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How Travel Affects Your Gut Health

How Travel Affects Your Gut Health

Traveling can be exhilarating and eye-opening, but it can also take a toll on our digestive systems. From jet lag and changing time zones to unfamiliar foods, there are numerous factors that can upset our stomachs while on the go. Understanding these challenges and knowing how to mitigate them with natural remedies can make a significant difference to your overall travel experience.

Here we break down the disruptors, and tips to help manage them.


Digestive impact: When flying, air pressure in the cabin fluctuates causing gas to expand and bloating and belly discomfort as a result. Have you ever felt your ears pop? Similar pressure shifts can happen in the gut. 

Tips to manage it: Keep hydrated and avoid large and heavy meals before the flight. Peppermint tea or capsules can eliminate trapped gas, and taking short walks in the cabin will also aid digestion. 

Dietary Changes 

Digestive impact: Trying local cuisine is one of the joys of travel, but it can also introduce our digestive systems to unfamiliar spices, oils, or ingredients that may not agree with us.

Tips to manage it: Limit foods high in salt and fat that are difficult to break-down and place more burden on the digestive system. Opt for grilled, steamed or baked foods instead of fried, and take a digestive aid like bitters where you can. 

Jet Lag

Digestive impact: Crossing time zones disrupts our circadian rhythm, affecting not just sleep but also digestion. Irregular meal times and sleep patterns can confuse our bodies, leading to indigestion, bloating, or constipation. 

Tips to manage it: Adjust to the local meal and sleep times as soon as possible. Alcohol and caffeine can negatively impact sleep and digestive patterns, so avoiding these in the short term will also help.  

What natural remedies can help with travel-related digestive issues?

Peppermint: Great for flying. Peppermint can soothe an upset stomach, relieve gas, and promote digestion. Its calming effect on the digestive tract makes it a popular choice for travellers.

Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can ease nausea, bloating, and indigestion. It also helps with gut motility (transit time) which can be disrupted by changing time zones. Consume it as tea or in capsules for convenience while on the move.

Gentian: Bitters provide many benefits for digestion, and gentian is one of the best. The bitter principles stimulate the gut to produce saliva, stomach acid and enzymes, helping break-down unfamiliar foods. 

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