Often when travelling people tend to skip diets and their normal eating habits in exchange for splurging on comfort food, meat platters and whatever that tickles their fancy. One common mistake that people make when travelling, especially in developing countries is drinking tap water. According to many health coaches the tap water in foreign countries can often be contaminated with bacteria, parasites and viruses that your digestion system may not be used to.
You may find that on holiday you can often feel quite fatigued, tired, and lacking energy this is mainly due to the fact people are not eating the right types of food or drinking enough water. Travellers also need to keep in mind that many food items are sourced and distributed differently in each country such as cheeses and meats. Freshness may not be guaranteed as you may not know how long that food has been carried without protection therefore open to bacteria.
Top foods/drinks to avoid:
1. Tap water (especially in developing countries)
Water in developing countries may be contaminated with bacteria, parasites and certain viruses that your gut flora isn’t used to, leaving you with an aching tummy, cramps, diarrhoea or constipation. Some viruses may cause serious health issues so always make sure you get the right vaccinations before travelling.
2. Fresh salad
Salad leaves such as spinach and iceberg are best avoided, even in developed countries, as these may have been rinsed in local tap water, which can upset your tummy. Opt for vegetables that have a protective skin and/or have been cooked well.
3. Imported food
Ordering locally is the key to getting access to the freshest produce. Ordering food that is not widely available nationally can be risky as it’s guaranteed to be imported. Instead, find out the region’s specialities and eat like a local would.
4. Cold meat platters, hotel buffets
It’s easy to get excited over the endless breakfast buffets but be careful with the cold ,eats as they have been sitting exposed for hours. These can be a breeding ground of bacteria — and leave you spending the afternoon in the bathroom.
5. Ice, (developing countries)
It’s easy to forget about this when ordering that round of mojitos, but it’s best to avoid drinks that contain ice, which may have been made from local tap water — exposing you to bacteria, viruses and parasites.
6. Runny or uncooked eggs
They’re a perfect protein-rich breakfast option, but before you order your eggs, be sure they are well cooked. Runny eggs on top of a salad, pasta or steak or uncooked scramble can be a breeding ground for salmonella, which can cause tummy cramping, diarrhoea and/or fever.
7. Undercooked poultry and meat
Try and avoid eating this at local street markets, instead opt for places that are established and well known for travellers.