by Nathan Lloyd
With flight schedules reforming and quarantines easing after about two years in the pandemic, the tourism industry is now showing signs of returning. But just because you want to have a good time traveling doesn’t mean your healthy lifestyle should go by the wayside.
Eating healthy foods to stay in shape while traveling doesn’t need to be complicated.With preparation and a little willpower, you can plan for nutrient-rich and delicious options so you can enjoy your vacation or business trip without worrying about packing on extra weight.
Here is my list of 12 top foods to eat to stay in shape while traveling:
Best Foods to Eat While Traveling
1. Steamed vegetables. You can prepare steamed vegetables before your adventure or buy them during your travels whenever possible. Choose vegetables, like celery, cherry tomato, cauliflower, blanched broccoli and carrots, because they are important sources of many nutrients. It’s a good thing, too, that most supermarkets now have packaged, pre-cut fruits and vegetables that you can buy and take with you if needed.
2. A staple food for many cultures around the world, brown rice is a good source of complex carbs and dietary fibre to fuel your body with glucose. Whether you’re dining out or cooking for yourself in an accommodation that includes a kitchen, don’t miss the health benefits of brown rice.
3. Persimmon is a versatile fruit full of beneficial plant compounds, fiber, minerals and vitamins. They are extremely good for you as they aid in the creation of red blood cells, reducing your risk of altitude or motion sickness.
4. A homemade egg salad or sandwich is a light and delicious food that can increase your protein while keeping unhealthy fats at bay. More so that an egg contains high levels of lutein, B vitamins, choline and lutein.
5. Tofu makes a great anti-inflammatory diet. It is a good source of complete protein, which means it has a well-balanced amino acid profile. It also contains potassium, manganese, copper, iron and fiber. Talk about an all-in-one travel food!
6. Yogurt. As you are trying a lot of foreign or new foods, indigestion is not far away. This is why probiotic yogurt is one of the best foods to eat while traveling as it helps combat an unhappy stomach. Yogurts also contain good bacteria that support a healthy digestive system.
7. Portable and nutritious, nuts make healthy grab-and-go snacks for travel. No wonder they are a travel staple. You can simply pack nuts in a reusable storage container so you can snack throughout your vacation.
8. Apples are a rich source of polyphenols – micronutrients that work with other dietary reducing agents to protect the body’s tissues against pathologies and oxidative stress.
9. Dark cherries are the ideal mid-flight snack for those having trouble falling asleep on planes or during travel. That’s because they are a wonderful source of melatonin, which helps ease your nervous system and help you fall asleep.
10. Tuna fish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It may help reduce the level of LDL cholesterol and omega-6 fatty acids that can accumulate in the arteries. Tuna also contains a good amount of vitamin C, manganese and zinc – all of which can help boost your immune system as you travel.
11. Beetroots, often referred to as beets, are a versatile type of vegetable. They boast a good nutritional profile, like being low in calories but high in minerals and valuable vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy. If you’ve never tried a beet salad, you don’t know what you’re missing.
12. A healthy food list for travel wouldn’t be complete without including bananas in the list. Bananas are a great source of energy and are also a muscle relaxant. They are rich in magnesium and potassium as well as help support the production of melatonin in the body. You can start your day with a banana, have it as a mid-day snack, or eat it before bed to help you sleep.
Of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but just to emphasize its importance: proper hydration comes with plenty of health benefits so you can combat the negative effects of travel (jet lag, forced socialization, interruption of routines, lack of sleep, inconveniences, loss of familiar surroundings, different time zone, etc.). Always choose water over sodas or sugary fruit drinks.
Along with good nutrition, you can also be diligent about your workouts. You may want to perform a few basic workout moves while in small spaces using a portable suspension trainer. Even doing some stretches after a long day of adventure can help you stay in shape and fit while traveling.
Other Fitness Tips for Travelers
To help you feel and look your best during and after your travels, here are other tips you can do to stay in shape while traveling.
- Carry a water bottle with you
- Plan meals to prevent overeating
- Choose a hotel with restaurant menus that cater to a variety of preferences
- Get the reality check (read nutritional information)
- To have more control of your caloric intake, ask for dressing and sauces on the side
- Pack the right clothes and shoes – so you can still workout
- Do bodyweight exercises: squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups and lunges
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Nathan Lloyd is a personal fitness coach and trainer with a Master’s degree in Health and Exercise Science. He is passionate about helping his clients become the happiest and healthiest version of themselves. When he’s not coaching clients online or in person at ONE Boulder Fitness Gym, he writes about his favorite gym equipment at ExpertFitness.org.