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12 Things to Eat and Drink When Taking a Red-Eye (and 6 Things to Avoid)

12 Things to Eat and Drink When Taking a Red-Eye (and 6 Things to Avoid)

Taking a red-eye flight definitely has its advantages: flying overnight means that you don’t lose a day traveling, which means more time to see everything your destination has to offer (or that you can extend your trip to the last moment). But nothing puts a damper on a trip faster than jet lag. What if we could counter the effects of a red-eye with what we eat? After speaking to several nutritionists and scientists to find out what to eat when taking a red-eye, it’s evident that the connection between sleep and nutrition is powerful.

View Slides: 12 Things to Eat and Drink When Taking a Red-Eye

"The most important part of surviving a red-eye is planning ahead," says Brooke Alpert of B Nutritious. If you put as much thought into what you eat before and during a red-eye as you do planning the food to try during your travels, you might just be able to skip the grogginess and head straight for that first restaurant on your list.

Across the board, much of the advice was the same (and unfortunately, you’re not going to like it). Stay hydrated, and use caffeine wisely. "Caffeine intake depends on the timing of the flight and time zones," says nutrition consultant Pam Stuppy. And as tempting as it is to have that pre-flight martini, avoid alcohol, because "it interferes with a good sleep, which is not easy to do on a plane as it is," advises Charles Platkin, editor of Diet Detective and professor of nutrition at Hunter College. The experts also recommend staying away from foods that are salty, processed, sugary, or spicy, which can contribute to discomfort and bloating.

Right. Like that’s going to happen. Of course, indulging in junk food during travel is, for most of us, inevitable, so Alpert recommends a "clean eating day" the day before and after your trip "to compensate for those traveling slipups."

Interestingly enough, the most effective thing that you can do to avoid the effects of a red-eye may be to not eat at all. Dr. Patrick Fuller at Harvard Medical School has done extensive research studying the effects of nutrition on sleep cycles. "The pattern of feeding can change regulation of your system in some cases more potently and rapidly than light," says Fuller. How does this apply to someone whose internal clock is disrupted during travel? Fuller recommends fasting for a 16- to 18-hour window before and during your flight, then resuming eating at the first local mealtime of your destination. According to Fuller, more than 120 people have tried it and claimed, "I’m doing this forever."

He stresses the importance of staying hydrated and points out that "While fasting seems hard to do, all you’re really sacrificing is airplane food." The theory hasn’t yet undergone a rigorous clinical study, but Fuller has plans to create a free website soon that will help travelers determine the best time to stop and resume eating during cross-time-zone travel.

For those travelers with less self-control than the recommendations above (ahem, most people), there are definitely some things that are better than others to "indulge" in. Raw vegetables and salads, lean proteins, dried fruits, and seeds are some of the suggested snacks that give you a better chance of hitting the ground running once you arrive at your destination.

At the end of the day, keep in mind advice from Christine Tseng of Be Well Nutrition, "Comfort is key."


What to Eat After Diarrhea and What to Avoid

Having diarrhea occasionally is usually nothing serious. It can still make life miserable. So many underlying issues can cause diarrhea. You may have diarrhea just by eating a meal that has an ingredient your stomach cannot tolerate. Alternatively, it could be stomach flu. Once you have experienced diarrhea, it is essential to know what to eat after diarrhea to avoid worsen symptoms or recurrence. Read on to find out what to eat and what to avoid.

Basic Dietary Principles to Remember After Diarrhea

Knowing basic diet guidelines helps to improve your conditions and avoid making your diarrhea worse. Certain foods will also help accelerate recovery.

1. Consume Some Clear Fluids First

Keep in mind that it is best to eat a clear liquid diet after diarrhea, including apple juice, weak tea, frozen pops, clear broth, plain gelatin or simple water. Clear liquids will help prevent irritation.

2. Adopt Small Meals

It is equally important to eat smaller meals more frequently to avoid putting stress on your digestive system. You can switch to a low-fiber diet after a couple of days of diarrhea. Be sure to drink water to avoid becoming dehydrated.

3. Follw the Dietary Chart Below

Helpful Foods to Follow

Harmful Foods to Avoid

Include food high in pectin in your diet, like bananas, applesauce, and yogurt.

Do not eat food that causes gas, such as carbonated beverages and chewing gum.

Eat food rich in potassium, such as sports drinks, fruit juices, bananas, and potatoes without the skin. This helps cover loss of potassium through diarrhea.

Avoid food with high fiber and high-fat. Avoid sweet foods such as cookies and cakes, greasy, and fried foods.

Increase your protein intake to avoid fatigue. Eat more pork, lean baked beef, chicken, turkey, or well-cooked eggs.

Limit your use of milk and milk products which are quite hard to digest. Avoid very cold or hot food or they will irritate your digestive tract.

Eat vegetables but not raw. You can have soups made with cooked asparagus tips, carrots, beets, mushrooms, peeled zucchini, celery, or a tomato puree.

Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated, or carbonated beverages. Stop smoking in the healing process.

What to Eat After Diarrhea&mdash5 Food Options

Once you have recovered from diarrhea, there are some food options you can try to speed up the healing process. Here are 5 common options you should follow after diarrhea.

1. Broth-Based Soups or Juices

You will lose bodily fluids due to diarrhea, so it is important to replenish fluids through clear fluids, such as water, broth, and juices. If you want to eat solid foods, you can add bland vegetables to your soup. Adding chicken breast to soups will also provide you with helpful protein and nutrients.

Clear juice varieties such as white grape juice, apple juice, and light cranberry juice are quite beneficial after diarrhea. You can also take some soft drinks like ginger ale, plain water, and sports drink that contain sodium and potassium to avoid dehydration. Yet, avoid alcohol and caffeine because they can dehydrate your body.

2. Enjoy Bland Fruits and Veggies

You get minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants from vegetables and fruits, and these nutrients really help prevent further infection. However, you should only eat bland fruits and veggies, such as cooked carrots, bananas, and mashed potatoes soon after initial recovery. Increase your portion size after a couple of days and eat cooked peas, steamed cauliflower, berry smoothies, or unsweetened applesauce.

3. Try Low-Fiber Food

Cereals, whole-grain breads, legumes, and other high-fiber food can aggravate diarrhea. Therefore, you should stick to food with low-fiber content, such as egg whites, toasted white bread, soda crackers, or chicken.

4. Try BRAT Diet

Being a bland-food diet, BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. The diet works because it includes low-fiber, "binding" foods that make your stools firm. You should also try the BRAT diet when you have vomiting because it helps ease vomiting and nausea, especially during pregnancy.

5. Consume Probiotics

Increasing the number of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract will also help cure diarrhea. You can do it through a dietary supplement or food that contains live bacteria. You can eat kefir or yogurt because they contain probiotics that help restore balance in good and bad bacteria in your gut. Remember to go for low sugar varieties of kefir and yogurt.

Recommended Diet Routine After Diarrhea

While you already know what to eat after diarrhea, you may still benefit by sticking to a specific whole-day diet routine after diarrhea.

What to Eat

Start your first meal with applesauce, bananas and toast. If you are already feeling better, you may opt for some other foods. You can eat crisped rice cereal or cook eggs with some butter. Rice cakes, low-fat yogurt, and hot cooked cereal are also some good breakfast options.

You can have chicken broth, canned tuna, crackers, chicken noodle soup, vegetable soup, plain pasta, or sandwich with lean protein. Keep in mind that you do not have to wait until lunch to eat these. You can have them any time between breakfast and lunch.

You will start regaining some strength by the end of the day and that is when you can eat lean meat, baked potatoes, and steamed vegetables.

You will feel better when you keep an eye on what you eat. Once your condition improves, you can go back to normal eating routine. Just bear in mind that it is important to avoid food that irritates your stomach.


Foods that may support fertility

Fruits and vegetables

Think of produce as Mother Nature's multivitamin. Fruits and vegetables deliver a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, and getting enough of certain nutrients is especially important before you conceive.

For example, foods like spinach, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals are high in the B vitamin folate. Folate is a natural form of folic acid, an essential nutrient in prenatal vitamins, which you should take if you're trying to conceive.

Eating foods rich in folate during preconception and pregnancy can help prevent neural-tube birth defects such as spina bifida. You can lose a lot of this vitamin in cooking water, so steam or cook vegetables in a small amount of water to preserve the folate.

In general, choose fruits and vegetables in a range of colors to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. (Eating a produce "rainbow" gives you a wider variety of nutrients.)

Seafood is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids and, according to some scientists, these essential fats may have a positive effect on fertility. Research suggests that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate ovulation, improve egg quality, and even delay aging of the ovaries.

On the other hand, you've probably also heard that some types of fish contain contaminants such as mercury. In high doses, heavy metals like this are harmful to a baby's developing brain and nervous system.

The good news is that not all fish contain a lot of mercury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that women trying to conceive can safely eat up to 12 ounces (roughly two or three servings) a week of fish, including canned light tuna, salmon, shrimp, cod, tilapia, and catfish.

However, the FDA advises limiting some fish, including white (albacore) tuna, and completely avoiding swordfish, marlin, orange roughy, tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, king mackerel, bigeye tuna, and shark, because these have the highest mercury levels.

You can take fish oil supplements if you don't like seafood, but first talk to your doctor about which brand to buy and how much you should take.

Read our article on eating fish when you're trying to conceive for more advice on mercury and omega-3s.

There's some scientific proof that eating oysters can boost fertility. Oysters are packed with zinc, which plays a role in semen and testosterone production in men and ovulation and fertility in women. That doesn't mean you should down a plate of oysters on the half shell at every meal. Maintaining the recommended dietary allowance of zinc (8 mg a day) can help keep your reproductive system working properly, but excessive amounts of zinc (or any nutrient, for that matter) will not turn either of you into a baby-making machine. In fact, super-high doses of vitamins and minerals may actually reduce your fertility.

Vegetable proteins

Protein is a critical part of a healthy diet, but according to the USDA, many Americans rely too heavily on beef, pork, and chicken to get their daily amount. In a study of 18,555 women, experts at Harvard Medical School found that those who included one daily serving of vegetable protein – such as nuts, beans, peas, soybeans or tofu – were less likely to have infertility due to ovulation problems.

More research is needed on the link to fertility, but because vegetable proteins are usually lower in fat and calories than steak or fried chicken, including them in your meal plans is both good for you and a great way to maintain a healthy weight.

Whole grains

A woman trying to conceive should eat as many nutrient-rich foods as possible, and whole grains are a great option, says nutrition specialist Stadd. According to studies, healthy diets that include whole grains are associated with better fertility.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) food guidelines recommend that you make at least half of the grains you eat each day whole grains such as bran cereal, oatmeal, brown rice, or whole-wheat bread.

Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and white rice won't directly lower your chances of getting pregnant, but they do shortchange your body, because the refining process strips grains of key nutrients such as fiber, some B vitamins, and iron.

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common cause of infertility in women, pay extra attention to the types of carbs you eat. PCOS is a hormonal imbalance that can get worse when insulin levels in the bloodstream surge, and refined carbohydrates are a main cause of insulin spikes.

Mark Leondires, fertility specialist and medical director of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut, explains that when women with PCOS eat too many refined carbohydrates, insulin flows into the blood, feeds back to the ovaries, and can lead to irregular ovulation.


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Dr. Cherian strongly urges against staying up the night before you get your vaccine. "Getting high-quality sleep can support your immune system to help your body mount an efficient response to the vaccine," he explains. "This is important not only the night before you get your vaccine, but also the night of the day you receive your vaccine as well!"


Flaming Foods

Many people falsely think that all alcohol burns off during the cooking process, according to the Ask the Dietitian website. Foods that use alcohol for a showy flambé, Baked Alaska or other flaming dishes retain 75 percent of their alcohol content, according to the website. One-half glass of wine or one-half a shot of hard liquor can trigger an Antabuse reaction, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, so stay away from flambé and other flaming dishes.


Jonathan Chan

While my go-to protein is usually chicken, baked fish is much more tender and easy to chew, with an added bonus of omega-3 fats. Try this super easy honey-dijon salmon.

The typical recovery time for an adult tonsillectomy is about two weeks. Yes, I had to eat two full weeks of soft food. Patients can typically return to a normal diet after their post-operation appointment with their doctor.


Beverages

The night before your surgery, you should only drink beverages you can see through. These beverages include lemon-lime soda, apple juice and black coffee. Your body will digest these drinks quickly so your digestive system is cleared for surgery. Avoid juice with pulp, coffee with cream, cola and milk. Pulp contains fiber which is difficult for your body to break down and stays in your body for an extended period of time. Fatty dairy beverages may also take time for your body to break down and stay in your body for awhile.


Types of Foods to Eat

Research suggests that people with a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, and fish may have a reduced risk for inflammation-related diseases. In addition, substances found in some foods (especially antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids) appear to possess anti-inflammatory effects.  

Foods high in antioxidants include:

  • Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Artichokes (be cautious of fructose sensitivities)
  • Avocados
  • Dark green leafy vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and collard greens)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts)
  • Beans (such as red beans, pinto beans, and black beans)
  • Whole grains (such as oats and brown rice–be cautious of gluten and fructose sensitivities)
  • Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Oily fish (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies)
  • Walnuts
  • Omega-3-fortified foods (including eggs and milk)

There's also some evidence that certain culinary herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, and garlic, can help alleviate inflammation.  


2 more tips:

Consider your meal times. When you eat is as important. “Don’t skip meals, or you will get hungry and tend to overeat later,” Zumpano says.

“Eating late at night is associated with elevated sugar levels in people with prediabetes, so we recommend you make lunch your largest meal and eat nothing starting three hours before bed.”

Make it easy on yourself. If you follow these guidelines, your blood sugar levels should drop, along with your weight. But making changes to lifelong eating habits can be difficult.

If you need help understanding exactly what you should and should not eat, take a close look at a Mediterranean-style diet. Following this type of eating plan is likely to put your blood sugar levels back on track. “There are plenty of books, articles and recipes for this healthy eating plan,” says Zumpano.


How to Eat When Chemo Kills Your Appetite

You might not feel hungry when you're having chemotherapy, but it’s important you keep eating well. Nutritious food keeps up your strength, fights fatigue, and helps your body heal. Here are 11 healthy tips to think about, even when food is the furthest thing from your mind:

Fight off nausea. It’s tough to eat when even the thought of food makes you sick. Fend off an upset stomach with dry foods like crackers. Eat them first thing in the morning, then every few hours. Sip ginger ale or ginger tea throughout the day. Ginger, lemon, lavender, and peppermint can also help settle your stomach.

Eat your favorite foods. Your appetite, and the foods that appeal to you, can change from day to day. It’s OK to eat high-fat, high-calorie foods you normally try to stay away from, or to eat, say, breakfast foods for dinner. For now, eat what sounds good, when it sounds good.

Try small meals. Many people who get chemo find they have more of an appetite when they eat every few hours. Try having six to eight small meals a day rather than three big ones.

Continued

Make it easy. You won’t want to grocery shop or cook on some days. Plan ahead and keep your pantry stocked with easy-to-prepare foods. On days you feel well enough to cook, make extra portions and freeze them for later. Ask friends and family to help you shop and prepare meals, or consider getting your meals delivered.

Sip liquids throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps your body get rid of toxins, but drinking too much at once can make you too full to eat. Try to drink most of your fluids between meals, rather than during. It’s best to make sure you get plenty of water. But if you’re losing weight, you may want to drink high-calorie liquids like fruit nectars, milkshakes, or cream soups.

Pay attention to protein. It helps repair body tissue and keeps your immune system healthy. Snack on peanut or almond butter with fruit. Add chopped or ground nuts to baked goods, salads, or ice cream. Other easy options: cheese and crackers, egg salad, or a bowl of cereal with milk.

Continued

Add calories to healthy foods. Your body needs fat to keep up energy stores and move vitamins through your blood. Top salads with avocado or seeds, and add olive oil to rice and pasta or dip your bread into it. Liquid meal replacements can be another good option.

Make mealtimes an event. You tend to eat more when you’re distracted. Eat while you watch TV or listen to music. Or invite a friend over to keep you company during meals. The social support can help you feel better, too.

Get moving. Any physical activity, even if it’s just a short walk around the block, can fuel your appetite.

Keep an open mind. Cancer treatments can change your sense of smell and taste for a while. Maybe you get a bitter, metallic taste with some foods. To solve this, try plastic silverware rather than metal. Choose frozen or fresh vegetables and fruit over canned. Try foods you’ve never eaten before, so you won’t notice if they taste “off.”

Get help from an expert. Ask your doctor about seeing a registered dietitian. They can make an eating plan, suggest vitamins and supplements, and help you deal with side effects.

Sources

American Cancer Society: “Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment: A Guide for Patients and Families,” “Eating Right Can Help you Get Through Cancer Treatment.”

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “Planning Meals and Managing Cancer Side Effects.”

National Cancer Institute: “Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects: Appetite Changes,” “Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: “Eating Well During and After Cancer Treatment.”