The last thing one thinks of when flying is about making healthy food choices as the only thing on the mind is in fact getting to the destination. However what we consume during our flight does have an effect on our body and how it responds to jetlag once we land at our destination.
Travelling long haul flights can put pressure on our body and health in general so it is important to make wise choices as to what we have . Food on flights in general tend to get the not many positive comments or trying to make healthy food choices when flying can be a lot more tricky so the best is to be prepared just in case. However there are some airlines whose food on-board is also fantastic be it a local or international flights.
There have been times on a flight were I had wished that I had packed some snacks or even ordered a special meal as the meal choice I wanted was finished.On two international flights this year I ended up not eating at all as the meal choice offered was awful.So instead I just slept for the flight and soon as I landed I was straight into a food store at the airport to buy something to eat. I have heard some horror stories of where on international flight special vegetarian meals were ordered when booking the flight but there was none for the passengers and these where elderly passengers who were then given bread and cheese.All these have made me rather more cautious and more prepared for my next international flight.
Don’t gas and go: some people find that foods with plenty of onions, cabbage and beans make them feel gassy and bloated, and these symptoms can be aggravated by air travel. If you’re affected like that, avoid those foods before flying to prevent discomfort for yourself and other travellers. Some people find that sipping peppermint tea and cutting down on fizzy or sugary drinks ease these symptoms.
Hydrate: consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of single-use plastic and dropping a little cash on reusable bottles. You can carry yours onboard and the flight attendants will refill it for you when you need it. As a simple rule, sip 250ml of water for every hour on the plane.
Moderation rules: a glass of good wine or a perfectly chilled beer are appropriate rewards for doing grown-up stuff like travelling to be an ambassador for your business, or to celebrate embarking on that well-earned holiday. Drinking the drinks-trolley dry? Not so much. It’s bad for your health in many ways and you’ll feel poorly afterwards. Stick to the legal limit whether or not you’re driving after your flight and you’ll feel ready to enjoy what comes after your flight, whether it’s a presentation or vacation. The same applies to caffeine: one or two good, strong coffees are a treat; more than three can leave you jittery and nauseas.
Crunch-time for road warriors: Foods with crackle and crunch, like carrots, lettuce, celery, apples and nuts, have been shown to aid concentration, so if you need to finish that winning PowerPoint presentation on plane, opt for those foods, or arrange for them with the airline beforehand. (See how to do that at the end of this piece.)
Chow down with care: you might not regard your body as a temple, but one easy way to prepare for an enjoyable flight is to avoid food that will make you feel grim once airborne. Food that’s very greasy or starchy is a bad idea at the best of times, but eating it before a flight is a particularly bad. Also, airline food is, of necessity, made under very strict controls, so it sometimes gets a bad rap, you might be better off with it than the dodgy hole-in-the-wall spot near your office. Comair has established its own catering business, Food Directions, so it can have complete control over quality and efficiency for the food supplied to its two airline brands, kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair). There’s some serious science behind making sure food tastes good at 30 000 feet and a lot of research has gone into exploring how our taste-buds adapt to the pressurisation and dryness of airliner cabins, and the food is prepared accordingly.
Lastly, says Lavery, let the airline know about your dietary requirements at least 48 hours before you fly: Diabetic, Low-fat, Gluten-free, Vegan, Hindu, Halal, Kosher or a children’s meal can all be accommodated. Other special meals need at least 24 hours’ notice. Just log on to ba.com, going to “Manage my booking” and click on “Request a special meal”. The airline is there to make sure you have an awesome experience each time you fly, so don’t be afraid to ask,” says Lavery.
Having found this information rather useful here are my top tips to eat healthy when flying :
- Drink water keep away from fizzy drinks and hot drinks as they dehydrate you. Carry your own bottle of water with you on-board or even an empty bottle which the flight attendants can fill up for you.
- Carry health snacks like dried fruits and nuts if you tend to get peckish. Stay away from salty and sweet snacks.
- Eat a healthy meal before travelling.
- Skip the salt on your food in the plane as they can lead to dehydration leaving you with a parched feeling.
- If you fancy a hot drink carry your own herbal tea bag.
- Avoid eating fatty food before you fly.
- Steer clear from sugary foods and snacks as they paly havoc with your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling hungry, agitated and tired.
- Select a meal choice with protein often you can order a special meal in advance.
- Avoid eating carbs as they make you feel sluggish.
- Popcorn is a great and healthy filler.
- Have a proper meal before you leave home to go to the airport.
- Smoothies are also a good option to have on-board as well as protein shakes. These come packaged already and are perfect to carry with you.
- Protein bars and snack bars are great snack options to carry with you.
So on your next flight I hope you make healthy eating choices and have a safe trip.
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