The Importance Of Good Nutrition While Travelleing
15th Century Nutritional Advice or Lack Thereof
Fifteenth century sailors would have loved having someone around to give them nutritional advice, like vitamin C is important, so be sure to stock up on oranges. Instead, they died of scurvy.
French explorer Jacques Cartier found this out for himself when he led an expedition to the new world in 1535. When winter weather conditions forced him to take refuge in a fort at the mouth the St. Charles River, he soon faced a devastating outbreak of scurvy amongst his men.
He sought the aid of the nearby Iroquoian tribe, who told him of a remedy obtained by boiling leaves of the White Cedar tree in tea. If not for that, most of the men under his command wouldn’t have lived to see the spring (sympatico.ca).
Though he mentioned the remedy in his journal, he sadly neglected to mention the recipe, so it wasn’t until James Lind’s tests involving oranges and lemon supplements in 1747 that an official cure was found. Subsequently, scurvy outbreaks at sea were significantly reduced; the moral of the story being that good nutrition can make long journeys a lot more enjoyable.
Tips For Healthy Eating While Travelling
Thankfully, the necessary information is more accessible nowadays, and nutrition experts have valuable advice to give when it comes to preparing for long trips. Correct nutrition is important in travel for a lot of the same reasons as it’s important in sport. For example, people need to conserve energy and maintain awareness, both of which can be diminished by the rigors of constant travel and time spent on the road, in airports and on planes.
Travelers often find themselves in places where the amenities they’re accustomed to are not readily available, and many will turn to fast food or other unhealthy sources of food. Then there’s the issue of what food is actually safe for travelers to consume in a country, which is why it’s advised that travelers research their planned destinations before drinking the tap water or buying meat from street stalls.
Here are some tips to keep yourself in tip-top condition on your holiday:
On plane trips:
Despite being the least active part of most trips, plane travel can be the most draining for many travelers. It helps to:
- Take an energy drink on planes, since the high altitudes increase fluid loss
- Take it easy with alcohol on flights. Some enjoy drinking on a plane because it helps them forget they’re thousands of feet above the ground, but the effects of alcohol are enhanced due to the high altitude. And no, that’s not a good thing.
On packing food:
You may have noticed that planes reserve the good food for first-class passengers. Packing food for plane trips helps lesser mortals cope with the flight. Nutritionists would have you do it while on the road, too, rather than resort to fast food.
- High-protein snacks such as cheese and hard-boiled eggs do a good job of keeping travelers nourished, and they can stay fresh for a few hours if kept in a cooler.
- Dry goods such as peanut butter, energy bars, and crackers can be stored for longer periods without having to worry about coolth.
- Granola bars are considered a good source of nutrition that’s easy to carry and easy to obtain.
Being holed up in scurvy-ridden forts may not be an issue on your average family road trip or backpacking adventure, but paying attention to nutrition and taking into account advice such as the above can still come in handy.
Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, which promotes TAFE courses in Australia, including tourism, and healthcare and nutrition.