Almost everyone experiences an upset stomach from time to time, and there are many potential causes of this upset stomach. In this article, about food for an upset stomach, I will be listing out the best food to eat when your stomach hurts.
Short-term, or acute, causes of an upset stomach include food poisoning and viral gastroenteritis. The symptoms of acute stomach upset typically involve nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Longer-term, or chronic, causes of stomach upset may include irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, gas, or bloating.
Stomach upset treatments vary depending on the underlying cause. Thankfully, there are varieties of foods that can settle an upset stomach and help you feel better faster. Some foods can worsen symptoms of an upset stomach, while others can help alleviate them. Read on to find out what to eat and what to avoid when experiencing an upset stomach.
Food For An Upset Stomach
When you suffer from diarrhea or vomiting, you lose lots of fluids. Those fluids and electrolytes you have lost need to be replenished to prevent dehydration. Drinking enough liquids is also essential for someone who has constipation. Fluids help to soften stools, allowing them to pass more easily through the bowels. This helps keep bowel movements regular.
Doctors sometimes recommend short-term clear liquid diets to help settle an upset stomach. Below are some fluids that can help replenish water and electrolytes without causing further upset to the stomach:
- plain water
- clear broths
- diluted fruit juice or squash
- popsicles made from frozen diluted fruit juice
- electrolyte drinks
- weak tea without milk
- herbal teas
Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of an upset stomach. Ginger, is a fragrant edible root with a bright yellow flesh and is a common natural remedy for an upset stomach.
Ginger can be eaten raw, cooked, steeped in hot water, or as a supplement. It is a common natural remedy for morning sickness, a type of nausea and vomiting that can occur during pregnancy.
Some people even use ginger as a natural remedy for motion sickness. It can help reduce the intensity of nausea symptoms and the speed of recovery time.
3. White Rice:
Another food for upset stomach is white rice. Refined grains like white rice are a better choice than whole grains because they’re lower in fiber and easier on your digestive tract, which allows it to heal more effectively. Also, white rice can help firm up your poop, so it could help improve diarrhea.
While wild, brown, or black rice is generally healthy and recommended for when you’re feeling well, they are harder to digest, especially on an upset stomach.
Broths are good food for upset stomach. If a person is unable to eat or keep food down, they may be able to tolerate a simple vegetable or bone broth.
Bone broth contains the amino acid glutamine. Research has shown that glutamine plays a role in maintaining the intestinal barrier (IB). The intestinal barrier helps to protect the body from harmful pathogens and toxins. It also helps a person to absorb water and nutrients from their food.
According to an older review from 2009, intestinal barrier dysfunction is a major contributory factor to the following inflammatory diseases: food allergies, IBDs, celiac disease.
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Yet another good food for upset stomach is flaxseed. Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a small, fibrous seed that can help regulate bowel movements and relieve constipation and abdominal pain.
Clinically, chronic constipation is fewer than three bowel movements per week. It can accompany abdominal pain and discomfort. Flaxseed, either as a ground flaxseed meal or flaxseed oil, may relieve uncomfortable symptoms of constipation.
Another study found that those who ate flaxseed muffins every day had 30% more bowel movements each week than they did when they were not consuming the flax muffins.
Studies have found additional benefits of flaxseed, including preventing upset stomach, stomach ulcers and reducing intestinal spasms.
6. Coconut Water:
Coconut water is an effective way to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium if you’ve been vomiting or have diarrhea.
In fact, coconut water is so effective for rehydration that it’s sometimes used as a rehydration solution in children with diarrhea caused by gastroenteritis and cholera.
Even though, drinking coconut water could help you rehydrate during an upset stomach. It is important to control the quantity you take because excess could actually cause diarrhea, especially if the coconut water contains added sugar. It is also recommended, to look for a brand with at least 180 milligrams of potassium per serving, since this electrolyte is lost from the body through vomiting or sweating.
7. Apple sauce:
Apples contain antioxidants called polyphenolsand, polyphenols helps to alleviate inflammation associated with intestinal barriers. According to the review, dietary polyphenols may help to:
- regulate a person’s immune response, thereby controlling inflammation
- protect the lining of the gut from damage
- improve the gut microbiome, which is the term for the trillions of microorganisms that live inside the digestive tract
Stewed apples or applesauce are easier to digest than the whole fruit, making it easier to heal an upset stomach.
Linseed is a very effective food for upset stomach. People who have constipation can try taking linseed oil while increasing their fluid intake. This combination should encourage soft, bulky stools. You can try sprinkling linseed on your breakfast cereal or adding the seeds to a smoothie.
Try to drink plenty of water while taking linseed, otherwise, stools may become bulky and hard which might make constipation worsen.
Papaya, also known as pawpaw, is a sweet, orange-fleshed tropical fruit that some use 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.
Papaya is also common in some West African countries as a traditional remedy for stomach ulcers, constipation and bloating in adults and all forms of upset stomach. A limited number of animal studies support these claims, but more human research is needed.
Also, papaya seeds may also help eliminate intestinal parasites, which can live in the gut and cause severe abdominal discomfort and malnutrition.
Chamomile can’t be left out when talking about food for an upset stomach. Chamomile is an herbal plant with small white flowers, which is traditionaly used as remedy for upset stomachs. Chamomile can be brewed into a tea or it can be taken orally as a supplement.
Chamomile has always been used for treating various intestinal troubles, including gas, indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, nausea, and vomiting as well as colic in babies.
Kefir is a nutritious milk that is effective in relieving upset stomach. Kefir is a probiotic-rich, fermented milk drink that you can drink on its own or add to smoothies or other recipes, and it has a tart and tangy flavor, and a thin consistency. It provides a healthy dose of diverse probiotics, which can help balance the gut microbiome.
It’s also been shown to support a healthy immune system and suppress viral infections. This may alleviate some discomfort and help you feel better. Look for varieties that are low in sugar, as options with higher sugar may exacerbate symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or intestinal barrier, causes stomach upset. Intestinal barrier is a chronic gut disorder that can cause stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Studies show that peppermint may help reduce these uncomfortable symptoms. Taking peppermint oil capsules daily for at least two weeks can significantly reduce stomach pain, gas, and diarrhea in adults with intestinal barrier.
Peppermint oil works by relaxing muscles in the digestive tract, reducing the severity of intestinal spasms that can cause pain and diarrhea.
- Probiotics-rich foods
- Pectin supplement
- Green beans
- Salted crackers
Food To Avoid
- Fried foods
- Fatty/greasy foods
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods
- Sugary/artificially sweetened foods
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A person who has an upset stomach may find it difficult to eat anything at all. However, they must drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
There are lots of food for an upset stomach which will make you feel better. Some of the best food to eat when your stomach hurts are listed above in the article.
Herbs and spices like ginger, chamomile, mint, and licorice have natural stomach-soothing properties, while fruits like papaya and green bananas can improve digestion.
When vomiting or diarrhea accompanies an upset stomach, be sure to hydrate and replenish electrolytes. You may also find bland carbohydrates easier to keep down.
While it’s very common to experience an upset stomach from time to time, eating these foods can help you feel better and get on the road to recovery.
Certain foods can further aggravate an upset stomach or an underlying digestive condition. Examples include insoluble fiber, fried or fatty foods, and high sugar foods.
See a doctor if you experience persistent or worsening symptoms of an upset stomach. A doctor will work to diagnose the cause and provide appropriate treatments.