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April 04, 2018

Fly-Buoyant: Naturopathic Doctor Karuna Sabnani’s Tips For Healthy Flying

Text by Faye Remedios

Not all long-haul flights have to be miserable. Just follow these suggestions to feel great at 35,000 feet

As most frequent fliers will confirm, airplane travel is not half as glamorous as it seems. It can wreak havoc on your health thanks to the changes in pressure, low oxygen levels and humidity. Add to that the stress of long lines, close quarters with strangers, highly processed meals and jet lag, and you have a recipe for disaster. New York-based naturopathic doctor Karuna Sabnani knows exactly how draining the experience can be, and what to do to counter this. She shares some exclusive excerpts with Verve from her e-book Get Relief From Time Deficit Disorder (TDD) that will help keep you healthy and happy no matter where you’re headed.

Keep it light

Eat a light dinner the night before you travel and keep it light a few hours before you fly. Avoid heavy and stagnating foods such as cheese, meat and nuts on the plane. Snack on apples and vegetables while flying. Pack enough snacks so you are not tempted to eat 10 bags of peanuts if stuck in a long delay, especially during the holidays and winter months. Use flying as a cleansing time rather than a time to indulge. Save the foodie in you for your destination.

Noise-cancelling headphones

BOSE has the best ones on the market and are well worth the price if you travel often. Other inexpensive versions are available, though they do not block the noise out half as well. Reduction of noise stimuli reduces stress on the immune system.

Wash your hands often

Washing your hands will help prevent you from getting sick. Also, a natural peppermint hand sanitiser is great to have. Natural peppermint oil helps fight nausea and freshens the air.

Drink at least one glass of water per hour of travel during your flight

Add a little non-citrus fruit juice (1/8th juice to water) to help with electrolyte content and better hydration. Avoid alcohol or salty foods, which will dehydrate you. If you indulge in these, make sure to drink even more liquids.

Vitamins

Take extra vitamin C the day before you travel and during your flight. Keep your favourite immune boosting and antioxidant supplements on hand and take these throughout your flight. This will help avoid the ‘run-down’ feeling and catching a cold while flying.

Landing

After being in the air for hours, it’s important to ‘ground’ your body upon landing. Try to walk barefoot on the grass/earth if possible. Otherwise, massage your feet with some lotion as soon as you arrive at your destination. As a last resort, take time to remember your feet and the ground the first day you land as it’s very easy to get ‘spacey’ and feel ‘off’ after long flights.

Shoes

Pack at least two pairs. Do not wear the same shoes two days in a row besides being a fashion faux pas, you will feel more energetic if your feet are hitting the ground with different pressure on long days.

Jet lag

Look into homeopathic remedies that you can take to keep your body balanced as you go through time zones. The quickest ways to land into your ‘new’ time zone is to eat at the proper time in the new destination and to sleep after sundown. Avoid those 3 a.m. international meals if you want to get in balance quickly!

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