Eat Well and Stay Healthy While Traveling in Southeast Asia

Jun 5 07:57 2009 Jeff Gulleson Print This Article

Learn tips from seasoned Southeast Asia travelers on how to stay healthy and eat well.

You and your family just arrived in Southeast Asia after a long international trip. A different world of smells and sounds and sights overwhelm you. The food smells different and bugs are everywhere.  But don't worry.  You can still eat well and retain your digestive health.  In fact,Guest Posting considering the amount of antacids American's swallow each year, you might be able to improve it.

Here are tips to eating well and staying healthy in Southeast Asia. For more medical and nutrition advice click here.  

Indulge your passion for local fruits. 

Most of the edible fruits native to Southeast Asia also promote digestive health.  Papayas and mangoes are especially good for the digestive track. Chilled papaya drizzled with fresh squeezed lime juice is delicious for breakfast.

Also, mandarin oranges are good even if they're small.  Larger oranges may not look orange at all, their skin can be quite green. But this does not mean they are not ripe. They are. Ask your shop keeper or market vendor to open one up for you so you can taste it.  

You've never tasted bananas and pineapple until you've eaten them fresh in Southeast Asia.  The apples are tart but can be baked with a bit of cinnamon.  Star fruit is a delicious substitute for apples.  Don't be afraid of coconut -- the meat, oil or milk.  It really is good for you, and delicious in drinks and icecream.

Some local fruits like durian take a long time to acquire a taste for, but they are easily avoided. 

The good news is that you won't have to deal with the wax added to many fruits in America.

Soak raw foods. 

Raw fruits and vegetables should be soaked in a solution of iodine and water and then washed with drinking water.  This would be things like tomatoes, cucumbers and star fruit.  If you are going to eat a food raw after you have skinned it, still wash it in drinking water first.  This would be foods like carrots, papaya and mangoes.

Cook all green, leafy vegetables 

No amount of soaking greens can assure killing enough nasty bacteria.  The good news is that briefly cooking greens actually makes the nutrients more available to you anyway.  Wash and steam just until wilted or make a stir fry.  The secret to a good stir fry is to put the harder vegetables in first and the greens or bok choy in at the end.  Add a drop or two of sesame oil.  Cook until greens are just wilted.

Shop at the market often. 

The Southeast Asian custom of buying food every day is a healthy one.  Often we use the excuse that we are too busy to shop every day. It is still a good idea to go at least every two or three days.  Food is most nutritious – and delicious -- when it is ripe and fresh.

Purchase international travel insurance in case you do get sick.

Let's say you do all of the above, yet still get sick with a stomach bug or food poisoning. Get medical help right then and there. There are several travel insurance plans that will continue home country coverage for up to six months from the time of your initial medical treatment overseas.  This is a good deal, and these plans are inexpensive.

Above all, have fun with your food, buy overseas travel insurance, and try new things once in a while.

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Jeff Gulleson
Jeff Gulleson

Traveling this summer and need travel insurance? Good Neighbor Insurance wants to help.

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