The best foods to eat to beat jet lag
-Jun 14, Hannah Hargrave, Nutrition -
The very thought of jet lag can be enough to turn you off venturing to a far flung destination, but the good news is there are some foods you can eat to help beat it.
A bout of jet lag – especially with kids in tow – can ruin your highly anticipated holiday and make you start panicking way in advance about the return trip too.
With your circadian clock all out of whack you can be left falling asleep at lunchtime and waking up in the middle of the night.
While your body does eventually adjust, the few days it takes – depending on just how far you’ve travelled – can be tiring and not a whole lot of fun.
But adjusting your diet could have you getting over jet lag a whole lot quicker. Here are some foods you should tuck into to get your body clock back on track quick smart!
Cherries will help you sleep
These delicious little fruits are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin – a hormone that helps regulate sleep – so savouring a bag of fresh cherries on board and afterwards could have you sleeping through the night ASAP.
Cherry juice is fab for you too.
A study in the “European Journal of Nutrition” claims drinking it twice a day can increase sleep time by more than 90 minutes a night.
Lemons boost your mood
You might look a little silly sucking on a lemon as you recline your seat to get some shut eye, but the sour fruit is great for helping with motion sickness and staving off jet lag. A slice in hot water will keep you hydrated too. If the post-holiday blues once you return is also adding to your inability to sleep just keep those lemons coming. As an added bonus, they’ve been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and even just the smell of lemon is mood enhancing too.
Cumin seeds are a natural way to feel calm
After a long haul flight your body clock is all messed up and likely your digestive system too. It’s time to reach for the cumin. Research has shown that consuming the spice can calm stomach issues and get your digestion back on track.
Cumin also helps regulate your sleeping pattern and also acts as a natural tranquilliser.
Adding cumin powder to a calming glass of milk could see you headed of to the Land of Nod.
Try to consume cumin every night until you are over your jet lag.
Quinoa will give you energy
It can be very tempting to cave into your jet lag and have a quick daytime nap, but this make it difficult for your body clock to get back on track. By consuming the right carbohydrates you will have the energy you need to hopefully get through the day without a siesta.
“Quinoa, brown rice, and other whole grains are good foods to eat if you’re suffering jet lag, since they provide the body with long-lasting energy,” says Rachael Hartley RD, private practice dietitian and owner of The Joy of Eating blog.
Bananas will help you drift off
Bananas are packed with naturally high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid that’s been shown to improve sleep.
A clinical review published in the journal “Psychopharmacology” in 1986 showed people suffering from insomnia were helped by consuming tryptophan.
So if your holiday destination has left you laying awake until the early hours of the morning try eating a banana before bedtime.