I’m heading off on vacation tomorrow and, since that entails flying from Virginia to Seattle, I thought it would be timely to publish this post! When it comes to travel, I wouldn’t call myself paranoid. I would call myself a prepared researcher.
Since I have an autoimmune disease, I have learned through experience that I must prioritize my health in situations like travel. I definitely do a lot more health research than my other family members when it comes to travel. Which is a good and bad thing, because now I know that airplane rides offer an extremely potent source of radiation!
Airplanes a source of radiation? This may be news for you, since it isn’t widely discussed. Yes, the plane ride itself gives as much as 1,000 times the radiation of the airport body scanners. Dr. Mercola, natural health expert and Weston A. Price fan, explains:
Nearly everyone forgets that when you fly, there is also ionizing radiation exposure. In fact, on a typical transcontinental flight at 30,000 feet you will be exposed to 20 microsieverts of radiation. That is 1,000 times the dose you receive from the scanner. (Read more here).
So what are some practical steps to take to minimize the harmful effects of travel radiation, besides skipping the body scanner? Try these options:
1. Take antioxidants before and during the flight
Antioxidants protect from the free radical damage of radiation. We can get antioxidants from both food and supplements, but I recommend bolstering both sources of antioxidants to prepare for a flight.
Food sources of antioxidants
- Quality saturated fats from animal sources such as tallow, real lard and butterfat. These contain lipid-soluble antioxidant vitamin E. Also, the vitamin D in these sources (particularly lard) has a protective quality against radiation. Additionally, quality saturated fats will help combat the increased circulation of free fatty acids (free fatty acids = bad news) due to the stress and reduced oxygen in the plane. You will have more free fatty acids if you eat a lot of polyunsaturated fats, so ditch the toxic vegetable oils!
- Fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. Berries and leafy greens are often touted as antioxidant storehouses.
- Matcha. Matcha is concentrated green tea powder, a long-revered superfood with a potent dose of antioxidants. I drink a packet of matcha in a water bottle during my flights. I recommend MatchaDNA which is smooth and not bitter, plus it comes in convenient serving-size packets (perfect to keep in your purse!).
Astaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant of which we know. Dr. Mercola sings its praises when it comes to providing free radical and radiation protection.
- When it comes to free radical scavenging, it is 64 times more powerful than vitamin C and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E.
- It is a UVB absorber and can therefore reduce the DNA damage by flight radiation
- It is a natural anti-inflammatory agent
- It acts like a natural internal sunscreen and reduces your susceptibility to sunburn
Dr. Mercola says that 4 mg per day (that means two of these tablets) must be taken on a daily basis for at least three weeks before the flight to offer protection.
2. Fly at night
According to Dr. Mercola:
The simplest solution is to fly at night or at least avoid flying from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with noon being the worst. If you fly at night you can reduce your radiation risk by 99 percent because nearly all of the radiation from the sun is being blocked by the earth. (Source.)
3. Take an anti-radiation bath after the flight
An epsom salt and baking soda bath will help detox radiation from your system. Take this bath as soon as you can after your flight, but do it when you can nap or sleep after because it is quite draining.
Epsom salt dissolved in a hot bath is a widely applauded method of detox. It is also believed to combat the effects of radiation and EMFs. Baking soda dissolved in bath water will also help rebalance and clear the body’s energy systems.
All you have to do is purchase a container of epsom salts (just the plain kind, not the “flavored” versions with fragrance) and a 1 lb. box of baking soda once you reach your destination. Dissolve the baking soda and 1 lb. of epsom salts in a hot bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. You can also travel with your bath ball chlorine filter to remove the toxic chlorine from your bath water. If this is not an option, though, you will still benefit greatly from the anti-radiation bath.
Do you travel frequently? Do you practice any routines to stay healthy during the trip?
Ionizing radiation is dangerous, but a bath cannot “detox radiation from your system.” Once you’ve landed, you’re back to normal radiation exposure, and the radiation from the flight has already passed through you at the speed of light–possibly leaving some damaged DNA behind, which is the problem to be addressed. It wouldn’t make any sense to try to “detox” the light out of a room once the switch has been turned off: it’s already gone instantly, and this is the same. Jason (below) is right. Please enjoy a relaxing bath nonetheless:-)
I know of research that proves radiation DOES stay in the body and also accumulates. SO what you say is not true.
Hi Chris – this is a very useful article in one of the most respected scientific journals of our time, by a well-known Stanford professor: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124. Good read for folks who like to start arguments with “I know of research.”
The damage is accumulative but not the ionizing radiation itself. Some research has indicated blueberries to contain some of the best antioxidants for radiation so eat some fresh, frozen or freeze dried blueberries before flying. Avoid the sugary blueberry muffin though????
Does closing the window shade help reduce radiation?
Doubtful closing the shade would help. These are high energy particles that go right thru the planes metal skin.
You said that “on a typical trans-continental flight at 30,000 feet you will be exposed to 20 microsieverts of radiation”…??? What?… It is very exaggerated (Mercola always needs to be taken with a grain of salt…). This is like 7 years (!) of natural daily exposure. My (credible) sources site that A coast-to-coast round trip airline flight is about 0.03 mSv due to exposure to cosmic rays. You are talking about trans-continental, so double or triple that amount; still you get to 0.09 mSV… Comprende?!
(and one more… There is no “bath against radiation”… You can try to mitigate the risk flying in a metal shield (Faraday cage). Good luck passing TSA with that…)
that was soooo funny. I imagine myself with a metal shield!!!
I laughed for minutes!!!