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What to Eat To Treat an Upset Stomach

Many people are familiar with the heartburn experienced during an upset stomach, but most people don’t know what to eat for an upset stomach.

When your stomach doesn’t feel right, you have a couple of options. You can take over-the-counter medications like Tums, Rolaids, or Pepto-Bismol. Or you can try eating foods that help soothe an upset stomach. Not sure what to eat for an upset stomach? Read on for a few suggestions…

What is an Upset Stomach, and How Should You Treat It?

An upset stomach is a general term for a group of symptoms related to your digestive tract. It includes nausea, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, and gas.

If you ever feel like you’ve eaten too much or taken in something that doesn’t agree with you, chances are you’ll experience an upset stomach. Other times it’s something more serious and may require medical attention.

Here’s what you need to know about the causes of an upset stomach and how to treat it naturally at home.

Many things can cause an upset stomach. It’s not always related to food, either. Stress and anxiety can also lead to an upset stomach.

It’s important to note that an upset stomach is not the same as other common stomach conditions such as:

  1. indigestion
  2. irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  3. gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  4. heartburn

You may have heard people refer to an upset stomach as the “stomach flu.” However, this term can be used for any vomiting or diarrhea condition. It does not refer to a specific medical condition or illness.

Some Common Causes of Upset Stomach Are

  • Indigestion usually is brought on by overeating too fast, eating spicy or acidic foods, or eating during stressful situations.
  • Excess gas from swallowing air and from the breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine
  • Food poisoning occurs when you eat food containing bacteria or toxins made by bacteria.
  • Mild viral gastroenteritis is an infection of your intestines that causes diarrhea.
  • Eating too much sugar.
  • Eating too quickly
  • Not chewing food properly.
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee and sodas
  • Eating fatty or fried foods.

Symptoms typically begin within 1 to 3 days of exposure, though they can start sooner.

Most people recover completely within 1 to 2 weeks.

How to Treat Upset Stomach naturally at home

Try these simple tips and natural remedies to enjoy a happy tummy.

  • Eat unprocessed, real foods, including vegetables, fruits, and plenty of fiber.
  • Take a look at your medication cabinet. Some common drugs can cause acid reflux, nausea, or vomiting. This includes certain blood pressure medications, painkillers, sedatives (for insomnia), and antidepressants.
  • Watch out for hidden sources of lactose in foods like salad dressing, soup mixes, deli meats, and more.
  • Consider probiotics to help with digestion and reduce stomach upset from antibiotics.

What Are The Top 5 “Bad” Foods That Causes Upset Stomach?

There is no such thing as “bad” food, only bad diets.

However, some foods are harder to digest than others and may cause an upset stomach. These include:

Dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream)

People intolerant to lactose (the sugar found in milk) experience diarrhea, gas, and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products.

Alcoholic drinks

Drinking alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and causes blood vessels to expand. This can lead to inflammation and stomach pain. Some people also have trouble absorbing alcohol because they have a deficiency of certain enzymes in their bodies.

Fried fatty foods

Fried foods are hard to digest because they are rich in fat and take longer to leave the stomach. In addition, frying food usually increases its fat content. Some people find that fatty foods cause them to feel nauseous or bloated.

Coffee and caffeinated drinks

Coffee relaxes the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus, allowing the acid in the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. This can irritate the esophagus lining and cause heartburn and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What to Eat for an Upset Stomach & How to Avoid Food Poisoning?

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what to eat for an upset stomach

If you have a stomach ache, it can be hard to figure out what would make it better and what will only worsen. In general, bland foods are good if you have a tummy ache. And good hydration is almost always helpful.

However, some foods can help, and others may hurt. Here’s a look at the best food for an upset stomach, as well as some to avoid:

What to Eat To Treat an Upset Stomach

  1. Drink water or other clear liquids to stay hydrated while your body recovers from an upset stomach.
  2. Soups and broths: Soups made with soothing ingredients like broth-based soups, ginger, or chamomile tea can help soothe an upset stomach.
  3. Plain toast is good for an upset stomach because it’s low in fat, not too spicy or acidic, and contains complex carbs. Try whole-grain toast or white bread.
  4. Yogurt: Dairy has been shown to ease gastrointestinal symptoms in people who experience diarrhea as part of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The probiotics in yogurt may also help calm a queasy stomach because they replace healthy bacteria in your gut.
  5. Clear soda: Carbonated drinks that are clear — such as 7Up or Sprite — may help to settle the stomach. Ginger ale is often recommended for nausea, but some studies suggest it may not be effective.
  6. Crackers or toast: These bland foods are gentle on the stomach. Their saltiness also helps replace lost electrolytes from vomiting and diarrhea.
  7. Bananas: These fruits are easy to digest and full of potassium, which can be depleted during a bout of diarrhea or vomiting due to food poisoning.
  8. White rice is another bland food that may help soothe an upset stomach. The starch in white rice acts as a binder to solidify stool. It also absorbs water in the intestines, helping loosen diarrhea and move it through your digestive tract quickly.
  9. Ginger has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties, and studies have found that it can effectively reduce nausea.

How to Avoid Food Poisoning?

When it comes to food poisoning, there are a few foods that you should pay attention to.

According to the CDC, some of the most common culprits of food poisoning are meats, eggs, dairy products, fish and shellfish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Any of these foods could contain bacteria or viruses.

Here are some tips on how to avoid getting sick from food poisoning:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before handling food.
  • Rinse raw produce under running water (even if you’re not going to eat the peel).
  • Keep meat separate from other foods.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils with hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before you go on to the next item. Or put them in a dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe.
  • Don’t leave cooked or perishable foods out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

10 Foods to Make You Feel Better Immediately after Eating

If you’re searching for tips on how to get a flat stomach, there’s a good chance you’re feeling anything but flat. Luckily, some foods can help ease your tummy troubles.

“If you don’t feel well, you need to give your body food that will ease the inflammation and heal what is bothering you,” says Lorraine Kearney, MS, RDN. “Food has an incredible ability to heal.”

Kearney recommends adding these 10 foods to your diet when you want to soothe an upset stomach:

  1. GingerOatmeal
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar
  3. Green Tea
  4. Fennel Seeds
  5. Fermented Foods
  6. Dark Leafy Greens
  7. Pears
  8. Lemon Water
  9. Plain Rice

Final Thoughts: What to Eat for an Upset Stomach

Oatmeal is the winner here. It’s inexpensive and great food to eat for an upset stomach. Next, you can try ginger ale, saltine crackers, toast with peanut butter and banana, plain jello, and butterfly cakes. Losing your stomach flu after eating all of this good food is a guarantee.

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