Foods To Improve Your Digestion
Digestive problems, such as gas, constipation and diarrhea, affectmillions, with 15 percent of people in Western countries experiencing asevere form of gut sensitivity called irritable bowel syndrome .
In this article,Linda Lee, M.D., shares five foods that promote healthier digestion and help you avoidcommon gastrointestinal symptoms.
What To Eat On A Gastritis Diet
Some foods may help manage your gastritis and lessen the symptoms.
Diet does not generally cause chronic gastritis, but eating some foods can make the symptoms worse. These may include fried, spicy, and highly acidic foods.
Some people find that the following foods and drinks help ease symptoms of gastritis:
- high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans
- low-fat foods, such as fish, lean meats, and vegetables
say that probiotics could help with stomach issues caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria cause an infection in the digestive system which can lead to gastritis or stomach ulcers.
H. pylori is the most common cause of gastritis, accounting for 90 percent of cases.
Healthful probiotic foods could, therefore, help with gastritis. These include kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help ease symptoms.
Some types of gastritis can make it more difficult for the body to absorb iron or vitamin B-12, leading to deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about taking supplements to prevent deficiencies.
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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Foods To Avoid On A Gastritis Diet
Foods that are high in fat may worsen inflammation in the lining of the stomach.
For some people, food allergies can trigger gastritis. In these cases, identifying and avoiding these foods may treat and prevent gastritis.
Some forms of gastritis are caused by drinking alcohol too often or drinking too much in a short period.
Foods that may irritate the stomach, therefore making gastritis worse, include:
- carbonated drinks
- spicy foods
If you notice that a certain food or food group makes your symptoms worse, avoiding this food can prevent symptoms. This is particularly true with food allergies.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids To Aid Digestion
It’s important to keep drinking, especially water. It encourages the passage of waste through your digestive system and helps soften poo.
Fibre acts like a sponge, absorbing water. Without fluid, the fibre cannot do its job and you’ll get constipation.
A good way to make sure you’re getting enough fluids is to drink a glass of water with every meal. Avoid caffeine drinks as they can cause heartburn.
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People Are Advised To Follow These Simple Steps To Help Avoid Norovirus
Take plenty of fluids
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
Keep yourself away from others especially from GP surgeries or hospitals
If your symptoms continue for more than two days seek advice from NHS 111 by calling 111 on your phone or visit the NHS website for further information.
For non-emergencies, people can contact NHS 111 for further advice by calling 111.
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What To Do If You Have Norovirus
If you experience sudden diarrhoea and/or vomiting, the best thing to do is to stay at home until youre feeling better.
Theres no treatment for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.
You dont usually need to get medical advice unless theres a risk of a more serious problem.
To help ease your own or your childs symptoms drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
You need to drink more than usual to replace the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea as well as water, adults could also try fruit juice and soup.
Avoid giving fizzy drinks or fruit juice to children as it can make their diarrhoea worse. Babies should continue to feed as usual, either with breast milk or other milk feeds.
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Signs And Symptoms Of A Stomach Bug
Symptoms of gastroenteritis include watery diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramping, nausea, vomiting and sometimes fever. These symptoms can lead to further complications. Because of the potential for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea on top of the lack of eating and drinking dehydration is one of the more common complications.
Dehydration can cause tiredness, fatigue, lightheadedness, sunken eyes, decreased skin turgor and extreme thirst. If someone shows any symptoms of dehydration, they should seek medical attention.
Other reasons to seek medical attention are if an adult is experiencing one or more of the following: a change in mental state, irritability, diarrhea for more than two days, high fever, frequent vomiting, six or more stools per day, severe pain in the abdomen or rectum, stools that are black or contain blood or pus, or dehydration.
Additionally, pregnant women, older adults, children or anyone with an already weakened immune system should seek medical attention if they show any symptoms of gastroenteritis.
The dietary tips and recommendations provided below are for adults only babies and children have their own unique needs.
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Why Specific Foods And Diet Are Recommended For Gastritis
Foods that soothe gastritis, such as broccoli sprouts and yogurt, are recommended because they are known to balance out the acidity in the stomach and cool the internal system. Proper nutrition for gastritis issues is critical in treatment and healing.Peptic ulcers often accompany gastritis, and the act of eating is what most often triggers the pain associated with these two gut issues.
Because of this, doctors often start treatment with a simple elimination diet to remove offending foods that are generally known to cause gastritis symptoms in most people. A diet for gastritis sufferers is sometimes the only course of treatment required to get the problem under control. Food can truly be medicine in this case.
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Switch To A Liquid Diet
If you have an upset stomach, it might be best to limit yourself to liquids for a day or two until it settles down, recommends the University of Wisconsin-Madison 79. But not all beverages are created the same. Roswell Park advises against drinking alcohol in any form while you are experiencing stomach pain. Also, avoid caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea and cola-based drinks. Stay away from energy drinks to avoid irritating your stomach lining.
UW-M suggests that you stick to sports drinks that will help with hydration if your symptoms include diarrhea. Clear sodas that contain no caffeine may also help soothe an upset stomach, the university says 79. Ginger ale is a common home remedy for stomach issues, but a lemon-lime soda or lightly flavored sparkling water may also help. You can flavor sparkling water or club soda at home with a splash of fruit juice â as long as it’s not a citrus juice.
Decaffeinated tea or herbal infusions, such as those made with chamomile or ginger, are often soothing. Fruit juices should be diluted in water to ensure that they don’t irritate your stomach. To stay safe, avoid citrus juices altogether.
When you are feeling a little more stable, clear soups like broth or bullion can make it easier to add protein to your diet. Another way to stay hydrated is to snack on frozen fruit bars. You can find them in grocery stores or make them at home using fresh fruit juices.
Five Steps To Improve Your Digestion
Aging may spur digestive issues, but Dr. Rizk suggests five steps you can take to counteract those challenges.
1. Maintain a healthy diet.
- Add fiber to meals by including raw vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Reduce salt consumption.
- Avoid white foods such as bread, rice and potatoes.
- Drink water or other non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day so your urine is almost clear.
- Eat a variety of protein like beans, fish and lean meat.
2. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn or reflux. For some, dairy causes the worst stomach problems. For others, it could be gluten. Since its different for everyone, try an elimination diet if you are uncertain about which foods cause issues for you. Talk to your doctor about getting tested for food allergies and food sensitivities to help find the culprit.
3. Consider a probiotic. Probiotic supplements, which contain helpful good bacteria, sometimes can aid people with chronic constipation. However, dont take them for diarrhea unless it is after specific types of infections. Probiotics also come in the forms of certain yogurts , live sauerkraut, kombucha and tempeh.
4. Check your medications. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause digestive problems. Talk to your doctor about possible side effects and ask for a substitute if a medicine is causing nausea, diarrhea, constipation or other concerns.
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.
Green Leafy Vegetables And Mushrooms
Various foods can help fight illness, but leafy vegetables are one the best foods to eat when youre sick. Theyre a significant source of vitamins K, C, and A, fiber, and an assortment of nutrients and minerals.
If you snack on vegetables, choose those that are low in saturated fat, such as broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and green beans, and high in fiber, such as cabbage, carrots, lima beans, cauliflower, and spinach.
These vegetables are a great source of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals which are molecules that can damage cells in the body. They may also cause chronic diseases like heart disease, asthma, and cancer.
Aside from green leafy vegetables, mushrooms are another good choice. You may just think of mushrooms as a tasty topping for your pizza but this fungus contains several immune-boosting compounds that can boost your bodys defenses against colds, flu, and stomach bugs.
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Foods To Eat When You Have Gastroenteritis
During gastroenteritis, it is important to eat as normally as possible. In fact, eating helps the lining of the intestine to heal quickly and allows the body to regain strength. On the contrary, not eating prolongs diarrhea.
Start by eating small amounts of food. Then, gradually increase quantities depending on your appetite and the improvement of your condition.
Make sure you rehydrate well by drinking water or a rehydration solution preferably, especially if you cannot eat. If your child is breast or bottle-fed, he or she can continue drinking his or her regular milk, without diluting it. Offer it more often, in small quantities. To find out more about rehydration, read the page Hydrating and rehydrating when you have gastroenteritis.
Foods To Eat When Suffering From Gastritis
There are certain foods that should be eaten when suffering from gastritis and ulcers because they have a cooling effect on the lining of the stomach and can ease the internal inflammation.
Below is a list of recommended foods to help with a diet for gastritis and reflux. The easiest thing to remember is that a bland diet for gastritis is best.
- Broccoli sprouts have a chemical in them called sulforpahane, which helps kill H. pylori because it has an antibacterial effect. A 2009 study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research showed that a group of people with H. pylori who ate a cup of broccoli sprouts every day for eight weeks had less stomach inflammation and infection than those who ate the same amount of alfalfa sprouts, which does not contain sulforpahane.
- Yogurt is also an excellent choice to help restore gut flora back to normal and level out the balance in the stomach. Its best to choose low-fat or fat-free brands that contain live and active bacterial cultures. Opt for plain yogurt and add honey as a sweetener and to help soothe your stomach.
- Fruit is a great choice with gastritis . Try eating two to four servings a day of apples, bananas, pears, peaches, grapes, melon, and kiwi.
- Vegetables are also a terrific and soothing choice .
- Also include applesauce, apple juice, skim milk, and light-flavored, low-fat cheeses.
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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.
Beware Gut Symptom Triggers
Some people find particular foods cause them problems. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, salad dressings and fizzy drinks, can trigger heartburn, while wheat and onions may cause irritable bowel syndrome.
And if you cannot digest lactose, the sugar in milk, you’ll develop wind and diarrhoea after drinking milk or eating dairy products, including cream, cheese, yoghurt and chocolate.
Try to stay away from foods and drinks that trigger your digestive symptoms. Keep a food diary to work out which foods cause your symptoms.
Toxins Beans And Digestion Problems
Many people experience issues with beans and digestion. For some, this is due to natural toxins found in certain beans. Most of these toxins are only present when the beans are raw, and otherwise only affect people who consume beans in excessive amounts.
For example, kidney beans contain lectin, a mild toxin. If you haven’t thoroughly cooked your kidney beans, you might find yourself with a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including stomachaches, nausea and vomiting. The next time you eat kidney beans and stomach cramps occur, consider how your food was prepared. Thoroughly cooked beans and precooked canned beans shouldn’t give you any gut issues.
Other beans that contain lectins include broad beans and runner beans. Soybeans contain a different toxin, known as a trypsin inhibitor. As with lectins, the trypsin inhibitor in soybeans goes away when this food has been cooked thoroughly.
Components Of The Brat Diet
Past medical practice advocated a low-fiber, easily digestible diet for people who were recovering from an acute stomach illness involving vomiting and/or diarrhea. An acronym was coined as a simple way for people to remember a set of bland foods that you might best tolerate when ill:
The BRAT diet has also been extended to the BRATTY diet with the addition of the following:
- BRATT: Add decaffeinated tea
- BRATTY: Add yogurt
Eating the foods that are part of the BRAT diet is believed to relieve stomach issues because the foods:
- Are gentle on the stomach. The foods included are low in both fat and protein, which means they are less likely to irritate the stomach and put stress on the digestive system.
- Produce firmer stools. The diet includes low-starch and low-fiber foods, which discourages loose and runny stools.
- Reduce nausea and vomiting. Because the foods in the diet are bland and dont have strong smells, the diet reduces nausea and vomiting. Moreover, it offers symptom relief.
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Best Foods To Eat When You Have A Stomach Bug
Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting and sometimes fever. It often is called a stomach bug or the stomach flu, but its not actually the flu or influenza, which is a respiratory illness. This infection often develops though contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water.
An upset stomach is a common symptom of a stomach bug, and this can make eating sound unappealing, even though you may be hungry. Knowing what to eat is difficult because you dont always know whats going to agree with your stomach.
I recommend these tips for fueling your body when you have viral gastroenteritis:
The main complication of a stomach bug is dehydration a severe loss of water, and essential salts and minerals. If youre healthy and drink enough to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration shouldnt be a problem.
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