Pack these snacks, says nutritionist

Travelers have a host of pathogens this winter, including the “triple” of infections caused by Covid-19, influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).

But there are steps people can take to reduce their chances of getting sick, say health experts at Spain’s SHA Health Clinic.

“The key is to develop a resilient immune system that can defend itself against attack by viruses and bacteria,” said Dr. Vicente Mera, head of genomic medicine at SHA.

what should i eat

Mera said: “The most important thing is nutrition.

But a strict diet isn’t necessary, he added. Instead, he said, travelers can simply eat plant-based, whole foods that can help reduce inflammation.

The fiber in plant foods also helps the gut microbiome fight off pathogens that enter or become active through the GI tract.

Dr. Vicente Mera, Melanie Waxman and Philippa Harvey of the SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain.

Source: SHA Health Clinic

Eating a nutrient-dense diet is top advice from Melanie Waxman, an integrative nutritionist and nutrition coach at the SHA Wellness Clinic.

That means “eating lots of vegetables, whole grains, fresh herbs, beans, sea vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and fermented foods,” she said.

What to pack on the plane?

Waxman said travelers should eat alkaline foods to combat the acidity that commonly occurs during air travel. She recommends these foods that are easy to pack:

  • Toasted Nori Snacks:They are great for traveling because they are light and can be carried in small packages. Nouri is alkaline and a good source of vitamin C as well as omega-3 fatty acids, protein and minerals.
  • instant miso soup: “Contains all the essential amino acids… and returns beneficial probiotics to the intestines… Perfect for flights and in hotel rooms as you just need to add boiling water to the bag.”
  • Spirulina powder: “It’s full of calcium and protein. It has a high chlorophyll content… especially helpful after spending hours in an airplane cabin. The flavor can be strong, so add it to a refreshing vegetable juice… [or take] in capsule form.
  • Plum pellets: “A wonderful travel companion because they are highly alkaline, rich in minerals that help increase energy, aid digestion, boost immunity and improve liver function… The balls are placed in a container and easily They are packed in a cabin bag.”
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A fermented plum, called umeboshi in Japanese, can be added to a cup of tea on the fly. “It’s a very sour plum that’s been fermented for at least three years,” said Melanie Waxman of the SHA Health Clinic.

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Waxman recommends mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water before breakfast. She said that vinegar is “a powerful immune system booster … full of probiotics.”

For breakfast, an “amazing” choice is oatmeal With berries, chia seeds and flax seeds, she said.

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“Oats actually help the body produce melatonin more naturally,” he said. Oats contain amino acids, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium, and complex carbohydrates… The berries have some vitamin C, and the seeds provide extra omega-3s and protein.

jet lag

To combat jet lag, Waxman recommends taking more vitamin C.

He recommends eating sauerkraut both before and after the flight. He said: Cabbage fermentation increases the level of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Fresh vegetable juice is also great for immunity and improving jet lag, he said.

enough sleep

Mera said that sleep and safety are closely related.

He stated that peaceful sleep strengthens nature’s immunity, and added: Poor quality or little sleep increases the possibility of getting sick.

People who sleep an average of less than six hours a night, or 40 hours a week, “are at serious risk of disease,” he said.

Exercise – but don’t overdo it

Mera said that moderate exercise strengthens the immune system.

But he said, “30 minutes a day is more than enough.” Prolonged intense exercise can suppress the immune system.

To avoid immune suppression, travelers should not exercise to the point of exhaustion, said Dr. Vicente Mera, chief of genomic medicine at the SHA Health Clinic.

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Supplements, for some

According to Mera, studies show that certain supplements — such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, garlic, echinacea and green tea — may boost the body’s immune response.

But, he said, they are not necessary for everyone.

He said: “It only compensates for the lack of nutrients that usually occur when nutrition is inadequate or the immune system is very depressed.”

Other recommendations

To boost the immune system, Waxman also recommends taking Epsom salt baths (“magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin”), using essential oils (“especially lavender, eucalyptus, or eucalyptus oil”), drinking plenty of water, and reducing suggests alcohol. Caffeine and sugar.

Mera added that relieving stress and anxiety is critical to a healthy immune system. He recommends meditation, yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness to better manage emotions.

Phillipa Harvey, head of the SHA’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Department, said travelers should start taking steps to boost their immune systems about a week before travel.

He said: “In TCM, when a person is healthy and happy, we say they have good chi, which is pronounced ‘chee’.”

He recommends eating seasonal foods, especially garlic and ginger in autumn and winter.

He also recommends exercise and acupressure to stay healthy.

“A good brisk walk in the fresh air before the trip is the easiest solution,” he said.


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