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.
Remedies And Treatments For Upset Stomach And Diarrhea
Upset Stomach Remedies
Most stomach ailments can be treated at home. As soon as you start feeling sick, begin limiting your diet to clear liquids in frequent, small amounts. Make sure to drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or a pale yellow.
If youâre not able to keep liquids down and begin to vomit, start with sips of water or sucking on ice chips. Once you are able to keep that down, try other fluids like:
- Clear soup broth or bouillon
- Clear soft-drinks like 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
- Juices like apple, grape, cherry, or cranberry
Once you are able to keep all liquids down, try some solid foods along with the liquids. Good foods to try are:
- White rice
- White toast
It may take several days to one week to regain your appetite, energy level, and for your bowels to regain normalcy.
Diarrhea TreatmentsMost cases of diarrhea clear on their own within a couple of days without treatment. If youve tried lifestyle changes and home remedies for an upset stomach and diarrhea without success, your doctor might recommend the following:
Antibiotics might help treat diarrhea caused by bacteria or parasites. If a virus is causing your diarrhea, antibiotics wont help. Alternatively, if your doctor determines that antibiotics are whatâs causing your diarrhea, they will likely lower the dose or switch to another medication.
Treatment to Replace Fluids
Clear Liquids With Electrolytes Can Prevent Dehydration
When an upset stomach is accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, its easy to become dehydrated.
Vomiting and diarrhea cause your body to lose electrolytes, the minerals that maintain your bodys fluid balance and keep your nervous system functioning correctly.
Mild dehydration and electrolyte losses can usually be restored by drinking clear liquids and eating foods that naturally contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.
If dehydration is severe, drinking a rehydration solution containing an ideal ratio of water, sugars and electrolytes may be necessary (
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What To Eat When You Have A Cold
Order up. When youre stuck in bed with a cold, it’s time for moms old-fashioned chicken noodle soup. While comfort may be its number one ingredient, this recipe calls for a team of sick-fighting superheroes. Chicken is a great source of protein, and it also contains the amino acid, cysteine. Cysteine can thin mucus in the lungs which may provide some relief during the dreaded coughing spells that come with a cold. In addition, the hot broth can alleviate a sore throat and can aide in loosening sinus pressure and swelling that often accompany a cold. All in all, when you have a cold, chicken noodle soup will keep your body hydrated and heading toward happier days.
If your appetite is feeling up to it, fruit is another good food to eat when youre sick. While strawberries, apples, and oranges may not cure your cold, they can help shorten its duration or severity. Because fruit is high in Vitamin C, this refreshing treat could boost your immune system, helping you feel better faster.
MedExpress Pro Tip: If youre too sick to eat fruit, slice it up and add it to your water the more hydrated you are, the better!
Being under the weather is hard enough without having to prepare your next meal. But with a few of our quick tips and reminders, youll be back to chowing down on your favorite foods in no time.
*Please take into consideration all individual food allergies when considering your options.
Keep Your Belly Happy
A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your digestive system healthy and your immune system strong and ready to fight off bugs that might upset your stomach. And watch for triggers â anything from foods that have acid like tomatoes, to fizzy drinks, to stress at work.
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What Foods Help Relieve Gas
eating raw, low-sugar fruits, such as apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruits, peaches, strawberries, and watermelons. choosing low-carbohydrate vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, okra, tomatoes, and bok choy. eating rice instead of wheat or potatoes, as rice produces less gas.
Licorice Can Reduce Indigestion And May Help Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Licorice is a popular remedy for indigestion and may also prevent painful stomach ulcers.
Traditionally, licorice root was consumed whole. Today, its most commonly taken as a supplement called deglycyrrhizinated licorice .
DGL is preferred over regular licorice root because it no longer contains glycyrrhizin, a naturally occurring chemical in licorice that can cause fluid imbalances, high blood pressure and low potassium levels when consumed in large quantities (
Summary Ground flaxseed meal and flaxseed oil can help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation in humans. Animal studies suggest they may also prevent stomach ulcers and intestinal spasms, but more research is needed.
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Foods And Drinks That Help Ease A Stomachache
We all experience an upset stomach from time to time. Stomach pain can develop for a multitude of reasons from food poisoning to indigestion. Common symptoms you may experience include nausea, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and so on. Luckily, there are ways you can help soothe your stomach. Some home remedies are worth trying to ease that upset stomach.
What To Eat If You’re Nauseated:
- Eat poultry or soy. Try turkey, chicken, or soy foods if you find you suddenly don’t like red meat.
- Eat dry foods, such as crackers, toast, dry cereals, or bread sticks, when you wake up and every few hours during the day. They provide nutrients and help settle your stomach.
- Eat cool foods instead of hot, spicy foods. Consider non-fat yogurt, fruit juice, sherbet, and sports drinks. Spicy foods may upset your stomach even more.
- Don’t eat foods that are very sweet, greasy, or fried. They may upset your stomach even more. Consider baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes rice cream soups made with low-fat milk fruit-flavored gelatin pretzels or low-fat pudding.
- Try bland, soft, easy-to-digest foods on days when you’re scheduled to have treatment. A poached egg on dry toast or a poached chicken breast with plain noodles is a good option.
- Eat foods that don’t have a strong smell. Smells may trigger nausea.
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What You Should Not Eat
Dairy products like Milk, Cheese or Ice-cream
Milk, cheese, and ice cream are hard for your body to digest as they are high in fat. They should thus be avoided during a stomach upset. Plain low-fat yoghurt can, however, be good for your stomach health. Yoghurt is rich in probiotics or good bacteria and yeasts that help maintain good gut health. Having a little yoghurt during a stomach upset may help relieve diarrhoea.
Foods that are fried are rich in oils and fats and are generally tougher for your stomach to digest. During a stomach ache, keep away from such fried foods to ease your symptoms.
Raw Fruits and Vegetables
While raw fruits and vegetables are great for health otherwise, when consumed on an upset stomach they can worsen diarrhoea. This is because they are high fibre foods. It is advisable to keep away from them temporarily until the stomach upset passes.
Caffeine or Alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can both increase stomach acidity levels, causing you to feel nauseous. Caffeine can also aggravate diarrhoea symptoms. Keep away from caffeine and alcohol to avoid making your symptoms worse.
Citrus Fruits and High Acid Foods
High acid foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes are likely to cause abdominal pain and acid reflux, especially if you are predisposed to Irritable Bowel syndrome. This can worsen already existent symptoms by further causing heartburn and nausea. Limes, grapes, pineapples, processed foods, and sugar are examples of high acid foods.
Stick To Simple Carbs Like White Rice And Crackers
If you aren’t vomiting or having serious diarrhea, you don’t necessarily need a liquid diet, but you should still aim for easy-to-digest foods. This means you’ll want to eat foods low in fiber since fiber can worsen diarrhea and nausea.
There are two types of fiber:
Whole grains, like oats and brown rice, are generally great for health because they contain both types of fiber. However, this is not what you want when you’re trying to relieve an upset stomach.
“Simple refined carbohydrates like white rice, white bread, or crackers are often better tolerated” by the digestive tract, says Smith. This is because refined grains are low in fiber and they pass more quickly through your digestive tract. This means refined grains won’t sit in your stomach for long periods of time, which can trigger nausea.
Some examples of simple carbs that you can eat on an upset stomach are:
- Crackers, such as saltines
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When And How To Eat If You’re Nauseated:
- Eat small meals frequently. If you feel sick to your stomach between meals, try to eat 6 to 8 small meals during the day and a snack at bedtime.
- Eat food cold or at room temperature, not hot, to reduce its smell and taste.
- Don’t eat in a warm room. The air may seem stuffy and stale and may make your stomach feel worse.
- Rinse your mouth before and after meals. This helps get rid of any bad tastes in your mouth.
- Sit up or lie back with your head raised for at least an hour after eating if you need to rest. Keeping your head up helps reduce nausea.
If You Are Vomiting Or Have Diarrhea Start With Clear Liquids
Clear liquids are the easiest things for your body to digest because they dont leave any undigested residue behind in your intestines. Plus, theyre an easy way to stay hydrated if youre experiencing fluid loss from diarrhea or vomiting.
For something to count as a clear liquid, it can have a color, but you have to be able to see through it.
Some clear liquids you can try are:
- Clear broth, such as bouillon
- Clear sodas like seltzer
- Herbal teas like peppermint and chamomile, which can also calm nausea
Other, more solid, options that will be easy on the stomach are:
- Popsicles with no milk or fruit pulp
You can start by slowly eating or drinking small amounts of clear liquids. As the symptoms improve and youre able to keep food down, you can gradually increase the amount.
Keep in mind that you should not stay on the clear liquid diet for more than a few days, as it does not give you enough calories or nutrients. If you are still unable to keep food down, you should visit your doctor.
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Papaya Can Improve Digestion And May Be Effective For Ulcers And Parasites
Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is a sweet, orange-fleshed tropical fruit that is sometimes used as a natural remedy for indigestion.
Papaya contains papain, a powerful enzyme that breaks down proteins in the food you eat, making them easier to digest and absorb .
Some people do not produce enough natural enzymes to fully digest their food, so consuming additional enzymes, like papain, may help relieve their symptoms of indigestion.
There has not been a lot of research on the benefits of papain, but at least one study found that regularly taking papaya concentrate reduced constipation and bloating in adults .
Papaya is also used in some West African countries as a traditional remedy for stomach ulcers. A limited number of animal studies support these claims, but more human research is needed (
In fact, one study found that the addition of cooked, green bananas was nearly four times more effective at eliminating diarrhea than a rice-based diet alone .
The powerful antidiarrheal effects of green bananas are due to a special type of fiber they contain known as resistant starch.
Resistant starch cannot be digested by humans, so it continues through the digestive tract all the way to the colon, the final portion of the intestines.
Once in the colon, it is slowly fermented by your gut bacteria to produce short-chain fatty acids, which stimulate the bowels to absorb more water and firm up the stools .
Try Spices Like Ginger For Symptoms Relief
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat digestive issues, and it works especially well to ease nausea and vomiting. Some studies even suggest that ginger can work as well as a prescription anti-nausea medication.
You can find ginger capsules at stores that sell herbal supplements. Most clinical studies use between 250 and 500 mg of ginger to control nausea. You can also buy ginger tea or add sliced ginger root to boiling water to make your own ginger tea.
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How Should You Sleep With An Upset Stomach
Place a firm pillow between your knees and hug one to support your spine. While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning.
Don’t Eat: Raw Fruits And Vegetables
Theyâre great when youâre healthy. But when you have an upset stomach, the fiber in them â which normally makes your poop easy to pass â can make things worse. Itâs best to wait until you feel better to add them back into your diet. Start with small portions of cooked vegetables and juices.
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.
Best Foods To Eat If You Have An Upset Stomach
Everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time.
Its totally normal, and it happens to everyone, says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian based in New York City. It could be a meal that didnt agree with you for whatever reason, it could be stress, nerves or it could just be a 24-hour bug. Parasites and food allergies and sensitivities can also cause stomach troubles.
Fortunately, there are certain foods you can eat when you have an upset stomach that should help you feel better.
Settling the stomach
When your stomach is queasy, bland foods are a good choice because theyre easy to digest.
Here are 10 of the best foods to eat when you have an upset stomach:
Unseasoned, skinless chicken or fish.
Plain scrambled eggs.
If youre suffering from nausea, ginger can help mitigate your symptoms, says Steven Lalevich, a registered dietitian with Healthy IU. Thats the employee wellness program at Indiana University.
Here are three ginger-based foods and drinks that may help alleviate an upset stomach:
Crystallized ginger chips.
2. Other herbs and spices
Many people should consider various herbs and spices when they have stomach pain, says Dr. Carolyn Kaloostian, a family medicine and geriatrics physician and clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Things like ginger, licorice, chamomile, spearmint and mint can help soothe.
3. Plain crackers
4. Dry toast
5. White rice
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