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I am a (recent) frequent flyer with at least 4 transatlantic trips/month. I have noticed that depending on the food I take just before or during the flight, this can have significant consequences on some intestinal symptoms (like bloating, fullness sensation).

I have found some info on WebMD but it is very general. And as most of my flights are > 10 hours, I can't "eat little" as suggested on this website.

What are the foods which are associated with the least bloating issues during and after the flight? Also, should alcohol be avoided?

  • Briefly for clarification: the answer will different from person to person, as gas/bloating can depend significantly on an individual's intestinal microbiome, food intolerances, medical conditions, etc. For example, her advice to eat beans may CAUSE bloating/gas in some people. You might clarify that you seek principles on foods associated with gas/bloating in general, and whether long plane rides have any different considerations. Ensure you're not asking specific advice, and use information wisely; a medical provider can personalize it based on your conditions/medications etc. – DoctorWhom Sep 15 '16 at 19:31
  • Also, if you are specifically looking for Ayurvedic information as discussed in the article, I would mention that in your question. Different health-related fields have similarities and differences in their principles and approaches to health. – DoctorWhom Sep 15 '16 at 19:36
  • Ok Thanks @Doctor Whom. Actually I am looking for more general information not necessarily Ayurvedic information. I know these websites are sometimes limited, hence my question on this forum. BR – Benjamin A. Sep 16 '16 at 20:31
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Foods that cause bloating in general will also cause bloating on a flight. Foods that can cause bloating from gas production include anything with certain artificial sweeteners (like maltitol, which cannot be properly digested by gut bacteria), fruits (due to fructose), beans, etc. Other foods can cause bloating due to water retention - basically anything with a high salt content, like french fries. The main issue with flying is dehydration: the recirculated air is kept quite dry, which can lead to reduced body water unless you make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the flight. (The only downside to drinking plenty of water is that you'll likely have to use the tiny airplane bathrooms, but you'll still feel better overall if you stay hydrated.) You're also sitting down for a long time, which can reduce circulation, so it can be helpful to wear compression stockings and to stand up occasionally to stretch your legs. Finally, you should avoid alcohol, because alcohol is dehydrating (e.g. see https://gastrolyte.com.au/dehydration/dehydration-and-alcohol/).

Summary - Eat foods that are low in salt and do not contain artificial sweeteners; Drink plenty of water; Wear compression stockings and be sure to move your legs / stand up and walk as much as possible; Avoid alcohol during the flight.

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