Did You Know?
Experts suggest that fasting for almost 6 to 8 hours before a long flight may actually help avoid jet lag.
In addition to jet lag, one of the biggest problems faced by fliers is ‘jet bloating’. It refers to burping and bloating caused by stomach gases. Although not much can be done about jet lag, jet bloating can actually be avoided by just not eating certain foods before boarding a flight. Though it sounds like a harmless problem, jet bloating can become a serious matter. In 2006, a US domestic airline was forced to land after passengers complained of a weird smell in the bathroom. After thorough inspection, the odor turned out to be from a spent match, which a passenger had used to disguise an unpleasant stomach issue.
What you consume before flying can really have a big impact once you’re in the air. Hence it is extremely important to avoid these dining disasters, and save yourself from the much feared ‘jet bloat’ and other in-flight grievances.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.
Foods to Avoid Before Flying
Although it is one of the most beneficial spices in the world, consuming garlic causes intolerable bad breath. If someone is paying money for an airplane seat, he/she definitely doesn’t deserve a garlic-y odor. The foul breath is certainly not appreciated, and as garlic gets absorbed by the blood stream, it leads to body odor as well, again something that most passengers can do without.
Yes, it isn’t food, but it is definitely something that should be avoided. For many, consuming alcohol is an important pre-flight ritual, and it definitely serves as a great sleeping pill during a long flight. However, alcohol acts as a dehydrating agent, and the closed atmosphere of the aircraft dehydrates the body even more. Hence, your system has experienced double dehydration, which is extremely unhealthy and dangerous.
Stopping at the nearest Starbucks and grabbing your favorite cup of brew before a flight is not a good idea after all. On top of the coffee breath, your regular cup of Joe can cause dehydration and irritate your stomach, making you and others feel uncomfortable.
Consuming carbonated beverages leads to flatulence because of the excess amount of gases present in them. These drinks are filled with carbon dioxide to create the fizz, and non-nutritive sweeteners which are non-edible for the colon. The carbon present in them might lead to belching, bloating, or even heartburn.
There is a time and place for everything, even if it means postponing a hearty date with French Fries. Its aroma sure is tempting, but the amount of fat and oil can surely make your stomach go for a toss. The high amount of unsaturated fats and sodium can cause fluid retention, and will eventually lead to feet swelling.
Sugar-free Gum and Candy
It might sound surprising, but sugar-free products are not the ideal food to consume before flying. They contain synthetic sweeteners, and unfortunately your stomach isn’t designed to digest them. Artificial sweeteners can stimulate your bladder, cause bloating, and even lead to flatulence. So unless you don’t want to spend your entire time in an airplane bathroom, it is best to avoid these foods.
The most gaseous culprit on the list – beans – should be a definite no-no before flying. Consuming various types of beans and legumes can cause a bad stomach mix up, that may also lead to bloating and the buildup of excessive gas. In addition to beans and legumes, avoid consuming broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables as well.
Burgers and Hot Dogs
Indulging in a burger or an hot dog is something that we all do, but having them before a flight might lead to abdominal issues. Fast food items are filled with saturated fats and digesting them at 35,000 ft. is quite a challenge for the body. According to research, fatty and oil-fried foods lead to the constriction of blood, which can cause blood pressure to drop resulting in swollen feet.
Apples and Other Acidic Fruits
It might be able to keep the doctor away, but fibrous fruits like apples aren’t easy to digest and often lead to gas formation. Hence, avoid them before a flight, and also stay away from drinking fruit juices in excess, as they are high in Vitamin C, which can lead you to urinate frequently.
Sitting in close-confined chairs for long hours is certainly tiring and uncomfortable. Hence, give yourself a break, and don’t stuff your stomach with hard-to-digest foods and drinks. Eat light and have a comfortable flight.