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Travelling Abroad And Want to Try Local Food? Know How to Keep Stomach Bugs at Bay

Vacations abroad is a good time to try the local food and exotic cuisine. Many times we select a destination for the famous cuisine.

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Updated:March 3, 2017, 2:36 PM IST
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Travelling Abroad And Want to Try Local Food? Know How to Keep Stomach Bugs at Bay
Boosting intestinal flora with probiotics can be a good idea for travelers looking to sample local fare. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Piotr Marcinski /shutterstock.com)
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Vacations abroad is a good time to try the local food and exotic cuisine. Many times we select a destination for the famous cuisine.
But sometimes this can take a toll on your stomach. Holiday food can lead to the dreaded turista -- or travelers' diarrhea.

So, here are a few tip for you if you don't want to spend your precious holiday in the bathroom:

Strengthen gut bacteria with probiotics

Travelers with delicate digestive systems heading to far-flung destinations can try a course of probiotics to reinforce intestinal flora before setting off. Probiotics are micro-organisms found in certain yogurts, vegetables like carrots, beetroot and celery, or in sourdough bread. Stocking up on these "good" bacteria can help boost the body's natural resilience and could keep certain infections at bay.

Reach for bottled water

The majority of illnesses picked up on holiday are linked to the consumption of water. It's important to avoid drinking any water that could be contaminated. Travelers should therefore stick to bottled water rather than drinking water straight from the tap. Don't forget to insist that bottles are opened in front of you when eating out and make sure you stick to bottled water when brushing teeth. Beware of ice cubes too, as these are probably made with tap water.

Wash and peel veggies

In extension to the bottled water rule, make sure any vegetables eaten in far-off destinations are peeled. The skin is a potential source of contamination.

Stock up on the right medications

Avoid effervescent medication if possible, because you might not always have a bottle of water to hand. As well as packing anti-malaria drugs and paracetamol-based painkillers for unexpected headaches, it's wise to stock up on medicine to ease upset stomachs. Pick up some anti-nausea/vomiting medication in case of gastroenteritis, as well as an anti-diarrhea drug like Imodium (loperamide) and an intestinal antiseptic like Ercefuryl (nifuroxazide) to fight the bacteria responsible for intestinal infections.

Avoid uncooked foods

Food-loving travelers can enjoy sampling most things when abroad, but raw meat dishes should be kept off the menu. The cooking process kills bacteria like salmonella and Escherichia Coli, which cause diarrhea. Meat should be cooked through or boiled for a long time. Other ingredients should be thoroughly cooked too, including vegetables and deli meats. Watch out for certain desserts, which can include creams or mousses made with raw, uncooked ingredients, such as eggs.

Keep hands clean

Hands should be washed before and after meals, after going to the toilet, etc. Washing hands should be a key part of everyone's daily routine, and even more so when holidaying abroad.

(with inputs from AFP Relaxnews)

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