When you're finally able to take a vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is all the grimy germs lurking in the airport and on the airplane, just waiting to get you sick.
Think about it.
You have to take your shoes off for security, the radiation used in body scanners, the used bins that haven't been wiped down from previous use to put your belongings in, the variety of food and drinks placed in plastic and Styrofoam, putting your bags on the floor, and all the people packed on your booked flight.
While traveling might be something you forget to include as a risk factor for getting sick, there are plenty of germs and other toxins just waiting to do so.
What are some ways you can avoid the toxicity at the airport and keep yourself from getting sick?
In an article posted in Green Med. Info
, here are four steps to clean travel:
- Try to eat before arriving at the airport
- Add healthy foods to your carry-on
- Pack dietary supplements
- If you must eat/drink at the airport, aim for hot tea and healthier options (NOT McDonald's)
How else can you stay healthy while traveling?
Dr. Holly discusses why traveling is a huge toxic burden to your health, as well as the four steps you can follow to stay healthy.
RadioMD Presents:The Dr. Holly Lucille Show | Original Air Date: February 25, 2015
Host: Holly Lucille, ND, RN
It's time to separate fact from fiction in health fads. It's time The Dr. Holly Lucille Show.
Here's Dr. Holly.
DR. HOLLY: Hey, folks. Thanks so much for being here and coming back. Glad to have you and I've got to tell you something. I read this article and it's one of the things that I think it got my attention because, really, I love partnering with people and helping them be the best person they want to be; helping them get closer to their healthcare desires. But I've got to tell you, when all of a sudden, something hits me like a ton of bricks and it wasn't something that I was thinking about, like, I'm right in the minutiae, right in middle of it, and I was like, "Duh!", right? I have to tell other people because I think this is really important.
I read this article and it's perhaps one of the biggest, unrecognized sources of toxicity that we have because we're talking about environmental toxicity these days. But, it's travel and guess who travels quite a bit? I do. So, when I read this article, I was like, "I really have to take some better precautions." Because I'm a big advocate of reducing exposure to these environmental toxins wherever we can. I think it's just like, "Hey, it's just the thing to do," because so many of them are out of our control, so anything that you can take control over, more power to us, right? So, the good news is, I learned—and I couldn't bring this segment to you if it wasn't for my great friends at GreenMed Info because I get so much great evidenced-based, clinically studied, indexed information from my friend Sayer Ji who runs the site and, like I said, it's all evidence-based. You've got to love that. GreenMedInfo.com. You can go to that.
The good news is there are things that we can do, right? Prevent the harm. Prevention is the cure. So, these chemicals, we know them as endocrine destructors. They do. They disrupt our bodies.
Published scientific articles are indicating that the world's top chronic diseases are associated with things like low levels of arsenic in water and the body build-up of persistent pollutants appear to be correlated with increased incidence of type 2 diabetes. Heavy metals like mercury are now being recognized. I'm telling you. High blood levels are linked to high blood pressure. Accumulation of metabolism of plastic in the body like Bisphenol A. We see that resulting in chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes. And, other endocrine disrupters that we know are in personal care products. All of that stuff—household cleaning aids, health and beauty aids, plastics, pesticides, car exhaust, household cleaning products, you name it. We've got this and it's really taking a toll on our health. Removing those barriers are really important. The body has a great, super way of healing itself, but we have to ask, "What are obstacles to cure?"
So, here's the deal about travel. Radiation from the airport scanners and being in transport on the plane, okay? You've got radiation. Here's how the chemicals are actually stacking up. So, a menu of toxins of your choice are available, either at the airport, and especially on the plane, too. So, bottled water containing plasticides like Bisphenol A, especially if they're sat out in the sun, right? We have to worry about that. Hot coffee and tea that are served in those Styrofoam cups leeching out styrene and other aromatic compounds into your body as you drink that liquid down. Potential food triggers like processed dairy and sugar. It is so difficult, I've got tell you. Airplane food? Grrr! How does it survive right? Well, it's packed, usually, with high fructose corn syrup. You've got alcohol, soft drinks available, peanuts, gluten rich snacks. You know, they say, "Hey, pretzels, peanuts or cookies." That's the tagline that I can remember as I get off my flights. Stale, stagnant air that is circulating. All of those things. Really, as I said, they do. They build up. That's the biggest thing, I think. They build up.
What can you do, though, to make sure that you're surviving the toxicity? I do some of these, but I'm learning and I always learn. Here's the thing. You've got to be able to, first of all, pack your own food and eat smart before you set your foot out the door.
I mean, a lot of times, they have early flights, but guess what? I make sure I prepare something the night before. It is so important. Don't delay. I say, "Fail to plan, plan to fail." This is extremely important because you can concentrate your nutrition in the morning by having a great smoothie. You can get a fresh salad. I make a great salad. I always take a picture of it and post it because I'm so proud of myself. But, it's just so empowering for me to not have to complain because a lot of people you hear, what are they doing? "Oh. The plane food is really bad." Well, go ahead and make your own. It's like the best thing ever, right? It's extremely important to take snacks, too. You don't know when you're going to get delayed.
You don't know what is going to happen on that flight. So many things could happen, so make sure that you've got a spot on healthy foods, okay? You've got low maintenance healthy snacks. Avocados are great. They are high in potassium. A banana as well. Fiber in like, let's say, walnuts. Dark chocolate, apples. These are all tasty little nutritious treats that you can just pack. I've often advocated people that travel a lot to carry a food bag. That means, guess what? It's always full. Every single time that you take something from it, you replenish it. That's why if, all of a sudden, you're in a pinch and you've got to grab and go, or grab and grow, and your flight is really early, guess what? Your food bag is all ready to go. It's got a healthy nut snack bar in there.
It's got apples or almonds or walnuts. It's got maybe, perhaps, some of your favorite mix or homemade mix. Get it in there. I think it's extremely important, those portable and satisfying fruits and vegetables. You know, a lot of times, people will look over at me and go like, "What are you doing?" I'm just eating a red pepper. It happens to be sort of like I'm eating it like an apple, but for the most part, I'm just eating it. You know? It's just there. It's convenient. It's great. Those are the things that are extremely important. The other thing? It has been clinically studied that travel will decrease your ability to maintain adequate levels of Vitamin C.
So, replenish Vitamin C for sure and also, I think the biggest thing is staying hydrated. That's one of the most important things, I think, besides preparing your food, that you can do. Stay hydrated and, if you need other things, if you know that you're susceptible like the immunocompromised, make sure that you can pack your dietary supplements ahead. You know, a lot of people are supplement dependent because of their lifestyles. Make sure that those are things that you have in line all ready to go. Very, very important.
When you have to buy food at the airport, make sure that you have some of the most nutritious foods that you can get, okay? There are now kiosks all over the place. They're popping up and also green tea, which is rich in catechins, or other teas that you can actually get. We're going for nutrients here. We're going for nutrients to not only nourish your body, but fight off the toxins, perhaps, that you can actually run into on these travels, whether it's going through the radiation or whether it's being subject to not having anything prepared and only having that choice of having cookies, peanuts or pretzels.
Sometimes getting bored on the flight, you're going to increase your alcoholic intake because you're like, "Why isn't this flight ending already?" Right? "I've been going for so long." That's really, really important. So, here's the point here, folks. You've got "Fail to plan, plan to fail." We know that travel, at least I know, especially, I sort of have to think about this even more. Travel is definitely a source where we can accumulate those toxins and it's so very, very important that we do the best that we can and take control over what we have control over by decreasing our exposure to them as much as possible. When you take back that power, it's one of the most healthy things that you can do. Power to the people.
Being your own primary care provider, right? Primarily in charge of providing care for yourself. I always say, too, "Hey, you can either be a victim or a creative cause." And, I definitely think that taking power back, making your own food, being prepared and nourishing yourself, is one of the best things that you can do to actually do that.
You take power back. You are in control. You can be a creative cause in taking an otherwise uncomfortable situation like endless travel and make it something that you are taking care of yourself and you're really nourishing.
Thank you so much for listening, folks. We'll be right back.
This is Dr. Holly Lucille on RadioMD. This is Mindful Medicine and you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook at YourRadioMD.
Helping you live just a little bit more.Thanks for listening.