1. Vitamin C

Travel, especially over long distances, can be taxing and stressful on the body. That’s why we always pack vitamin C—our healthy travel essential #1.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that our bodies can’t make, and that we must get from food or supplements. In fact, vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in our plasma and tissues, protecting our bodies against internal damage. Our bodies can’t store this essential nutrient because it’s water-soluble, and quickly excreted. So we need to consume vitamin C regularly for optimal health—especially while traveling, when the stresses and exposures that come with it increase our need for antioxidant protection and immune support.

When we’re traveling, we often don’t have consistent access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that are the richest sources of vitamin C. For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring a few pieces of fruit along with you if you can.

2. Omega-3s

The omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in cold-water fish and fish oil, are considered essential because we need them for proper health but we can’t make them on our own (much like vitamin C). The only way to get these important fats is through diet or supplementation.

When we consume enough omega-3 essential fats, they make their way into virtually every cell in our bodies. These essential fats become critical components of our cell membranes, helping our cells absorb nutrients and expel waste. The prevalence of omega-3’s in our cell membranes directly impacts the health of our immune response. A significant amount of research shows that consuming omega-3 fish oil helps us naturally regulate the immune response and support the internal systems that operate in response to stress. That’s why omega-3’s are our healthy travel essential #2.

When traveling, space for packing is often limited, so consider efficiency when choosing an omega-3 fish oil. High amounts of EPA+DHA per serving can mean just one soft gel per day (rather than two) to get the necessary omega-3s you need while travelling.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 is best known for its role in building strong bones, but it’s also linked to many other key functions for optimal health, including regulating our immune systems. Vitamin D3 deficiency is increasingly recognized as a worldwide epidemic. It’s a nutrient that’s difficult to get enough of naturally during the colder months when we tend to spend more time indoors, and for that reason vitamin D3 (the form of vitamin D your body makes naturally) is our healthy travel essential #3. Nowadays, it’s common to find D3 added to other nutritional supplements, therefore making it an easy and efficient way to consume a number of important nutrients for travel.

4. Don’t Forget Water

One of the easiest things we can do to stay healthy and comfortable while traveling is to always remember to drink more water. Staying hydrated is crucially important, since our cells are made up of approximately 70% water. If you don’t drink enough water, your cells can’t function optimally to keep you healthy.

When traveling, drink more water than you do at home to make sure your body has the hydration it needs so you can enjoy new activities and stay well in different environments. The Australian Nutrient Reference Values recommend 2.6L of fluids for men and 2.1L of fluids for women per day. Needless to say, H2O is our healthy travel essential #4.

Whether you’re visiting family over the holidays, or getting in some holiday vacation time, keeping these five healthy travel essentials close at hand can help you be well wherever your journey takes you.

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