How To Calm An Anxious Stomach: The Brain
Ever wonder why you get butterflies in your stomach before doing something stressful? Or why you feel like your stomach is tied in knots after an argument? Ever had a meeting with a toilet that went longer than expected and it wasnt caused by anything you ate? Stomach problems are one of the most common symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Researchers have identified a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. Like the brain, the gut is full of nerves. It contains the largest area of nerves outside the brain with the digestive tract and the brain sharing many of the same nerve connections.
Whether its a single nerve-wracking event or chronic worry and stress over time, stress can exact a physical toll on your digestive system. When you are anxious, some of the hormones and chemicals released by your body enter your digestive tract, where they interfere with digestion. They have a negative effect on your gut flora and decrease antibody production. The resulting chemical imbalance can cause a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
Common stress-related gut symptoms and conditions include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- and peptic ulcers
Six Tips for Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Bland Carbohydrates May Be More Easily Tolerated
Bland carbohydrates like rice, oatmeal, crackers and toast are often recommended for people suffering from upset stomachs.
While this recommendation is common, there is little evidence to show that they actually help relieve symptoms.
However, many people report that these foods are easier to keep down when youre not feeling well .
While bland carbohydrates may be more palatable during an illness, its important to expand your diet again as soon as possible. Restricting your diet too much may keep you from getting enough of the vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to heal .
Many people with an upset stomach find bland carbohydrates easier to tolerate than other foods, but there is little evidence to show that they actually relieve symptoms.
Chamomile May Reduce Vomiting And Soothe Intestinal Discomfort
Chamomile, an herbal plant with small white flowers, is a traditional remedy for upset stomachs.
Chamomile can be dried and brewed into a tea or taken by mouth as a supplement.
Historically, chamomile has been used for a variety of intestinal troubles, including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting .
Yet despite its widespread use, only a limited number of studies support its effectiveness for digestive complaints.
One small study found that chamomile supplements reduced the severity of vomiting after chemotherapy treatments, but its unclear whether it would have the same effects on other types of vomiting .
An animal study found that chamomile extracts relieved diarrhea in mice by reducing intestinal spasms and decreasing the amount of water secreted into the stool, but more research is needed to see if this applies to humans .
Chamomile is also commonly used in herbal supplements that relieve indigestion, gas, bloating and diarrhea, as well as colic in babies .
However, since chamomile is combined with many other herbs in these formulas, its difficult to know whether the beneficial effects are from chamomile or from a combination of the other herbs.
Although the gut-soothing effects of chamomile are widely recognized, research has not yet shown how it helps to relieve stomach upset.
Summary Chamomile is a commonly used remedy for stomach and intestinal discomfort, but more research is needed to understand how it works.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Low Stomach Acid
Gastritis Diet With An Ulcer
Left untreated, some types of gastritis can eventually lead to a stomach ulcer, also called a peptic ulcer. If you have an ulcer, the types of foods that you should eat or avoid are similar to those for gastritis.
With an ulcer, you should make sure you are getting foods that are full of nutrients. Following a healthful, balanced diet makes it easier for the ulcer to heal.
According to on diet and stomach ulcers, the following foods are allowed:
- milk, yogurt, and low-fat cheeses
Different types of gastritis have different causes. Some of these include:
When To Contact A Clinician
Persistent or severe abdominal pain, especially if unrelieved by vomiting or passing a bowel movement
Fever greater than 101 degrees F, not relieved by acetaminophen, or any fever that lasts more than three days
Vomiting or diarrhea without any improvement for more 24 hours
Blood in vomit or stools
No urination for more than 8 hours, or painful urination
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Know When To Be Concerned
Not all gastritis is caused by stress or whatever you are eating and drinking. Another cause of gastritis is the aforementioned H. pylori bacteria. These bacteria, according to the experts at the UCDavis Health, are incredibly adaptive.
The bacteria, explains UCDavis, adhere to the mucosal lining of your stomach. They have adapted so well that when mucosal cells are about to be sloughed off your stomach lining, the H. pylori bacteria simply jump to newer mucosal cells, avoiding that plunge into the chemical bath that would kill them.
An untreated H. pylori infection can lead to the development of gastric ulcers. Even more concerning, cautions UCDavis, is that chronic H. pylori that is left untreated can develop into one of the fastest-moving and deadliest cancers: Gastric cancer, UCDavis explains, is very hard to treat, moves quickly and kills 1 million people worldwide every year.
Read more:Foods to Avoid for Gastritis
Crucial Foods To Avoid
There are foods that help anxiety, but just as important is making sure that you’re not eating foods that contribute to anxiety. Examples of these types of foods include fried foods, high glycemic carbs, refined sugars, and alcoholic beverages.
Other foods depend on how much you understand you own anxiety. If you have panic attacks, you may want to avoid coffee, because coffee can increase your heart rate and trigger an attack. But if you have more general anxiety, coffee may actually be beneficial. Many find that caffeine , can actually reduce stress and improve mood.
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Avoiding Smoking And Drinking Alcohol
Smoking can irritate the throat, increasing the likelihood of an upset stomach. If the person has vomited, smoking can further irritate the tender tissue already sore from stomach acids.
As a toxin, alcohol is difficult to digest and can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining.
People with an upset stomach should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until they are feeling better.
Say No To Ice Cream Say Yes To Berries
As much as you may want to, you canât make yourself feel better with a bowl of your favorite ice cream. It wonât help — the problem is all that sugar. Spikes in your blood sugar can bring on changes in your hormone levels. They can start with âjitterinessâ and eventually lead to crashes. But other foods may help boost your mood.
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Foods To Calm A Weak Stomach
Plus, the training you can do to cure it for good
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For many runners, stomach pain is a nagging constant, and the culprit is often food. Runners with GI distress dont necessarily have weak stomachs. Theyre just eating the wrong things in the wrong amounts and at the wrong times, says Tara Dellolacono, an ultrarunner, registered dietitian, and nutritional strategist for Clif Bar.
Heres the deal: Carbs are the bodys best fuel source while exercising. For most, sticking to simple carbsthe kind that are easy to digest and found in things like gels, goos, and candyis the best way to avoid an upset stomach. But even when following that rule, your body can only absorb between 30 to 60 grams of the stuff per hour. For newer folks, is usually consuming too much at one time, says Dellolacono. They will start out empty and then slam a bunch of gels all at once to make up for it.
The bottom line: Treating a weak stomach is a mix of picking the right foods and the right times to eat them. Weve listed eight good things to eat, along with tips on how and when to eat them.
The 12 Best Foods For An Upset Stomach
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Almost everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time.
Common symptoms include nausea, indigestion, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
There are many potential reasons for an upset stomach and treatments vary depending on the underlying cause.
Thankfully, a variety of foods can settle an upset stomach and help you feel better, faster.
Here are the 12 best foods for an upset stomach.
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Cashew Butter & Raspberry Smoothie
This smoothie is another way to get a dose of digestion-supporting zinc and probiotics. Cashews are an excellent source of zinc, and we use them in both whole and milked form in this smoothie that’s inspired by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Of course, it isn’t a PB& J without the J. We use frozen raspberries that add a beautiful pink color along with 9 grams of fiber, a key macronutrient for digestive health. We round out this recipe with probiotic-rich, high-protein cottage cheese for a creamy texture.
Get our recipe for Cashew Butter & Raspberry Smoothie.
Foods That Reduce Excess Stomach Acid
Do you often suffer from stomach acidity after having a meal? If yes, then you need to include certain foods in your diet that will cut down on stomach acidity.
Stomach acid to a certain level is required to digest the food and allow the body to absorb nutrients. However, too much of stomach acidity occurs when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the oesophagus.
Sometimes, stomach acidity can cause other problems too like stomach ulcers and heartburn. This causes a discomfort in the oesophagus. So, it is rather important to reduce your stomach acid by eating certain foods that will aid in reducing stomach acidity.
Eating the right kind of foods is the key to controlling stomach acidity. Here are 10 foods that reduce excess stomach acid.
Milk contains calcium, an alkaline mineral that works to neutralize acid in contact. Milk contains large amounts of calcium, making it one of the best foods to reduce stomach acid. If you are suffering from stomach acidity, soothe your stomach by gulping down a glass of milk.
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Best Green Smoothie Recipe For Upset Stomach
This is the best green smoothie recipe for an upset stomach! Its not only good for an upset tummy, it also tastes delicious. Many are afraid of drinking a green smoothie, expecting a bad experience. Im here to tell you that green smoothies can actually be really yummy!
I spent my Easter vacation on our family cabin up in the mountains. It was still snowy enough to go skiing, although we didnt much feel like it. We are ready for Summer, lighter clothes and fresher food. I ended up getting sick on our way up to the cabin, so I didnt do much skiing either. Ive therefore felt really under the weather, with an upset stomach and very nauseous.
What better way to cure an upset tummy than with this perfect green smoothie recipe!
Cooked Fruits And Vegetables
Cooked vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes and peas, are easy to digest and less likely to cause uncomfortable stomach symptoms. Fruit juice, such as apple or white grape, is gentle on your stomach and has many of the same nutrients as whole fruit. Canned fruits, such as pears, peaches and applesauce, are also gentler on your stomach than fresh fruit. Avoid fresh fruits and vegetables because most varieties are highly acidic or rough and aren’t gentle on your stomach.
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Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie
Many studies have linked a higher intake of dietary fiber with improved digestion and better overall health, so you should be aiming to eat more high-fiber foods if you’re looking to better your digestive health. Oats are a great option. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating whole grain oats can increase the number of “good” bacteria in your gut. We use oats in this recipe to create a creamy and sweet smoothie base that pairs perfectly with pears!
Get our recipe for Plant-Based Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie.
Get our recipe for Chocolate-Coconut-Banana Smoothie.
Lime Or Lemon Juice Baking Soda And Water
Some studies suggest that mixing lime or lemon juice in water with a pinch of baking soda can help to relieve a variety of digestive complaints.
This mixture produces carbonic acid, which may help to reduce gas and indigestion. It may also improve liver secretion and intestinal mobility. The acidity and other nutrients in lime or lemon juice can help to digest and absorb fats and alcohol while neutralizing bile acids and reducing acidity in the stomach.
Most traditional recipes recommend mixing the following quantities:
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 oz of clean water
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Gluten Free Oatmeal Bowl And Slippery Elm
“Stomach aches have so many different causes that it’s important to treat the cause, not the symptom,” says Home & Family’s natural lifestyle expert Sophie Uliano. “However, the main cause of most stomach discomfort is gas or bloating. This kind of discomfortalong with an irritated digestive trackrequires soothing foods, which contain a good amount of fiber to keep things moving. I recommend a small bowl of gluten-free oatmeal, made with rice or almond milk and slippery elm powder. Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, and the herb slippery elm is mucilaginous, which means that it coats the whole of your digestive tract with a soothing and healing film.” To make this combo: Mix one cup of gluten-free oats with two cups of non-dairy milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer for five minutes until the oats are cooked. Stir in one tbsp slippery elm powder. Top with cubed apple, walnuts, and a couple of chopped dates.
Foods To Eat If You Have An Upset Stomach
If theres one thing that everyone can agree on, its that stomach pains are the worst. Nausea, bloating, diarrhea, gaswhatever gastrointestinal ailments youre prone to, none of them are fun. Because when you arent feeling well in the tummy region, you cant sleep, you cant think, and, most importantly, you cant really eat.
However, there are certain foods that, if you manage to choke em down, will actually help ease those stomach pains. Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, D.O., gastroenterologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF that everyones gastrointestinal tracts are different. This means that certain foods will help some more than others, and youll have to go through a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best for you. But overall, she says, a good rule of thumb is to avoid foods with lots of fiber , and foods with a lot of salt, sugar, or spice, as those can tend to stimulate your GI tract in an offensive way. Opt for one of these six foods instead.
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Building Up My Gut Health
It was evident that I needed to start building up my gut health again, so I took it upon myself to do some research on the foods that are helpful to your overall digestive health & also started taking a daily probiotic.
While were on the topics of probiotics, I must tell you about the UP4 Probiotics Im absolutely loving. They sent them to me a little over a month ago and are hands down my favorite probiotic ever. In general probiotics have been a wonderful addition to my digestive health routine and I believe theyve helped my system to get back on track. The probiotics I take are specifically formulated for women to maintain our womanly balance and promote gut health, HOWEVER they do make a few different varieties. Tummy troubles begone!
BONUS! Ive got a $5 OFF printable coupon for you to use at Target to grab some of these awesome UP4 probiotics.
In addition to adding probiotic to my diet, Ive also done the following:
1.) Eat more organic plain yogurt or kefir. I want to avoid any sweetened yogurt, so greek yogurt or plain kefir tends to be best since it has lower sugar than its respective yogurt counterparts.
2.) Enjoy more fermented foods such as Kombucha, kimchi & sauerkraut. These are full of good for you bacteria for the gut. I do love a good kombucha or as I like to call them booch!
3.) Tummy soothing foods : Organic papaya, pineapple, ginger and mint. These are foods known to soothe tummy troubles, especially ginger!
List Of Foods That Are Gentle On The Stomach
Digestive disorders, indigestion, stomach flu and ulcers can make eating certain foods painful and uncomfortable. Highly seasoned, acidic or caffeinated foods are among the top culprits and avoiding them can help. Foods that are bland, nonacidic and easily digested are gentler on your stomach and can help prevent uncomfortable symptoms. If you experience abdominal pain, nausea, upset stomach or bloating, see your doctor to determine the cause and create a diet that’s right for your condition.
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