For well-heeled travellers who spend as much time on airplanes as in their own homes, knowing what to put into your body before a long-haul flight is essential.
Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, the last thing you want when you arrive at your destination is to feel lethargic, bloated or worn out. In an ideal world, you would be able to bring your kitchen with you onboard or order takeaway during your flight. Since this isn’t an option (yet), the best way to fuel your body for the adventure ahead is to eat a healthy meal before boarding your plane. So, which foods should you consume before taking to the skies?
Ditch the bag of potato chips and opt for a nutritious and energy-packed trail mix instead. Nuts will give you all the crunch you want while also providing you with some healthy fats. These healthy fats can help to stave off feelings of hunger, so you can stay contented for longer on those extended journeys.
When you intake too much salt before a flight, you can end up feeling bloated and uncomfortable in your stomach during the trip. Try to prioritise snacks and meals that have a low amount of sodium, such as non-cruciferous vegetables and fresh fruit. Want something a little more exciting? Salads, soups and sandwiches are great examples of low-sodium food that can also be full of flavour.
Bananas are a great option because they are rich in potassium. Why is this worthwhile before a flight? Well, potassium can help you avoid the aches and cramps associated with limited leg space and trying to sleep in an awkward position, so you will enjoy a more relaxing flight in all aspects.
When you’re looking for a source of protein to pair with your pre-flight meal, go with lean protein options like turkey, chicken or fish. This will fill you with the energy needed for the journey but won’t make you feel bloated.
Tip: Lean protein is encouraged over fattier choices like beef in everyday life by nutritionists and dieticians so consider switching to it more often throughout the rest of your diet, not just in your pre-flight meal. There’s no shortage of nutritious recipes to cook that use lean protein as a primary ingredient.
Yoghurt, and specifically Greek-style yoghurt, is packed with protein and probiotics that are great for gut health – eating a mini tub before a flight can help stave off hunger as well as regulate your toilet needs. Even just having a small amount as a pre-flight snack can make your journey much more pleasant.
Tip: Consider adding some berries as a natural sweetener that also has some immunity benefits.
Citrus fruits like oranges are fantastic for their high amount of essential vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to boost your immune system and is often recommended as a way to help fight off common illnesses like the cold and flu. Since airports and planes are places passed through by thousands of people daily, it can be prudent for you to boost your vitamin C levels before taking a trip so you arrive happy and healthy.
A green smoothie is excellent any time of day and is a favourite among athletes and fitness buffs who want a convenient way to get as many essential nutrients into their system as possible. Having a green smoothie packed with healthy inclusions like spinach, kale, fresh fruit and yoghurt is also a great booster pre-flight.
Changes in altitude and elevation can pose a risk of dehydration, and this will lead to a myriad of symptoms like headaches, exhaustion and nausea, to name just a few. Make sure you drink plenty of water both before and during your flight to keep yourself hydrated and feeling good.
While you might think coffee is what you need before a long flight, it will actually leave you feeling fidgety when you’re stuck in a seat not able to exert the extra energy. Instead, opt for a lovely herbal tea; the lack of caffeine will help keep your body hydrated.
Tip: If you are feeling anxious before a flight, lavender and chamomile blends can be a great stress reliever.