Depending on what you consume, eating during a flight can have positive or negative consequences. To reduce common in-flight digestive issues, here are some suggestions from Singapore Airlines’ resident Chef and Manager of Food & Beverage, Hermann Freidanck:
Ginger is a super food all around, and is especially helpful for passengers who want to avoid the symptoms of travel sickness. Opt for a ginger ale from the drink cart, and nosh on fresh ginger when on the ground.
Research has shown that fliers chances of suffering from jet lag at 16 times less if they consume the right foods. So, what should you eat? Opt for easily digestible meals on board to stave off hunger. Then once you land it’s a good idea to eat something high in protein for an energy boost in your new time zone. One suggestion when choosing an in-flight breakfast is to opt for a light egg meal.
Being at higher altitudes such as when flying can slow down digestion and hinder the absorption of nutrients. To combat this, potatoes are an excellent option as they contain alkaloids believed to have an antacid effect. Additionally, pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps break down food in the stomach. Tumeric is also known for its ability to aid in digestion.
For many people, flying can cause major anxiety. Luckily, there are certain foods that can help. Because Vitamin B helps the nervous system reduce stress, munching on celery sticks before boarding can help calm you down. Moreover, because dehydration can cause irritability make sure to drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol. When ordering your in-flight meal, opt for vegetarian dishes and snacks with whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Fatigue is a common symptom of flying, especially when crossing time zones. Choose foods with zinc, found in high-protein options, as these boost brain power so you can work in-flight or head straight to a meeting off the flight. In fact, in clinical tests eating zinc-rich foods has been linked to higher intellectual performance. Moreover, combining these proteins with fruits or vegetables adds vitamins to the meal that can stimulate the mind.
Another excellent choice for fatigue is to choose a meal that contains chili, as this is said to improve on-board sleep so you can have more energy on the ground.
Before your flight, avoid foods like bread, broccoli, beans and peaches which can produce intestinal gases that expand the stomach. Fliers should also limit their intake of fatty foods, which slow digestion, as well as salty snacks, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Instead, opt for green tea, which stimulates digestive enzymes and detoxes the body. Other foods that help with bloating include bananas, cherries, chicory, onions and garlic.
Have an in-flight eating tip of your own? Add it in the comments below.