • Carbonated drinks. Carbonated beverages contribute to bloating and also giving you a ‘sugar rush’.
  • Dried fruit and nuts (especially in large quantities) adds sorbitol and fibre to the intestine thereby creating a gut full of intestinal gas
  • Spicy foods can cause heartburn and increase acidity in your stomach making you feel uncomfortable

Suitable foods

  • Stay hydrated during your flight but avoid sugared drinks or alcohol because it can make you feel even more thirsty and dehydrated.  Cabin air is harsh and dry making your skin, nose and mouth feel dry.  Remember also to hydrate your skin using moisturiser.
  • Lean proteins prevent you from feeling hungry for longer periods without feeling bloated.
  • Banana is high in potassium and can help prevent leg cramps. This is useful during long-distance flights
  • Oranges and citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which can help bolster your immunity and reduce your risk of getting infections such as flu.

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