Travel is one of the most edifying and fulfilling things a person can do. Travel broadens our horizons, and exposes us to new people, places and cultures. It introduces us to a wealth of new sights, sounds, scents and tastes and these help to create the memories that we’ll carry with us wherever we go for the rest of our lives. One of the beautiful things about living in a multicultural society like the UK is how the range of different cultural and culinary influences engender an appetite for variety. But while we may be able to walk down any high street and enjoy everything from burritos to baked potatoes, from seafood to schwarma, there’s no substitute for trying new foods made authentically in their native countries.
But while an appetite for culinary adventurism is all well and good, it can inadvertently end up ruining our trip. A bad case of delhi belly or food poisoning will see you spending the rest of your holiday getting to know a whole lot about your hotel bathroom, and very little else as you spend your days filling in a holiday illness claim form rather than enjoying your chosen destination. If you’re a consummate foodie, you need to be able to enjoy your food without grappling with horrible stomach cramps. Here are a few ways in which you can avoid a dreaded case of Delhi belly…
DONT DRINK THE WATER
Needless to say, whenever you travel abroad it’s not advisable to drink the water, especially when travelling throughout Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and South America where they have a less robust plumbing infrastructure. Not only should you avoid drinking the water, you should avoid eating fresh fruit and veggies that have been washed in it. By all means buy fresh fruits and veggies (it’s one of the best things about travelling overseas) but wash them in bottled water first. This guide to drinking tap water will help if you’re unsure about whether the drinking water in your destination is safe.
DONT GO CRAZY WITH THE RICH FOODS
When travelling around places like India and southern Asia many Westerners find themselves experiencing what they think are food poisoning symptoms which are actually mild IBS from adjusting to the different diets. You are exposing your body to a totally new cuisine full of amazing flavours so no wonder your body is feeling funny! An Indian diet in particular is rich in fats, sugars and spices which is a shock to the system for those accustomed to a bland Western diet. By all means help yourself to that delicious looking curry, but we suggest you pace yourself and build up your tolerance for the spicy and fatty foods.
There are many reasons why eating less meat and eating more veggies beneficial for your health and the environment, but when travelling abroad eating meat can increase your risk of falling ill as a result of your diet far more than its plant based counterpart. Dead animals are (unsurprisingly) excellent incubators for bacteria and as not every country’s health codes are comparable it’s possible that the meat you eat could be kept in unsanitary conditions which makes them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. In some countries a veggie filled stomach may be a happier stomach – when visiting far away counties we often go veggie for travelling!