National love your gut week travel health Print

Look After Your Gut For National Love Your Gut Week
Monday 22nd August is the start of National Love Your Gut Week and is the ideal time to take preventative measures to guard against food poisoning, constipation and diarrhoea, especially if you are travelling abroad for your summer holidays.
It is a known fact that travelling abroad exposes the gut to harmful bacteria, yeasts and pathogens that the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract just aren't used to back in the UK. So what can people do to help themselves, and prepare their gut for what it will be exposed to abroad?
Top tips for gut health:
1. Take a good quality probiotic for the length of your stay - ask in your pharmacy for a probiotic supplement with at least 10 billion strains of lactobacillus acidophilus per capsule. These probiotics are thought to help fight off foreign microbes, and thereby protect against tummy bugs.
2. Berberine, artemesia and citrus seed extract have all been shown to be useful in guarding against unwanted bacteria and parasites. Ask your pharmacy for a product that contains these plant extracts and take this alongside your probiotics for the duration of your holiday/travels.
3. Eating local yoghurt (natural not flavoured) is also thought to be helpful as it naturally contains probiotics local to the envioronment and thereby is protective against local microbes.
4. Eat plenty of garlic as this has been shown to have powerful anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal properties. Garlic is most potent if eaten raw, so an excellent way to incorporate garlic into your diet is to add crushed garlic to olive oil and lemon for a delicious immune-boosting salad dressing.
5. Many people become constipated when they travel, so remember to drink plenty of water; particularly if you are flying as this can be very dehydrating. Once on holiday, don't forget to eat lots of fibrous foods; fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Also remember to continue drinking plenty of water – bottled water is advisable in most countries. Alcohol, teas and coffees are all dehydrating, and are not recommended in large volume.
Ask your pharmacist for their suggestions of some sensible medicines to carry on your travels to treat common conditions eg. Diarrhoea, constipation, upset stomach, dehydration, sunscreen etc.
As long as you follow sensible precautions in the run up to and during your holiday, your gut has a fighting chance to remain healthy; so that your summer holiday does not have to turn into a nightmare.