When your stomach is upset, it is helpful to have some food options that are not going to make matters worse. Foods high in protein and fiber can be tough to digest and gas-producing. It is usually better to avoid meat, beans and certain fruits when you are feeling bloated or sick. Once your symptoms clear up, adding these foods back to your diet slowly can make the transition easier on your digestive system.
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Low Residue Food Suggestions
If you are experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, low-fiber foods leave very little residue in your GI tract. This can be helpful for resting your gut. Drink clear fruit juices without pulp, like cranberry, apple and grape juice. Mix them with clear sodas, like ginger ale or club soda, to make a spritzer. You can also freeze juice into popsicles. While you might want to lay off the ice cream, sherbert is easy to digest. Tea with honey can help also help settle your stomach, but you might want to avoid coffee and milk until you start feeling better.
Gelatin is another clear liquid option. Try broth-based soups with white noodles and well-done carrots. Broth is a good option to help you get hydrated because it contains sodium. After water loss from diarrhea or vomiting, having fluids with minute amounts of salt or sugar can help you rehydrate faster. Try white crackers with your soup, like saltines or oyster crackers. Avoid hearty whole-grain crackers or those with seeds until you are feeling better because these tend to be high in fiber. Pretzels and toasted pita chips are other good snacks to crunch on.
While it is normally nutritious to choose brown rice and whole-grain pasta, you may want to stick to refined carbohydrates when you are not feeling well. Have macaroni with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or some plain white rice. Toast up white bread and spread a little jelly. You may be able to tolerate small amounts of apple sauce with cinnamon as well. Many commercial snack foods are high in refined carbohydrates and low in protein and fiber. Check the nutrition facts label on granola bars and breakfast cereals for an easily-digested snack.
The types of foods that are easy to digest are not meant to be the basis of your diet for the long term. Clear liquids and refined grains are missing many important nutrients. Avoiding protein and fiber can be helpful in the short-term for resting your gastrointestinal tract. If your symptoms do not get better after a few days, seek medical attention. Dehydration is a dangerous consequence of stomach bugs so try to get adequate fluids, even if you cannot tolerate solid food.