Jet lag – the dreaded weariness and sense of disorientation as a result of time-zone differences always finds a way to dampen the travel mood somehow. Sick of wasting a perfectly good day or night trying to get your body to adjust to a new time zone? Maybe the food that you eat has the answer!
In general, the kind of food that helps you cope with jet lag are foods either helps in keeping you awake during the day or induces a good, wholesome rest come night-time. Here are five easily accessible foods that you can include in your diet to send jet lag packing:.
These delectable fruits are a natural source of melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone in our bodies that’s responsible for helping us catch some z’s. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep on the first night in-country, try having some cherries one or two hours before you turn off the lights.
Athletes chow on these fruits for a quick source of energy before they exercise, but bananas aren’t only good for that. Bananas are rich in magnesium and potassium, which are natural muscle relaxants and helps your body calm down for some quality rest. The amino acid L-tryptophan in bananas also triggers the production of melatonin, helping you fall asleep even more easily.
3. Ginger tea
Apart from disorienting sleepiness, time zone differences also affect our digestive systems because our eating patterns tend to get messed up. A stressed-out stomach can hinder you from getting quality sleep, but a nice hot cup of ginger tea soothes it back to normal. Have some lemon and honey in your tea for a taste and health boost – lemon has hydrating benefits, while certain types of honey are known to reduce insomnia.
4. Leafy greens
Spinach, cabbage, broccoli and many other leafy green vegetables are high in the micronutrient magnesium. Having an additional dose of magnesium benefits your body a great deal because switching time zones disrupts the natural production of magnesium, which is one of the mechanisms responsible for a messed-up body clock.
5. Warm milk
A traditional bedtime companion, a glass of warm milk helps induce sleep as milk contains the same amino acid,L-tryptophan that is found in bananas, which in turn releases the sleep hormone melatonin. Milk also contains other minerals that have a relaxing effect. If it works for restless children, it should work for restless travellers too!
Apart from choosing foods that are conducive to beating jet lag, it’s important that you stay alert and avoid foods that compound the effects of the problem. Caffeine, alcohol and greasy, sugary foods that are hard to break down should be avoided as they tend to exacerbate matters. It may be a little troublesome but being selective of the food you eat while travelling can have a hand in helping you sleep better!