Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
However, this is something most of us take for granted — protecting our health and wellbeing inside and out. While immunization is always a good idea, as is reading up on our destinations on the Center for Disease Control website, there’s something to be said for incorporating vitamins and other supplements into the plan to boost immunity and energy before and during the vacation.
To better facilitate this, there are a few tools offered by several vitamin and supplement companies to help you gauge your needs, those of your kids and others traveling with you. Arielle Levitan M.D. and co-founder, Vous Vitamin LLC, refers customers to the company website for its handy vitamin quiz to determine what supplements will boost an individual’s resistance to common and new illnesses, digestive issues and so on.
“We recommend taking some extra vitamins if you are coming down with something or at particular risk to do so,” Dr. Levitan said. “I recommend carrying a blend of Vitamin D, C and zinc, as found in our Immune Blast supplement. Vitamins should be kept in dry, dark places if possible. A pillbox or bottle typically will do. Our Immune Blast supplements come in handy packets that fit in your purse or pocket.”
She adds that while starting every family member on their regular daily dose of vitamins is always wise, it’s prudent to have extra supplies for the road, just in case, that are well-packaged to deflect moisture and damage.
Peri Gutman, a certified nutritional consultant at supplement manufacturer Zahler, said no matter what you, your parents’ or your child’s specialized needs are, a quality age-appropriate multivitamin taken daily is a good foundation. From there, you can build in other supplements to bolster the immunity factor.
“Since most of us aren’t eating the real right foods, and are living on the basic American diet, a multivitamin can fill in the gaps of all the necessary nutrients our bodies require to function at its best,” Gutman said. “That being said, there are many supplements I strongly believe and encourage people to take daily in addition to that basic, such as Omega 3, probiotics and immunity-building products in conditions of low immunity.”
Gutman adds the destination, even in “normal times,” should inform what supplementary measures should be taken in terms of what vitamins you carry with you.
“There’s a lot to be aware of and taken seriously, such as parasitic infections, which are common to pick up along with all the sightseeing taking place,” she continued. “Therefore, it is likely for an entire traveling group to come back home after an exhilarating trip with uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, gas pain, stomach pain, extreme fatigue, and so on. Taking the right precautionary measures can make all the difference. ParaGuard, for example, can serve as a potent cleanser that can stave off parasitic infections. The supplement’s blend of wormwood, pumpkin seed, garlic and other botanicals can help optimize digestive flora and create a healthy intestinal balance.”
Gutman advises paying attention to the recommended dose information, printed on the inner flap of packaging, so you can determine how much will be required for kids, teens and adults. Regarding transporting supplements, she suggests dividing capsules and tablets by daily doses. Those planning ahead for family members who may be on a “therapeutic treatment protocol” or standard vitamin regimen should consider a plan to gradually adapt to a full dosage of a new supplement at home a couple of weeks before the trip and, later, wean off of the higher dosage after returning.
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