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food for upset stomach, food to avoid with upset stomach, food good for stomach

What to eat and avoid if you have an upset stomach

We have all been affected by an upset stomach one time or the other. Cramps, diarrhoea and indigestion are just a few of the symptoms that leave us feeling drained and sick. Thankfully in most cases, upset stomachs can be easily treated by adjusting our diet a little. So, hasten your recovery by just following a few dietary tips when you have an upset stomach.  

Must-haves to treat an upset stomach 

  1. Semi-solid foods
    If your body is finding it tough to digest solid foods, don’t force it. Instead, opt for foods like soups and coconut water to get the necessary nutrients without stressing your stomach. You also end up losing a lot of fluid, especially if you are experiencing diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Hence, you may need to increase your fluid intake to keep yourself hydrated.  
  2. White rice
    Since white rice is a refined carbohydrate and low in fibre, it can help treat common symptoms of diarrhoea. It is also easy to digest making it a go to food choice during an upset stomach.  
  3. Toast
    Plain toast made from white flour can help neutralise excess stomach acids and relieve the symptoms of diarrhoea. It is easy to digest and contains low fibre. Avoid having breads made of whole grain as they are fibre rich and can exacerbate diarrhoea. 
  4. Bananas
    Bananas are an age-old remedy for an upset stomach. Their natural antacid properties make them an ideal fruit to treat indigestion. Their high potassium content also stimulates mucus production of mucus in the stomach to decrease irritation of the stomach lining.

food for upset stomach, food to avoid with upset stomach, food good for stomach

Absolutely must-not haves during a stomach upset. 

  1. Dairy products
    Dairy products like milk and cheese are high in fat, hence hard to digest. Yogurt on the other hand is an exception as it is rich in probiotics, good bacteria and yeast to fight stomach infections. For best results try having curd rice during this time. 
  2. Fried foods
    Fried foods are tough on the stomach as they are rich in oils and fats. They can worsen the upset stomach by irritating the stomach lining.  
  3. Raw fruits and vegetables
    On all other days, raw fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet. They are rich in vitamins and stimulate bowel movement as they are rich in fibre. This is also why it can worsen diarrhoea. So, lay off fruits and raw vegetables till your stomach becomes better.  
  4. Acidic foods and drinks
    Acidic food can irritate the stomach lining, worsening the condition. It can also cause severe acidity, reflux, heartburn and nausea. This includes citrus fruits, caffeinated beverages and alcohol.  

The best way to deal with an upset stomach is to have plenty of fluids and stick to easily digestible bland soft food. Choose some comforting “khichidi” or curd rice for your meals with a side of buttermilk till the symptoms abate. If you don’t see your condition becoming better after a few days, seek medical attention or consult with your doctor to rule out any other condition.  

Read: Causes of stomach ache after eating

FAQs

Ques 1: What should I eat for an upset stomach?
Ans: If you are suffering from an upset stomach it is better to opt for semi solid bland food which is easy to digest. This includes white rice, plain bread, yogurt and bananas. Reduce your salt consumption and drink plenty of fluids (water is the best).

Ques 2: Why do I always have an upset stomach after drinking milk or eating cheese?

Ans: If you feel uncomfortable, bloated, nauseated, etc whenever you have foods with dairy products, chances are that you might be lactose intolerant. Try switching for dairy-free alternatives such as soy/almond milk, tofu, etc to see if the symptoms abate. If not, consult your doctor to test for possible causes.

Dr Mayank Madan
Author: Dr Mayank Madan
Dr Mayank Madan is an expert surgeon specializing in laparoscopic procedures, CBD exploration, TEP/TAPP hernia repair. He has over 19 years of experience across some of the most prestigious medical institutions across the country. He is also one of the most preferred surgeons to perform bariatric procedures such as sleeve gastrectomies and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. His areas of interest include bariatric & metabolic surgeries, laparoscopic colo-rectal, hernia repair & hepatobiliary surgeries and GI surgeries.
 
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