You booked your flight and your hotel, found someone to watch Fido, and packed your bags. You’re all ready for your big trip, right? Not so fast. If you haven’t thought about what to eat before, during, and after your flight, you still aren’t ready to go. Food is what fuels us, keeps us feeling good, and helps prevent us from getting sick — and there’s no time that’s more important than when you’re traveling.
Before you hop on that plane, find out how to support your health with these pre- and post-travel tips.
1. What to Eat Before a Flight: Vitamin C-Rich Foods
You’re about to go to the airport and get on a plane with hundreds of other humans, and that means you’re about to encounter a lot of germs. If you’re someone who frequently catches the common cold, try filling up on foods high in vitamin C, which seems to reduce the duration of the common cold.
Luckily, there are a lot of delicious high vitamin-C foods to choose from. Guava is a great choice; just one fruit contains 126 mg of vitamin C, which is 140% of the daily value. Also on the list are red peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and oranges.
2. What to Eat During a Flight: Fiber & Water
Sitting for hours on end can slow down your digestion and leave you constipated. To combat this unwelcome side effect of travel, opt for high-fiber plane snacks. If you often find yourself rushing out of the house to catch a flight, try a piece of whole fruit. Nothing is quicker than that! Pears are a great option for this, as they contain 4 grams of fiber per cup.
If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, try an oatmeal cup. These Purely Elizabeth Superfood Oat Cups are great to keep on hand or throw in your bag on the way out the door and they sell them in a lot of airports, too. They contain high-fiber ingredients like chia, quinoa, flax, and oats. All you need is hot water and a spoon.
And don’t forget to hydrate too. The one thing you don’t want to do when you’re on the road is drink less.
3. What to Eat After a Flight: Sleep-Promoting Foods
Adjusting to a new time zone, a new bed, even a different room temperature, especially after a stressful day of flying, can mean trouble getting to sleep. So where do you turn? Melatonin. Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone because it’s released in the evening to help us wind down and get to sleep. Examples of some melatonin-rich foods are almonds, salmon, eggs, and yogurt.
If foods fail to do the jobs, herbs can be your next line of action. Try a cup of Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea, which contains a mix of sleep-promoting herbs such as chamomile, lemongrass, rosebuds, and tilia flowers.