When was the last time you felt queasy? Everyone gets an upset stomach once in a while. If you experience nausea or vomiting, it might be from a gastrointestinal virus or even food poisoning. You can alleviate the symptoms associated with an upset stomach at home. Certain foods can help ease diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and indigestion. Here are other foods that can help an upset stomach.
Papaya -- or paw paw in some regions -- is a sweet, orange, tropical fruit that may help with indigestion. It contains an enzyme called papain that can help break down the food that you eat, making it easier to digest. The seeds of the papaya can also help eliminate parasites that live in the stomach and can cause stomach pain and even malnutrition. When your body produces fewer enzymes than needed to break down the foods you eat, it is important to find foods that will increase the amount of these necessary enzymes.
In some cases, an upset stomach is due to IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Peppermint and peppermint oil can relieve some of the symptoms of IBS by relaxing the muscles in the digestive tract. When these muscles contract, resulting spasms can be painful and lead to diarrhea. Peppermint is safe to use for most people but should be avoided by people with hernias, kidney stones, and liver or gallbladder disorders. It may aggravate these conditions, so it is best to discuss the use of peppermint with a medical provider before trying it.
Licorice can help with indigestion. You can eat licorice root or take it in the form of a supplement. Licorice can soothe the stomach and reduce inflammation caused by excessive stomach acid. If you have ulcers or acid reflux, licorice may be a useful tool in reducing the pain associated with these conditions. Research has shown that the supplement form of licorice can increase mucus production in the stomach, helping protect it from excessive amounts of acid.
Flax is a small seed that can help regulate bowel movements by easing constipation and pain in the abdomen. It is available as whole seeds, in an oil form, or as a fine powder. It's an easy ingredient to add to recipes such as muffins and pancakes. Studies show consuming just one ounce of flaxseed out per day for up to two weeks makes it easier for people to go to the bathroom after being constipated. Flaxseed may also help reduce painful intestinal spasms.
Drinking coconut water is a great way to replace the electrolytes lost in the body due to vomiting or diarrhea. Electrolytes are minerals that help to maintain a proper balance of fluid in the body. They also keep the nervous system functioning properly. When you have an upset stomach, it is important to stay hydrated, especially if you are losing fluids. The liquids will help your body get back to normal following the symptoms of gastrointestinal viruses.
Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yogurt. It contains up to ten live cultures of probiotics that can help stimulate digestion and can help reduce the number of microbes in the stomach causing stomach pain. It tastes very similar to the yogurt you might already eat. Probiotics can help regulate bowel movements and keep your body regular. You can find kefir in most grocery stores.
Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are excellent sources of electrolytes. It is easy to become dehydrated when you have diarrhea or nausea, and sports drinks can help replace the electrolytes lost when you aren’t feeling well.
Any time you have an upset stomach, it is best to stick with clear, bland liquids. Soup broth can help keep you hydrated and is easier for the body to digest compared to other soups that you may want to eat when you aren’t feeling well. Avoid adding anything to your chicken or vegetable broth when you have an upset stomach.
Green bananas may help to alleviate diarrhea that can accompany an upset stomach. They contain a special type of fiber called resistant starch, which the body cannot digest; instead, t passes through, releasing fatty acids and making the body produce more water, softening firm stool. Green bananas can be cooked to help release the starch into the body faster. This method is shown to help children, but there isn’t enough research done to prove it will help adults.
Plain potatoes contain a bland type of starch. For an upset stomach, it is important to eat them as they are and not add butter, salt, or other toppings. Baked potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and are easier to keep down when you are vomiting. The starch in the potatoes may even help to reduce the pain in your stomach.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.