6 Essential Supplements & 10 Snacks For Healthy Travel

It’s summertime and that usually means travel season for many of us.

That’s why on today’s Food as Medicine episode, we’re hitting the road with the top 5 supplements I do NOT leave home without. I will tell you how to know if you need each of them and how to take them. 

Then, I’ll give you tons of delicious, easy snack ideas. They make so many healthy products in travel sizes now, which I LOVE. 

We enter the world of the unknown while traveling and if we don’t prepare to safeguard our health on the road, there's a good chance it will unnecessarily suffer for lack of being able to find the same healthy fare we are accustomed to at home. 

I don’t want you to have to “recover” from your vacation, which is why I’m sharing this blog and show with you today.

Supplements To Take While Traveling

Probiotics

A lot of travel is hard on the body.

Did you know that both flying and changing time zones also changes your gut bacteria? 

This is why if you are doing either, taking one probiotic daily during your trip will keep your gut and immune system healthier.

“Researchers in Israel have shown, in both mice and humans, that the bacterial assemblages inhabiting the digestive tract are vulnerable to the ravages of circadian rhythm alterations. And when the gut microbiome is disrupted, they found, a suite of maladies, including glucose intolerance and obesity, result.

Immunologist Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot led a team of researchers that subjected mice to a disruption in their sleep cycle that mimicked jet lag from an 8-hour time difference in humans and surveyed changes to their gut microbes. The researchers also studied the microbiota of two people who flew from the U.S. to Israel and found similar compositional and functional changes. ‘We saw that in the presence of jet lag, their microbes were completely messed up,' Elinav told Time.”

Our favorite multi-strain probiotic for travel is Ortho Biotic. It has all the strains necessary to support the changes travel creates plus Saccharomyces boulardii to prevent yeast overgrowth if you overdo it with indulging during your journey. 

 

Melatonin

Melatonin is the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. We also cannot produce human growth hormone if we are not producing enough melatonin so this makes it important for cell and tissue repair and anti-aging. 

Changing time zones messes with our melatonin production which is why supplementing with it is essential if you want to adjust quickly on either side. 

“Your body treats melatonin as a darkness signal, and generally has the opposite effect of bright light.”

Time-released melatonin is a lifesaver when traversing time zones because it helps to reset your circadian rhythm more quickly, which gets you over jet lag faster with better-quality sleep. The general supplement recommendation is to take 1mg per hour of time zone difference, capping out at a dose of 5 mg. Take it 45 minutes before you’d like to go to sleep.

Greens

Whether it be powder or capsules, greens are essential to keep our energy up while we travel because, let's face it, we just don't eat as many vegetables when we’re on the road.

Our local friends over at Organifi did a great job of combining the essential greens including spirulina, chlorella, matcha tea (a powerful mesonutrient), beets, mint, and wheatgrass to help your body kick-start the body’s processes of daily detoxing, producing natural energy, and managing stress. It’s a great way to both get your vital greens and alkalize your body, and the best part is you can bring it with you on your summer travels!

Digestive Enzymes

I truly never leave home without them!

Enzymes help us digest our food better to prepare for proper assimilation.

They increase nutrient uptake into the body and prepare food for better utilization by the gut microbiota, which in turn support assimilation and production of our vitamins. This is especially important when our food quality (potentially) lowers while traveling. 

They also provide overworked, weary digestive processes a vacation so that digestive cells, such as the stomach's parietal cells and the pancreas' exocrine cells, can rest and rebuild their integrity. Do not leave home without excellent, quality digestive enzymes!

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is the antidote to bacteria, viruses, and fungus while traveling. One a day (away from food) keeps the doctor away. My favorite brand for quality can be found here.

Bonus Supplement!

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is great to keep on hand if you eat something that upsets your stomach or if alcohol consumption is going to increase. It will bind to toxins and pull them out of your system to keep you feeling better.

I love pre-packaging all of my daily dose of supplements in Ezy Dose bags to avoid having to bring full bottles on the road.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Bringing something fresh is always a great idea since fresh foods can be difficult to find while traveling—and even when we do find them, most of the time they’re not organic.

Organic tangerines, carrots, and green apples are my go-to with a packet of to-go nut butter. This snack provides all the protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates to keep you satiated for a few hours in between meals and could save you from eating the dreadful airplane peanuts or pretzels filled with poor-quality oils and preservatives.

Trail mix is always a crowd pleaser. My favorite mix contains goji berries for sweetness and immune boosting properties, cashews for their magnesium content, pumpkin seeds for the omega-6 fatty acids and parasite-killing component, walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and cacao nibs for antioxidants, crunch, and the feel-good brain chemical release that only chocolate can provide.

Travel packs of coconut oil, coconut aminos, or tamari. These are easy enough to keep in your purse. The coconut oil can go into your coffee or tea while traveling or on top of your food for a dose of healthy medium-chain fatty acids. The aminos or tamari sample packs are great when eating Asian food and not wanting to take in added sugar or gluten.

Bone Broth for the Keurig – Lono Life is a local company, but their K-cups of broth can be found on Amazon. While I'm not a huge fan of the Keurig because of the plastic and potential for mold buildup, it is quite comforting to have some hot broth at night in your hotel room before bed. When not traveling, however, a higher-quality broth like The Flavor Chef’s broth is always preferred.

Electrolyte balancers – Traveling can be quite dehydrating, and my favorite way to beat that is with the Ultima travel packets. Much healthier than EmergenC and easy to add to your travel bag.

Bars – A good-quality bar can save you from making poor decisions out of hunger. My two favorites are Primal Kitchen Bars and PaleoValley Collagen Bars because they both contain collagen and are high in protein and healthy fats while being low in sugar without preservatives.

Then there are PaleoValley grass-fed beef sticks which are the ONLY beef sticks I would even consider consuming because there is so much junk in all the others. I normally don’t like processed meats or jerky, but Paleovalley manages to make these as delicious as they are healthy.

Hard-cooked eggs, avocados, Siete cassava tortillas, and an Ezy Dose bag full of pink salt can make up an alternative breakfast you can trust. Just don't open up the eggs on the plane!

Now we’d like to hear from you. What are your favorite ways to stay healthy while traveling? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section and I’m sure the rest of our community would too!

Practical Ways To Stay Healthy While Traveling

Listen to the Audio File (mp3) of this episode.