We’ve all heard of jet bloat. Those of us who have flown have most likely experienced the uncomfortable bloating associated with jet setting off to our next vacay. Bloating happens when the altitude increases because as the pressure lowers, gas expands, so any gas trapped inside our bodies will expand.
To put it bluntly, any gas in your intestines will expand, which will lead to bloating, discomfort and even the urge to pass gas, which can be horrible for not only you, but your seat mate. It can be hard to prevent bloating and discomfort, but it’s not impossible!
Eating certain foods contribute to discomfort and bloating, so it’s best to avoid them completely if you want to have a comfortable flight. Foods high in saturated fat are hard for your body to digest and any undigested food can cause discomfort and even gas as you sit for hours on a plane.
Luckily for you, I’ve done plenty of research to prep for my upcoming flight and have put together a master list of foods to avoid before and during your next flight to help you prevent jet bloat!
Foods to Avoid
- Sodium-rich food
- Saturated fats
- Fries (and other fried food)
- Cheese (and dairy products if you are lactose intolerant or have a sensitivity to lactose)
- Hot peppers
- Sulfur-rich protein foods (eggs)
- Chicory root extract
- Potato chips
- Sugar-free food
- Chewing gum
- Carbonated beverages
- Fibrous foods:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Split peas
- Chia seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark chocolate
It’s also important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water because it’s very easy to become dehydrated on the plane. The lack of humidity and the altitude make it much easier for your body to become dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water is extremely important.
Eating water-rich foods, such as watermelon can also help keep you hydrated. It can get expensive buying food and drinks in the airport or on the plane, so I always bring an empty water bottle that I can fill up after I’ve gone through TSA.
I’ve read many different articles that claim coffee is another thing to avoid when flying because it supposedly causes dehydration, but I disagree. While it’s true that caffeine can cause dehydration, coffee is also made with water and counts as daily water intake.
If you’re drinking water with your coffee, or if you have a relatively weak coffee, it’s most likely not going to cause any dehydration. I always add water to my coffee after it’s done brewing, and I always drink water with my coffee anyway.
As long as you’re continuing to drink water, having a cup of coffee isn’t going to cause any problems and it certainly won’t cause dehydration if you’re being proactive about staying hydrated. I’m a huge coffee lover, so coffee is always a must for me on the plane, and you don’t need to cut it out either. Just don’t drink 3 cups and forget to drink water the whole flight.
To those of you who struggle with your ears popping, not being able to chew gum might be a problem. The reason why gum is included in this list is because chewing gum causes extra air to be swallowed, which increases bloating.
There’s a lot of foods on this list that you should avoid before flying and you might be wondering what you can eat. Instead of reaching for a quick cheeseburger before your next flight, pack some small snacks or even small meals to take along with you.
Bringing food through security isn’t usually an issue, as long as there aren’t any liquids because it will fall under TSA’s liquids guidelines. There might also be some other food restrictions, such as meats or dairy products, so it’s best to check TSA’s website to find out what’s not allowed.
Some of my favorite things to bring onto the flight with me are:
- Roasted potatoes
- Frozen pineapple
- Brown Rice
I like to throw together a mix of cherries and walnuts, or snack on frozen pineapple slices. Another favorite is cooking brown rice in advance and mixing in tuna and baby tomatoes and I also bring along a small side of potatoes roasted in olive oil with rosemary.
You could also opt for leafy greens to put together a salad and toss in tomato, cucumbers, olives or even zucchini. If you have the extra room in your liquids bag, bring a small container of olive oil for dressing or you could ask the flight attendants for olive oil if they have it.
I always bring my own food onto the plane when I travel because I have food allergies, it’s inexpensive, and it keeps me healthy and my hunger at bay. It doesn’t have to be difficult to pack your own small lunch or snacks to bring along with you, even though there are a lot of foods to avoid. There’s lots of food in this world, it’s not hard to find recipes or foods to bring with you!
Do you have any must-have snacks you bring along on flights? I’d love to read about them in the comments!
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