Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Holiday essentials

The weather may keep changing it's mind but hopefully most of you do have a nice summer holiday booked in warmer climes for some consistent sunshine.

If so then it's worth giving a bit of thought to your nutritional needs before and during your holiday.

Holidays might be nice and relaxing but both flying and exposure to sunshine cause a lot of free radical damage in the body which accelerates ageing, both inside and out.

To combat this you need plenty of antioxidants both during and after your holiday. The best sources are orange/red and blue/purple fruit and veg, so peppers, oranges, sweet potatoes, apricots, any kind of berries etc. Aim to have three different types a day and look for suncare products that include antioxidant vitamins such as Environ.

Also before you fly pickup a berry smoothie in the airport which makes a much healthier snack for the plane than a bag of salted pretzels and tops up your antioxidants for the flight.

In the heat and sun you and your skin can become easily dehydrated. To combat this I take an essential fat supplement for two weeks before my holiday to fortify the waterproof fatty cell walls, and then make sure I drink plenty of water whilst I'm away.

That can be tricky when you're travelling around and don't necessarily have a bathroom round every corner - if that's the case still sip water throughout the day but then as soon as you get to your hotel in the evening make sure you rehydrate properly.

The same applies for flying - staying hydrated during a longhaul flight can be challenging, make sure as soon as you're off that you drink plenty of water.

Being on holiday should be enjoyable so trying to follow your usual strict health regime isn't in the spirit of things, but having a splurge and indulging every meal can undo your good work pretty quickly.

Instead aim to have just one treat a day, whether it's a dessert, a couple of cocktails, a mid-afternoon ice cream or a big juicy steak for dinner. The rest of the time order healthily including a decent portion of fruit and/or veg at each meal. This usually means ordering salads. If there are no healthy carbs on offer -brown rice and new potatoes are unlikely, whilst chips and pasta seem to be ubiquitous, have a fruit salad for dessert or a fresh fruit smoothie for carbs.

Fresh fruit and unsalted unroasted nuts are also usually the best option snackwise but pack healthy snacks in your luggage if they won't be easily available where you're going. Food Doctor, Laar and Nakd bars are all good options

You'll likely be exposed to new bugs whilst you're away which you'll want your immune system to dispense with promptly. Taking probiotics can help, take them for two weeks in advance rather than just whilst you're on hols to give your digestive system a chance to get used to them.

For extra defence you could also take echinacea for two weeks prior to, and then during, your holiday to prime your immune system. Also make sure you pack your regular supplements, a good multi with an extra vitamin C tablet can go a long way to keeping you healthy and happy on holiday!


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