As someone who travelled internationally over the last several years, something I realized happened frequently, was food poisoning. It suddenly takes a chunk out of your travels and can ruin planned activities.
In this article, I will share with you my secrets and lessons on the best ways to recover from food poisoning abroad.
Causes of Food Poisoning Abroad
Did you know 29% of the world do not have safe water to drink? There are approximately 2.1 billion deaths each year caused by contaminated water. Depending on where you travel, restaurants’ hygiene may not be on par with your country’s hygiene measures.
Fruits and vegetables are usually high food poisoning causes as they are either not washed or washed with contaminated water.
Showering abroad and brushing your teeth with tap water can also lead to sickness, which will make you think you got it from the local restaurants.
It is very likely for off the beaten path travellers that you will end up visiting a country where contaminated water is present. It is paramount to take the necessary precautions abroad for your health.
How To Avoid Food Poisoning
Cooking your meals is always an excellent preventative measure.
However, while travelling, we know it is not the most practical. To avoid getting food poisoning abroad, here are my suggestions:
Pick a Popular or Busy Restaurant.
The restaurant will less likely have foods that are closed to expiry or on their way out.
Ask Your Drinks Without Ice
You can also ask the waiter how the ice is made. If the ice cubes are made from bottled water, you should be ok.
Meats To Avoid
Depending on the country, it is always safe to avoid fish. If you don’t know where the fish is from, it’s likely not a good idea to ingest it. Rotten fish or bad seafood can lead to a horrible case of food poisoning, and sometimes you may not be able to tell the food has spoiled before it’s cooked.
Avoid Fruit and Vegetables That You Cannot Take the Skin Off.
For example, lettuce and tomatoes will likely be contaminated with dirty water or are not washed altogether.
Places such as Uganda and Sri Lanka lead me to be very sick from fruits and vegetables. If you’re the one doing the cooking, soak your fruits and vegetables in a bowl with bottled water and white vinegar.
Zinc is an excellent mineral source for diarrhoea, gut health, and keeps your immune system in check.
Daily usage of Probiotics is a fantastic choice as well. Probiotics are merely just good bacteria your gut needs, thus helping your good gut bacteria dominant over the harmful pathogens.
Best Natural Ways To Recover From Food Poisoning Here I share with you my best ways to recover from food poisoning.
It’s easy to pop an antibiotic, but it is not suitable for the body to always take antibiotics if you travel often. The bacteria in your system will become resistant to antibiotics, thus making the dose ineffective.
Here is a list of the best things that have helped me while sick abroad:
1. Activated Charcoal. Activated Charcoal is my #1 go-to for food poisoning as it binds to the toxins and will flush them out.
2. Rehydration Salts or Electrolytes. It may not taste the best, but it’s a vital role in avoiding dehydration from sickness. Your body is
eliminating all the pathogens, and it’s getting rid of water at a fast pace. If Gatorade is available in the country, you can go for that. Rehydration Tablets are easy to carry and will contribute to a more rapid recovery.
3. Zinc - Zinc is known to help treat travellers diarrhoea. Zinc helps restore the gut lining and helps reduce the severity of diarrhoea.
Insight on Local Pharmacies & What to Pack With You
In third world countries, use caution buying over the counter medication or antibiotics. Fake drugs are a huge problem in countries in Africa. Look for spelling errors on the package, or where the product is made. Make sure you pick something made from a Western Country.
Rehydration salts are small and easy to pack. It takes little space in your luggage. However, rehydration salts are easily found worldwide.
Activated Charcoal, on the other hand, is harder to find. In countries like Thailand and Indonesia, they are widely available, but countries in Africa may not be. Activated Charcoal takes little room in your luggage as well, and keeping them on hand can play an essential role with the time it takes
to recover from food poisoning abroad.
What To Do After You Have Recovered
So you recovered from food poisoning, fantastic, but getting food poisoning abroad makes you very likely to have encountered parasites. Doing a natural parasite cleanse can help your body get rid of any pathogens that made a home in your intestinal tract.
After returning from Sri Lanka, I only found out I had a parasite four months later. My only symptoms in Sri Lanka was Travellers Diarrhea. However, my stomach had not returned the same after recovery.
Doing a natural parasite cleanse helped me recover completely, and it was an easy way to give my body a reset after all my travels. I now do one once a year as a preventative measure to keep the pathogens at bay.