Tips On How To Support Your Gut Health On Vacation

Relaxing on a sunny beach and eating tacos may be the ultimate getaway. Not only do we get to ingest new foods at beautiful locations, but other health benefits from vacationing include boosting our immune systems. Still, the question remains—what happens if you're having trouble discharging bodily waste after your food excursion?

When it comes to vacationing, gut health goes out the window (probably unintentionally). This could be due to the type of foods being eaten since Western diets rely heavily on sugar and fat. Although, that's not to say new foods don't support the gut. According to 2016 research, eating diverse foods supports a healthy microbiome since the gut becomes more alterable to the variety of food. To support your gut health on vacation, try eating fiber-rich foods, and incorporating more fruits, veggies, legumes, and fermented foods like yogurt or sauerkraut (via Healthline).

Travel fatigue or stress also affects the gut since "stress will shut down or inhibit regular bowel movements because bowel movements are less of a priority if the body thinks it's about to be eaten by a lion," functional medicine gynecologist, Wendie Trubow, tells MindBodyGreen. Stress can cause intestinal fluctuations that result in constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, and more (via UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders). The fix — drink plenty of water, stay active, and prioritize relaxation (via MindBodyGreen).

You're back home, now how do you restore your gut?

Hopefully, if you follow some of the tips above, you won't need to restore your gut post-vacation. But, if you find yourself in a gut-clogged rut, implementing some recovery tips is a must. Similar to supporting your gut during the trip, you'll want to keep loading your plate with as many vegetables and fruits to support your microbiome. In fact, a 2017 study showed that those who ate a Mediterranean diet rich in whole grains and plants, with little red meat, dairy, and processed food intake had increased levels of certain beneficial gut bacteria. Believe it or not, Healthline even suggests ditching the Western diet if you need a heavy gut reset and incorporate a more Mediterranean-based diet.

You'll want to prioritize foods high in fiber since fiber is the love language of your gut microbiota. Flavonoids, in particular, help obstruct gut inflammation both indirectly and directly since they're rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (via Current Opinion in Biotechnology). These are found in fruits, veggies, nuts, beans, and more, so keep piling this high on your plate.

Besides monitoring your food intake once you're home, get back to your normal routine as soon as possible. This includes sleep routine, fitness routine, and any mindfulness practices you have. WebMD points out you'll also want to stay hydrated to get things flowing along again.