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Abdominal cramps instead of bathing beaches, nausea instead of buffet variety and hotel toilet instead of sightseeing - every third German suffers from diarrhea during a trip abroad. How this happens and what simple tricks can prevent this unwanted “souvenir” is explained by Dr. Susanne Fink-Tornau, nutritionist and ecotrophologist at the health food manufacturer Natura.
Normally, billions of microorganisms keep the intestinal flora in balance and effectively ward off pathogens and toxins. “However, as previously unknown germs, such as special Escherichia coli species, occur in other countries, the delicate structure easily gets mixed up. This favors the occurrence of infections, ”says Dr. Fink-Tornau. Harmful bacteria can occur in raw or undercooked meat as well as in fruits and vegetables. One of the most common causes for this are contaminated liquids, which form an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
While tap water in Germany is of high quality and can be drunk without hesitation, this is not the case in many popular holiday regions. Regular checks and corresponding guidelines are usually missing. The same applies to cooling options and hygiene conditions. Often these are insufficient for the hot temperatures and high air humidity and therefore favor the formation of dangerous pathogens in food. Particular caution is therefore required, especially with egg and milk products.
The following tips show how the stay abroad works even without unpleasant complaints: Even before the holiday, taking functional foods from the health food store helps to support the intestinal flora in the long term. Products like Darmflora Plus or Darmflora Restore contain protective active cultures.
Only eat cooked, roasted or peeled food and avoid raw foods. Also pay attention to the preparation when tasting snack stands or food stalls.
Avoid open drinks, ice cubes and tap water. Either buy closed bottles or boil tap water, milk etc.
Prefer spicy and salty foods because spices fight bacteria effectively.
Milk ice cream carries the risk of containing salmonella, so it is better to use sorbet and fruit ice cream.
“If an illness occurs despite all precautionary measures, it usually subsides after three to four days. If complaints persist, consult a doctor. If babies, toddlers, pregnant women and people who take medication regularly show appropriate symptoms, a doctor must be consulted immediately, ”emphasizes Dr. In conclusion, Fink-Tornau.