Naturopathic doctor Bita Doagoo shares her expert tips for staying healthy when you travel
Drink up The simplicity of water is so key; not just in travelling but every day. It helps all of your cells. Being hydrated means you’re not going to have the fatigue associated with dehydration, it decreases your chance of headaches, it will help keep you from getting constipated, which happens to so many people with they travel! When you fly, there is so much congestion in your system, going hand-in-hand with any travel stress and the diminished quality of the food you’re eating. Ultimately all of those things will have an impact on your immune system. Staying hydrated helps with all of these factors, and so decreases your chance of getting sick while you’re travelling.
Say no to the bar cart I never drink on the plane, because alcohol dehydrates you and your body is already working hard. So if you can start your travel on the right note, by the time your body adjusts to the jet lag and doesn’t have to work off any of the effects of alcohol, you’re two steps ahead of the game.
Be smart about meals For an overnight flight, I try not to eat much on the plane, so that my body is in synch with whatever time zone I’m going in to. For example, when I took a red-eye to Portugal last summer, I skipped the 9:30 pm dinner they served when we got on the plane and just went straight to sleep, and then had something before we landed, to get a bit of energy. When your body is being given the right signals, it helps you get into the rhythm of your time zone and better physiological function during the day.
Indulge a little I always look for a really good coffee shop nearby that is locally owned, and this gives you a bit of the style and flavour of the area. I try not to have too much coffee, but it’s a lot easier [on your system] to indulge in things when you’re at your destination, because mind and body are typically in a more relaxed.
Stock up on snacks When I get to a new place, I seek out an organic store, health food store or vegan shop, so that helps me stay with a slightly cleaner diet. If my only options are not-so-great restaurants, then I know I have something at my home base.
Bita Doagoo , Toronto, Ontario, Naturopathic doctor and co-owner of The Detox Market