Ever felt nauseous after your flight takes off? Does your stomach start aching once you're in the air? In-flight food options are often limited, which makes matters even worse. When you cross beyond a certain altitude, air pressure changes, which immediately affects your body. The motion and constrained space of the flight cause further discomfort. The best way to avoid these problems is to make better food choices before you board the plane. We spoke to our consultant nutritionist Rupali Datta for tips to improve one's air travel experience.
Here are the top 5 food and drinks you must avoid before your flight:
You may be surprised to find apples on this list - after all, they are often considered one of the healthiest fruits. The truth is, apples are hard to digest. Its high fibre content can lead to bloating and constipation. Hence, it is better to consume fruits that are lighter on the stomach, such as bananas, papayas, or oranges. Does this mean fruit juices are a good idea? You may sip them in small quantities before your flight, but pay attention to their sugar content. Many fruit juices have too much sugar and this can lead to gut discomfort once you're in the air.
Broccoli is the apple of vegetables in the sense that you constantly hear that they are good for health. But steer clear of this vegetable before your flight. Just like apples, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower may cause gas and bloating. Another common mistake people make is eating a raw salad before flying. Raw veggies can cause indigestion and stomach ache. Pick a simple fruit salad instead.
(Also Read: Broccoli Paratha: The Goodness Of Veggie In Parathas)
3. Fast food
More often than not, we are forced to eat fast food at airports as healthier options are not easily available (or affordable). Alternately, we crave junk food since we could be going on a vacation. However, remember that fast food is often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. These elements, which are anyway harmful to you, are even more problematic while flying. They cause bloating, dehydration and acidity. So swap that burger for idli instead. It is best to carry some healthy food with you from home, so you are not dependent on airport outlets.
4. Coffee and aerated beverages
It is very tempting to drink coffee to stay awake, especially before early morning or late-night flights. But keep in mind that caffeine is likely to cause dehydration, which can leave you feeling worse later. Other drinks with a similar effect on your system are aerated beverages and alcohol. To keep yourself hydrated, Rupali recommends nimbu paani (with less or no sugar) and coconut juice.
Beans and legumes contain specific fibres that some people find hard to digest. Although they are rich in protein and minerals, they can cause gas and acidity issues, especially when flying. Hence, it is best to opt for lighter meals.
Each person's immune system reacts differently when flying. If you're someone who is prone to violent air sickness, Rupali Datta suggests not eating anything three hours before boarding the plane. But remember to stay hydrated and avoid the temptation of processed snacks.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.