6 Fantastic foods to settle an upset stomach
An upset stomach can put a serious cramp in your style, leaving you doubled over with pain or rushing to the toilet every five minutes - diarrhoea, nausea and stomach cramps are no fun! There are a variety of different things that can cause indigestion or an upset stomach, from a virus to eating food that's past its best. It's recommended to stick to light, simple foods whilst you're recovering - soup, toast and crackers are all good options. But there are also foods you can eat which can actually help to settle an upset stomach - we've got 6 of the best to share with you.
The ultimate energy booster, bananas are loaded with potassium for a healthy heart, but they're also really easy to digest, which means they won't upset your stomach. Bananas also contain pectin, which can help to firm bowel movements; great if your stomach is out of sorts and you're suffering from diarrhoea. Plus, they're one of your five a day!
There's plenty of research to support the fact that ginger works well to fight nausea, and it can improve your digestive health too. Chewing on a piece of fresh ginger root or steeping it in hot water to create a spicy tea can help. Or take powdered ginger as is or in capsule form - it's recommended not to take more than 4g daily, 1g every 4 hours (1).
#3. Herbal tea
When you feel nauseous, bloated or have diarrhoea, steer clear of tea and coffee, which have a diuretic effect and can leave you dehydrated. Herbal teas are great - both chamomile and peppermint have beneficial effects on the stomach. In fact, one recent study revealed that peppermint can activate natural pain relief in the colon (2). It can also help to relieve IBS symptoms and banish nausea. Chamomile tea can ease abdominal pain and provide relief from an upset stomach. Not to mention, both are naturally caffeine-free, and chamomile tea can help you to relax and get a good night's sleep, even more important when you're feeling under the weather.
Dairy isn't the best choice if you have an upset stomach, but bear with us - plain yoghurt can actually be pretty beneficial. Before you start rushing out to pick up some Muller yoghurts though, it's not just any old yoghurt that will do the trick. Look for one with 'active cultures' in it, which will increase the 'good bacteria' in your gut, reducing uncomfortable bloating and aiding digestion. Organic, plain yoghurt is the best option to help bring balance back to your body.
#5. White rice
Bland foods are a go-to when your system is upset - avoid anything fatty, greasy or processed. Toast, rice, crackers and baked potatoes are all good options, and they'll leave you feeling satisfied too. Rice helps to ease diarrhoea by adding bulk to your stool and absorbing fluids - and it won't stress out your digestive system or leave you feeling bloated either.
Fruit is great for upset tummies - but be careful which fruit you choose. Papaya contains the enzymes chymopapain and papain - these can break down proteins in the body, soothing your stomach and creating an acidic environment which can aid digestion. Papaya helps with constipation, eases indigestion and encourages digestion, and you don't have to hunt for the fresh fruit. If you can't find it, most health food stores will sell papaya extract tablets - or pick some up online.
An upset stomach usually resolves itself in a few days, but eating the right foods can help to ease discomfort and make life a little easier until you feel better. If you're still experiencing nausea and diarrhoea after a few days, it's probably best to see your GP, to make sure there isn't an underlying cause - such as IBS.
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