Health expert reveals the food and drink to avoid while travelling

With interest in long-haul holidays on the rise, the travel insurance team at Comparethemarket  has worked with Dr Brian Fisher, clinical director at a health app, and Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at an online pharmacy, to offer advice on what food and drink should be avoided before going a long-haul flight – as well as the ones that will best prepare you for your journey.

Food and drink to avoid before a long-haul flight:

High-fibre foods

While usually a healthy addition to any diet, high-fibre foods, such as beans, broccoli, chickpeas and wholegrains, are a group you’ll want to avoid before flying.

These foods move through your digestive system quicker than others, which could result in you feeling gassier than you would usually. This, combined with the expanding gases in your gut while on a flight could leave you feeling very bloated.

Fatty and fried foods

Avoiding anything that’s deep-fried and high in fat before travelling is advisable, chances of heartburn and indigestion are increased when these types of food are consumed. This is because the digestive system is under more stress while flying, and high-fat foods place additional stress on your gut.

Alcohol and caffeine

The high altitude when on a flight causes you to expend more water than usual through your breath, leading you to dehydrate at a much faster rate, so alcohol and caffeine should be avoided before flying. Hydrating with water before the flight as well as regularly during the flight will help improve hydration levels.

Nervous flyers should also consider cutting out caffeine both before and during a flight to minimise caffeine-induced anxiety.

Food best to eat before a long-haul flight:

Eating light and nutritious foods such as the examples below are ideal for travelling on long-haul journeys:

1. Bananas are packed with potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure and minimise any muscle cramps during a flight.

2. Oranges and pineapple are high in vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity.

3. White fish is a great source of vitamin B6, helping to fight inflammation in the body and support the immune system. It’s also low in LDL cholesterol.

4. Nuts, seeds and dried fruits make for perfect in-flight snacks and are all healthy options for a long-haul journey.

Anna McEntee, from the travel insurance team at Comparethemarket comments:

“It’s great to see that searches for travel to long-haul destinations are on the rise, but travellers should ensure they have the right level of travel insurance in place, to ensure they’re fully covered for their trip.

When going on a long-haul holiday, it’s important to choose the right policy for the region you are travelling to. To keep costs down, it could be worth comparing annual travel insurance policies, but think about your plans for the year and limit the policy to the regions you know you’ll be travelling to. For example, there’s no need to buy a policy that includes the USA if you’re not going there.”

For more information on annual travel insurance, please visit:

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