Pack some of nature’s medicine cabinet for a healthier holiday

CLose up of smiling woman on the beach enjoying her holiday

We all look forward to our holidays and time away from the stresses and strains of life.  However, travelling itself or just a change of water, food or routine can sometimes play havoc with our health. 

The good news is that nature always has our back in this respect; if you know what to pack there are a range of natural supplements which can help ensure you stay well.

Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her five top choices to take on holiday, chosen from nature’s medicine cabinet.

 

Sleep peacefully with valerian

Sleep can often be disrupted when on holiday even if you haven’t travelled across time zones. The heat can impact how well we sleep. Or perhaps your holiday location might not provide the quiet retreat you were hoping for.

Woman asleep in bedHelp is at hand in the form of the herb valerian. Used for many hundreds of years as a traditional remedy for sleep disorders, it’s perfect and easy to pack in supplement form in your suitcase.  Valerian works on one of our soothing neurotransmitters, GABA, to also help feelings of calm, and it doesn’t cause drowsiness the next day.

Probiotics to soothe digestion

Probiotics are the trillions off good bacteria that live in our digestive tract and are so very important for overall health.  However, sometimes these guys get upset and imbalanced and then digestive issues can arise.  This can often happen on holiday, sometimes in the form of unpleasant diarrhoea.

Close up on woman's stomach with hands making a heart shape to show a healthy tummy

It’s certainly worth taking a course of probiotics in supplement form before holiday.  Or alternatively, you can load up on probiotic-feeding foods such as garlic, ginger, asparagus, artichoke, green tea, and other fibrous vegetables.

However, do pack a particular probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii which is great for helping to ease traveller’s diarrhoea.  It’s available in supplement form and can be taken long-term too.

Beat the bugs with vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of our key immune-boosting nutrients.  Unfortunately, flights, travel stress, a little too much alcohol, and a new environment can often leave us more vulnerable to colds and infections.  This is where vitamin C comes in.

shutterstock_114498919 woman cold flu Oct16It’s worth packing some effervescent vitamin C tablets and start taking them at the first sign of coughs and sneezes, repeating every few hours. The sooner you start taking it, the more effective it will be.  Some people find their bowels become looser when using it which is perfectly normal.  Vitamin C is quickly excreted from the body which is why it’s best to take it regularly throughout the day.

 

Also load up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which contain some Vitamin C.

Calming Aloe vera for sunburn

Unfortunately, we can often be too enthusiastic when it comes to sunbathing.  Plus, pesky mosquitos can often be an annoyance.  This is where soothing aloe vera gel comes to the rescue.

Woman,With,Sun,Protection,Cream,On,Her,Shoulder,In,The

Another remedy that’s been used for centuries, aloe vera is the perfect antidote for any skin issues.  It can also help with dandruff and an itchy scalp.  Even better, Cleopatra used to call aloe vera ‘The Elixir of Youth’ .  She had amazing skin which she attributed to using aloe vera.  So, you may come back from holiday looking 10 years younger too!

Banish bacteria with tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is one of those remedies that has such a range of uses, it really needs to find its way into your suitcase.

Sports,Injury,Painful,Scratches,And,Open,Wounds,On,Leg,Of

Tea tree is a natural antibacterial agent so you can disinfect anything with it; you can spray it around you on planes or public transport if people are coughing and sneezing or onto any cuts, scrapes, bruises or fungal infections …. the list goes on!

Avoid spraying down the throat or into the ears, but other than that it’s pretty safe to use.

With a little extra precaution, and a few natural remedies, you can have a trouble-free vacation!

 

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Five essential well-being tips for a happy and healthy holiday

You’ve planned for that long-awaited holiday and now it’s time to pack those cases. However, if you want to have the happiest and healthiest of holidays, then there are a few extra things you can do to make sure this happens.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares her five top tips for a healthy holiday.

SMALLER--4 Suzie Blog pic

BEFORE YOU GO:

PREPARE YOUR TUMMY

Wherever you’re travelling to in the world, even if it’s not too far away, you’ll still be out of your normal eating routine, plus you may be visiting countries where people are generally more prone to tummy troubles.

Close up on woman's stomach with hands making a heart shape to show a healthy tummy

The best advice is to take a course of probiotics at least a couple of weeks before you leave. Readily available in health food stores, probiotics are the friendly bacteria that keep your digestive system running smoothly, but also protect it from unwanted infections and tummy bugs. Look for a probiotic supplement that contains the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

It’s also good to eat plenty of natural yoghurt before you go on holiday, as well as during your stay. And don’t forget to pack the probiotics too, so even if you don’t have time to start a course before you go away, you can take them throughout your holiday.

PREPARE YOUR SKIN

We all want to have glowing skin, particularly whilst on holiday but certainly when we come back. For a couple of weeks before you go, use coconut oil as a moisturiser; it’s one of the best. Skin can become very dry on holiday and using coconut oil means your skin will be super-soft and really well moisturised. Keep up the regime when you return and hopefully you’ll not suffer from any post-holiday flakiness.

Prepare your skin from the inside too by eating foods rich in beta-carotene before you go. That means lots of orange and red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and red and orange peppers. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant which will help protect your skin against sun damage. You’ll still need to wear sun cream, but it can help prevent any unwanted burning. And of course include them as much as you can in your diet whilst you are away.

PACK SOME ALOE VERA

Aloe vera was said to be the ‘Elixir of life’ by Cleopatra. As with so many of these ancient remedies, they deliver a wealth of health benefits, and aloe vera is no exception. Its benefits for the digestive system are well-documented, and it’s also great for the skin.

You can readily buy aloe vera in gel form; it’s a holiday essential as it will soothe any sunburn or irritated skin and also calm other skin complaints that may flare up whilst you’re away. And don’t just save it for your holiday; keep it in your medicine cabinet all-year round! It can also help soothe tired and aching joints and muscles.

WHILE YOU’RE THERE:

USE YOUR TIME WISELY

When on holiday, hopefully you’ll have some free time to just be in your own head space. You can really use this time to great effect by either learning something new (TED talks are great for easy listening and learning) or maybe even practice meditation.

As with anything, meditation does take some time to properly learn and many people give up along the way because they struggle to clear the mind or can’t feel the benefits. However, it’s worth persevering because meditation can really help to relieve stress and anxiety, and many practisers report feelings of inner calm and peace. You need a place of peace and quiet to meditate so try to plan this for a short time every day during your holiday.

DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

It may sound an obvious one but of all the things you should do before and during your holiday making sure you’re properly hydrated is key. It’s easy to forget how dehydrating the combination of alcohol and sun can be.

A couple of weeks before you leave for your hols, really increase your liquid intake. Always start the day with some warm water with lemon and ginger which helps cleanse the liver and alkalise the body. You can carry on drinking this throughout the day or if you prefer iced water then add some refreshing and inner-cleansing cucumber. Try to drink eight glasses of water each day. The body needs to be hydrated at a cellular level to function well, so preparation is key.

Close up of woman on beach with a glass of water to represent hydration

Whilst you’re away, it’s important to drink as much water as you can but obviously be mindful of drinking tap water. It’s always best to drink bottled or boiled water wherever you are in the world; parasites can be present in the water in many European countries as well as far-flung ones.

So with these five key tips, you should have a wonderfully healthy holiday – enjoy!

FOR MORE GREAT DIET AND LIFESTYLE ADVICE:

Sign up to receive our blog and get a weekly dose of the latest nutrition and health advice direct to your inbox.

Follow us on Twitter @feelaliveuk for nutrition, lifestyle and well-being tips.

Visit us at www.feelaliveuk.com for the latest offers and exclusive Alive! content.

Follow and Chat with Suzie on Twitter @nutritionsuzie

For everything you need to know about vitamins, minerals and herbs visit Herbfacts