Travel is synonymous with the holiday season, and whether it’s by plane, car, bus or other mode of transport, exposure to bacteria and other people can cause you to get sick. There are many products on the market that tell you they can prevent you from getting sick, but some of the time-tested methods are often the best (and most affordable!).
Most of us know the basics such as washing your hands, staying hydrated and getting enough rest, but there are some other highly effective, natural ways to boost your immune system that are lesser known.
Magnesium and potassium
Raising your intake of magnesium and potassium have been shown to be good ways to stay healthier while traveling. If you’re traveling to a much higher altitude than you're used to (ski trip, anyone?), magnesium and potassium are tricks that mountain dwellers swear by to protect against altitude sickness. Eat bananas, drink some fresh squeezed orange juice, enjoy the skin on your next baked potato, or simply take natural supplements before and during travel.
How about enjoying all of the benefits of essential oils? They smell great, are readily available and many have both antibiotic and antibacterial properties. Some of the most popular oils for your immune system are bergamot, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, oregano and peppermint. If you have trouble sleeping while you are in a different environment, lavender is a great choice for relaxation.
Mediation or some form of a time out will help relieve stress, which, will keep you healthier overall. If you are into yoga, stretching or some other form of gentle and relaxing movement, your mind and body will benefit.
Add certain foods and pace your eating
Food choices are of course important, but you can get even more immune system protection by adding in garlic, ginger, licorice, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Hot and spicy foods keep the respiratory system pumping and ginger helps calm the stomach and help with digestion. Also up your intake of antioxidants and Omega-3s. You can easily do this by consuming blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas and lentils. Standards for healthy types of rich foods that are high in Omega-3s are salmon and walnuts.
Here’s one you may not have heard of: Practice Hara Hachi Bu hara. Hara Hachi Bu is actually a Japanese concept that means to eat until you’re 80 percent full. The Japanese may be onto something considering the country has such a high number of centenarians.
Take care of your skin
Traveling can really dry out your skin, but natural remedies like coconut oil, oatmeal in a warm bath and aloe vera—which is also great for soothing a sunburn—are terrific choices for skin care. Also consider a humidifier in your room while you sleep; it’ll help both your respiratory system and your skin.