April 24, 2024
Food & Spices

13 Foods and Drinks for When You Have the Stomach Flu

Introduction:

As gastroenteritis, another name for the stomach flu, frequently causes symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, treating the illness can be difficult. It’s important to concentrate on light, simple-to-digest foods and beverages during this period, as they can help reduce symptoms and offer much-needed nutrition. In order to help you get through the discomfort of the stomach flu, we’ll look at 17 calming foods and beverages that are easy on the stomach.

1. Clear Liquids

Clear liquids are an essential component of maintaining hydration and replenishing lost fluids, especially during times of illness, physical activity, or recovery. These fluids play a crucial role in supporting bodily functions, regulating temperature, and facilitating nutrient absorption. Clear liquids encompass a variety of beverages that are transparent and free of solid particles, making them easily digestible and suitable for individuals with sensitive stomachs or dietary restrictions.
Water is the primary and most fundamental clear liquid, serving as the foundation for hydration. It is essential for maintaining fluid balance, supporting cellular function, and promoting overall health. Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea, provide hydration along with additional benefits derived from their natural compounds. Chamomile tea, for example, is known for its calming properties, while ginger tea can help soothe nausea and aid digestion.
Clear broths, including chicken broth, vegetable broth, or bone broth, are nutritious options that provide hydration along with essential electrolytes and minerals. These broths are easy to digest and can help replenish electrolyte stores, making them particularly beneficial during illness or periods of physical exertion. Additionally, electrolyte drinks, such as sports drinks or rehydration solutions, are formulated to restore electrolyte balance and optimize hydration levels, making them suitable for individuals engaging in prolonged or intense physical activity.
During illness, especially conditions involving vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, clear liquids are often recommended to prevent dehydration and promote recovery. Clear fluids are gentle on the digestive system and provide essential hydration without overloading the stomach. As symptoms improve, individuals can gradually transition to a more varied diet while continuing to prioritize hydration.

2. Coconut Water

Coconut water is a refreshing and natural beverage that offers hydration and replenishment of electrolytes, making it a popular choice for staying hydrated, especially during times of illness or physical exertion. This clear liquid is derived from the liquid inside young, green coconuts and is renowned for its hydrating properties.
Rich in electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium, coconut water helps restore the body’s electrolyte balance, making it particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. These electrolytes play crucial roles in maintaining proper fluid balance, supporting muscle function, and regulating nerve impulses.
Moreover, coconut water is low in calories and free of added sugars and artificial additives, making it a healthy and natural hydration option. Its mild flavor and refreshing taste make it enjoyable to consume, even for those with sensitive stomachs.
Overall, coconut water stands out as a hydrating beverage that not only quenches thirst but also helps replenish essential electrolytes lost during illness or physical activity. Its natural composition and hydrating properties make it an excellent choice for supporting hydration and promoting recovery.

3. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is revered for its soothing properties and is often used to alleviate nausea and calm an upset stomach. Made by steeping fresh ginger slices or grated ginger in hot water, this simple yet potent beverage offers a natural remedy for digestive discomfort.
Ginger contains bioactive compounds such as gingerol and shogaol, which have anti-inflammatory and antiemetic properties. These compounds help relax the gastrointestinal muscles, alleviate nausea, and promote digestive health. Additionally, ginger has been found to accelerate gastric emptying, reducing the likelihood of indigestion and bloating.
Preparing ginger tea is straightforward. Simply peel and slice fresh ginger root or grate it finely, then steep it in hot water for several minutes. The longer the steeping time, the stronger the flavor and potency of the tea. Many people choose to add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey to enhance the taste and further soothe the throat and stomach.

4. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is renowned for its soothing and calming properties, making it a popular choice for promoting relaxation and relieving various digestive issues. This herbal tea is derived from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for stomach cramps, indigestion, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
The calming effects of chamomile tea are attributed to its bioactive compounds, including chamazulene, apigenin, and bisabolol. These compounds possess anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and carminative properties, which help relax the digestive system, reduce muscle spasms, and alleviate discomfort.
Drinking chamomile tea can provide relief from symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramps by promoting smoother digestion and reducing gastrointestinal inflammation. Additionally, chamomile tea’s mild and pleasant flavor makes it a soothing beverage that can be enjoyed hot or cold, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking relief from digestive issues.
To prepare chamomile tea, simply steep dried chamomile flowers in hot water for several minutes, allowing the beneficial compounds to infuse into the water. Many people choose to add a touch of honey or a slice of lemon to enhance the flavor and further soothe the stomach.

5. Bone Broth

Bone broth is a nutrient-dense liquid made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water for an extended period. This slow cooking process extracts valuable nutrients, minerals, and gelatin from the bones, resulting in a flavorful and nourishing broth. Bone broth is revered for its ability to provide essential nutrients in an easily digestible form, making it an ideal choice for individuals experiencing digestive discomfort, such as during the stomach flu.
One of the key components of bone broth is collagen, a protein found in connective tissue that plays a crucial role in gut health and repair. Collagen helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal lining, supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and may help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Consuming bone broth can provide these essential nutrients and promote healing and recovery during times of gastrointestinal distress.
Additionally, bone broth is rich in amino acids, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and other trace nutrients that support overall health and well-being. Its gentle and nourishing properties make it a comforting and therapeutic beverage for soothing an upset stomach and providing essential hydration and nutrients during illness.

6. Bananas

Bananas are a go-to option for individuals experiencing digestive upset, such as during the stomach flu, thanks to their gentle nature and nutrient-rich profile. Easily digestible and gentle on the stomach, bananas offer a source of energy and essential nutrients that can support recovery and provide relief from gastrointestinal discomfort.
One of the key benefits of bananas during the stomach flu is their high potassium content. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions in the body. During episodes of vomiting and diarrhea, electrolyte levels can become depleted, leading to symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Consuming bananas can help replenish potassium stores and restore electrolyte balance, promoting hydration and supporting overall well-being.
Additionally, bananas are rich in carbohydrates, which provide a readily available source of energy to fuel the body during illness. Their natural sweetness and soft texture make them easy to tolerate, even when the appetite is reduced. Bananas also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, further enhancing their nutritional value and potential benefits for digestive health.
Overall, bananas are a convenient and nutritious option for individuals seeking relief from stomach flu symptoms. Whether eaten alone or added to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt, bananas offer a tasty and comforting way to support hydration, replenish electrolytes, and promote recovery during times of gastrointestinal distress.

7. Applesauce

Applesauce is a gentle and easily digestible food option that can offer energy and hydration during episodes of stomach flu or gastrointestinal upset. Made from cooked and pureed apples, applesauce provides a source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that can help replenish energy stores and support recovery.
One of the primary benefits of applesauce during the stomach flu is its soft and smooth texture, which makes it easy on the stomach and gentle on the digestive system. Unlike whole fruits, which may be difficult to tolerate during bouts of nausea or vomiting, applesauce is less likely to trigger digestive discomfort or exacerbate symptoms.
Opting for unsweetened varieties of applesauce is advisable during the stomach flu, as added sugars or sweeteners may aggravate gastrointestinal symptoms. Unsweetened applesauce retains the natural sweetness of apples without the need for additional sugars, making it a suitable choice for individuals looking to minimize potential irritants and promote digestive comfort.
Additionally, applesauce contains pectin, a soluble fiber found in apples that can help regulate digestion and promote bowel regularity. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing diarrhea or loose stools during the stomach flu, as it may help firm up stools and alleviate gastrointestinal distress.
Overall, applesauce serves as a convenient and nourishing option for individuals seeking relief from stomach flu symptoms. Whether eaten on its own or paired with toast, crackers, or rice, unsweetened applesauce offers a comforting and easy-to-digest food choice that can provide energy, hydration, and support during periods of gastrointestinal upset.

8. White Rice

White rice is a simple and easily digestible staple that serves as a gentle and soothing option for calming an upset stomach and providing essential energy during times of gastrointestinal distress. This versatile grain has long been recognized for its bland flavor and soft texture, making it a popular choice for individuals seeking relief from digestive discomfort or seeking a source of easily digestible carbohydrates.
One of the key benefits of white rice during episodes of stomach upset is its blandness and mild taste. Unlike heavily seasoned or spicy foods, which may exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms, plain white rice is unlikely to irritate the stomach or trigger digestive issues. Its neutral flavor makes it easy to tolerate, even when experiencing nausea or loss of appetite.
Moreover, white rice is composed primarily of simple carbohydrates, which are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body, providing a rapid source of energy. This can be particularly beneficial during periods of reduced appetite or when energy levels are depleted due to illness. Consuming white rice can help replenish energy stores and support overall well-being during recovery.
Another advantage of white rice is its low fiber content. While fiber is essential for digestive health under normal circumstances, it can be difficult to tolerate during episodes of stomach upset, as it may worsen symptoms such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. White rice, being low in fiber, is gentle on the digestive system and less likely to exacerbate gastrointestinal discomfort.

9. Toast

Plain toast or crackers are commonly recommended as a go-to option for calming an upset stomach and providing easily digestible carbohydrates for energy. These bland and easily tolerated foods offer a gentle and comforting option for individuals experiencing gastrointestinal distress or seeking relief from digestive discomfort.
One of the primary benefits of toast or crackers during episodes of stomach upset is their mild flavor and soft texture. Unlike rich or heavily seasoned foods, which may aggravate nausea or gastrointestinal symptoms, plain toast or crackers are less likely to irritate the stomach or trigger digestive issues. Their blandness makes them easy to tolerate, even when experiencing reduced appetite or nausea.
Moreover, toast and crackers provide a source of carbohydrates, which are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body, providing a rapid source of energy. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing fatigue or weakness due to illness or digestive upset. Consuming toast or crackers can help replenish energy stores and support overall well-being during recovery.
Additionally, the dry and absorbent nature of toast and crackers can help absorb excess stomach acid and provide a sense of relief from symptoms such as nausea or indigestion. Their simplicity and convenience make them a convenient and practical option for individuals seeking relief from stomach upset or looking for a light and easily digestible snack.

10. Boiled Potatoes

Boiled potatoes are a comforting and easily digestible food choice, particularly during bouts of stomach flu or gastrointestinal upset. With their bland flavor and soft texture, boiled potatoes offer a gentle option for providing sustenance and replenishing energy levels without exacerbating digestive symptoms.
One of the primary advantages of boiled potatoes during the stomach flu is their simplicity and ease of digestion. Unlike fried or heavily seasoned potato dishes, boiled potatoes are free from added fats, oils, and spices that may irritate the stomach or aggravate nausea. Their mild taste makes them easy to tolerate, even for individuals experiencing reduced appetite or gastrointestinal discomfort.
Moreover, boiled potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, which are essential for providing energy and supporting overall well-being during illness. Carbohydrates are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body, providing a readily available source of fuel to support recovery and promote healing.
When preparing boiled potatoes during the stomach flu, it’s important to avoid adding butter, oil, or spices that may exacerbate symptoms or increase digestive distress. Instead, opt for plain boiled potatoes seasoned with a pinch of salt, if desired, to enhance flavor without overwhelming the stomach.
Overall, boiled potatoes offer a gentle and nourishing option for individuals seeking relief from stomach flu symptoms or looking for a bland and easily digestible food choice. Whether eaten alone or paired with other gentle foods such as plain chicken or steamed vegetables, boiled potatoes provide comfort and sustenance during periods of gastrointestinal upset.

11. Boiled or Steamed Vegetables

Boiled or steamed vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, and spinach, offer a nutritious and easily digestible option for individuals seeking to provide essential nutrients and fiber during periods of stomach upset or gastrointestinal distress. These cooked vegetables are gentle on the stomach and can help support overall well-being without exacerbating digestive symptoms.
One of the primary benefits of boiled or steamed vegetables during episodes of stomach upset is their soft texture and mild flavor. Unlike raw or heavily seasoned vegetables, which may be difficult to digest or irritate the stomach, cooked vegetables are tender and easier for the digestive system to process. This makes them suitable for individuals experiencing nausea, bloating, or other gastrointestinal discomfort.
Moreover, boiled or steamed vegetables are rich in essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These nutrients are important for supporting immune function, promoting digestive health, and providing energy during illness. Additionally, the fiber content of cooked vegetables can help regulate digestion and promote bowel regularity, which may be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing constipation or irregularity due to stomach flu or gastrointestinal upset.
When preparing boiled or steamed vegetables during periods of stomach upset, it’s important to avoid adding excessive spices, oils, or sauces that may irritate the stomach or exacerbate symptoms. Instead, opt for plain cooked vegetables seasoned lightly with salt or herbs, if desired, to enhance flavor without overwhelming the digestive system.

12. Honey

Honey is a natural sweetener renowned for its soothing properties, making it a popular remedy for alleviating symptoms of a sore throat and providing a source of energy during bouts of the stomach flu. This golden liquid is not only delicious but also offers several potential benefits for individuals experiencing discomfort or fatigue due to illness.
One of the primary advantages of honey during the stomach flu is its ability to soothe a sore throat. The thick and viscous consistency of honey coats the throat, providing relief from irritation and reducing coughing. Additionally, honey has antimicrobial properties that may help inhibit the growth of bacteria and soothe inflamed tissues in the throat, further contributing to its throat-soothing effects.
Moreover, honey serves as a natural source of energy due to its carbohydrate content, primarily in the form of fructose and glucose. Consuming honey can provide a quick source of fuel for the body, helping to replenish energy levels and combat fatigue associated with illness. Whether added to herbal teas or consumed on its own, honey offers a convenient and delicious way to boost energy and promote overall well-being during the stomach flu.
When selecting honey for consumption during illness, it’s important to choose raw, unprocessed varieties whenever possible, as they retain more of the natural enzymes and antioxidants present in the honey. Additionally, individuals with allergies to bee products should exercise caution when consuming honey and consult with a healthcare professional if unsure. Overall, honey can be a soothing and nourishing addition to the diet during times of illness, providing comfort and energy when needed most.

13. Yogurt

Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a valuable addition to the diet, particularly during the stomach flu, as it contains probiotics that can aid in restoring the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and promote digestive health. Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts, and yogurt is one of the richest natural sources of these beneficial bacteria.
The probiotics found in yogurt, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, help replenish and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, which can become disrupted during illness or antibiotic use. By supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, yogurt may help alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea, bloating, and discomfort.
Furthermore, yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, making it a nutritious and easily digestible food choice during periods of illness. Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it gentle on the stomach and suitable for individuals experiencing digestive discomfort or loss of appetite.
When choosing yogurt for consumption during the stomach flu, it’s important to opt for plain, unsweetened varieties, as added sugars or artificial sweeteners may exacerbate symptoms or disrupt gut health. Additionally, individuals with lactose intolerance should choose lactose-free or probiotic yogurt alternatives to minimize digestive discomfort.
Overall, plain, unsweetened yogurt serves as a convenient and nourishing option for supporting digestive health and promoting overall well-being during episodes of gastrointestinal upset. Whether eaten alone or incorporated into smoothies, soups, or dips, yogurt can provide probiotics and essential nutrients to support recovery and restore gut health during illness.

Conclusion:

When dealing with the stomach flu, it’s essential to focus on gentle, easily digestible foods and drinks that can help alleviate symptoms and provide nourishment. Incorporating these 17 soothing foods and drinks into your diet can help you stay hydrated, replenish lost nutrients, and support your body’s recovery during this challenging time. Remember to listen to your body, take it slow, and gradually reintroduce solid foods as your symptoms improve. If symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to seek medical attention for proper evaluation and treatment.