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If you have encountered a stomach upset, as most people have, you know that it can be a cause of great discomfort. It can leave you feeling weak and nauseous while causing symptoms such as diarrhoea, indigestion, excessive gas or bloating and vomiting.
The good news is that you can control these symptoms by controlling your diet until your stomach upset passes. Here’s a list of foods that you should eat and those you should avoid while treating a case of stomach upset or food poisoning.
What You Should Eat
If your body is rejecting solid foods, don’t force yourself to eat. Instead, consume semi-solid foods such as soup or coconut water. Your body should be able to keep them down and they will help replenish essential minerals like potassium, calcium, and sodium that your body can lose when you have irregular bowel movements.
Foods that are bland and easy to digest are good to eat when you are fighting an upset stomach. Plain white rice is your best bet. Avoid eating brown rice as it can be hard for your stomach to digest. White rice, being a refined carbohydrate, is also low in fibre and will help stop the common symptoms of diarrhoea.
Toast made from white flour or maida is another example of a bland, low fibre food that can help neutralise excess stomach acid and stop diarrhoea. Avoid eating toast made from fibre-rich whole grains such as wheat as they can make diarrhoea related symptoms worse.
Bananas are easy to digest and are known to ease stomach pain. They have a natural antacid effect and can relieve symptoms such as indigestion. This high potassium fruit also increases mucus production in the stomach which helps prevent the irritation of the stomach lining.
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.