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Relief for an Upset Stomach: The Best Foods to Settle Your Digestion and what to Avoid

by Nadine
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Most people will experience an upset stomach at least once in their lives. There are many causes of stomach upset.

A stomach upset can be caused by food poisoning or viral gastroenteritis. Acute stomach upset is characterized by nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

A chronic stomach upset can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There may be diarrhea, constipation, gas, and bloating as symptoms of this disorder.

Certain foods may aggravate symptoms of upset stomach, while others may alleviate them. Learn what to eat and what to avoid when you have an upset stomach.

Foods and beverages you should consume

Here are some foods and liquids that may help settle an upset stomach or prevent further complications.



A person who suffers from diarrhea or vomiting may lose a lot of fluids. To avoid dehydration, it is important to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.

For a short period of time, doctors may recommend a clear liquid diet to settle an upset stomach.

You can replenish water and electrolytes without causing further stomach upset by drinking the following fluids:

  • plain water
  • clear broths
  • diluted fruit juice or squash
  • popsicles made from frozen diluted fruit juice
  • electrolyte drinks
  • weak tea without milk
  • herbal teas
  • Jell-O

If you suffer from constipation, you should also drink sufficient fluids. The fluids in your diet help to soften your stools, allowing them to pass through your bowels more easily. The purpose of this is to maintain regular bowel movements.

The broth

Some people may be able to tolerate a simple vegetable or bone broth if they are unable to eat or keep food down.

Glutamate is an amino acid found in bone broth. According to a 2017 study by Trusted Source, glutamine plays an important role in maintaining the intestinal barrier (IB). As a result of the IB, the body is protected from harmful pathogens and toxins. As well as aiding in the absorption of water and nutrients, it also helps the body to burn fat.

IB dysfunction is a major contributing factor to the following inflammatory diseases, according to an older review from 2009Trusted Source:

  • Allergies to food
  • The IBD
  • celiac disease


The polyphenols found in apples are antioxidants. Based on a 2015 review, polyphenols may help reduce inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. In accordance with the review, dietary polyphenols may help to:

  • Control inflammation by regulating a person’s immune response
  • Ensure that the gut lining is protected
  • Enhance the gut microbiome, which refers to trillions of microorganisms living in the digestive tract

Apples that have been stewed or turned into applesauce are easier to digest than whole apples.



After vomiting or diarrhea, bananas can replenish potassium and other electrolytes that have been lost.

Bananas are included in the “BRAT” diet, which some people recommend in the event of an upset stomach and diarrhea. In the acronym “BRAT,” bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast stand for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. As bland foods are gentle on the stomach, they may help prevent further upsets.

Green Bananas

The Ginger

When you feel nauseated, ginger can help. Fresh ginger can be sliced or grated and added to hot water to make ginger tea. You may be able to settle an upset stomach by sipping the mixture.

Additionally, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may ease IBD symptoms.

Participants with ulcerative colitis, which is a form of IBD, took daily ginger supplements in a 2019 study. A ginger supplement or a placebo supplement was administered over 12 weeks to participants with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

In comparison to placebo-takers, participants who took ginger supplements had reduced disease activity and improved quality of life.

For further confirmation of the findings, scientists need to conduct further clinical trials using different dosages and durations of ginger supplementation.


For constipation, eat linseed

The intake of fluids should be increased while taking linseed oil for constipation. Keeping a person regular should be easier with this combination.

A person can sprinkle linseed on their breakfast cereal or add the seeds to a smoothie.

If you take linseed, drink plenty of water, otherwise, your stools may become hard and bulky. Constipation may worsen as a result.

Foods rich in probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial for the digestive and immune systems. In addition to taking probiotic supplements, people can eat foods that naturally contain probiotics.

Those who have just finished a course of antibiotics, or those who are suffering from chronic digestive issues, may want to consume probiotic foods.

People with an upset stomach and bouts of vomiting and diarrhea might not benefit from probiotic-rich foods. After recovering from these issues, a person may wish to replenish their beneficial gut bacteria with probiotics

Foods rich in probiotics include:

  • Yogurt without sugar
  • kefir
  • sauerkraut
  • miso
  • tempeh
  • kombucha
  • kimchi

A list of foods to avoid 

The following foods should be avoided when experiencing or recovering from an upset stomach.

Fibers that are insoluble

Fibers come in two types: soluble and insoluble. When wet, soluble fiber becomes slimy or gel-like. When wet, insoluble fiber does not change consistency much.

Soluble fiber can benefit diarrhea and constipation, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It helps form soft, bulky stools when consumed with plenty of water. It may also be beneficial to add some insoluble fiber to the diet of people who suffer from constipation.

Because insoluble fiber speeds up the movement of food through the intestines, it can worsen diarrhea.

Chronic digestive issues may also be exacerbated by it. Before increasing insoluble fiber in the diet of someone with chronic digestive problems, they should consult their doctor or nutritionist.


Among the foods that contain soluble fiber are:

  • Bran of oats
  • barley
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • beans
  • lentils
  • peas

There are several food sources of insoluble fiber, including:

  • wheat bran
  • whole grains
  • vegetables

Foods high in FODMAPs

Electrolyte-Fortified Clear Liquids

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates that the intestines cannot absorb. Symptoms associated with FODMAPS include:

  • Pain and discomfort in the abdomen
  • bloating
  • gas and flatulence
  • changes in bowel habit

The following foods are high in FODMAPs and should be avoided:

Vegetables such as:
  • garlic
  • onions
  • beans
  • asparagus
  • avocado
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • mushrooms
  • pickled vegetables
Fruits such as
  • apples
  • pears
  • peaches
  • berries
  • ripe bananas
  • grapefruit
  • mango
  • watermelon
Meat products such as:
  • sausages
  • chorizo
products containing wheat
  • bran cereals
  • honey
  • molasses
  • sweeteners
  • dairy foods
  • soy milk
  • tea

The dairy products

Lactose is a milk sugar found in dairy products. Some people cannot digest lactose because they are lactose intolerant. After consuming dairy products, they may experience the following symptoms:

  • bloating
  • stomach rumbling
  • flatulence
  • stomach pain and cramping
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

People who are lactose intolerant should avoid consuming dairy products, such as:

  • milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt

Most supermarkets sell lactose-free dairy products suitable for people with lactose intolerance.

Relief For An Upset Stomach: The Best Foods To Settle Your Digestion And What To Avoid

Foods that are fatty and fried

If you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, you should avoid fatty and fried foods. They are difficult to digest and can worsen stomach upsets.

Foods to avoid that are greasy or fatty include:

  • Eating fast food
  • Meats with high-fat levels
  • Cream cheeses and other cheeses with high fat component
  • Milk with 2% fat, or whole milk
  • cream
  • sour cream
  • Oily, buttery, or margarine-based foods

Drinks and foods high in sugar

Taking high-sugar foods can cause dumping syndrome or rapid gastric emptying. During this process, the stomach rapidly empties its contents into the small intestine’s upper part, the duodenum.

Watery diarrhea may be a symptom of dumping syndrome. After eating high-sugar foods, they may also experience the effects of low blood sugar within 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Sugary foods and drinks to avoid include:

  • cookies
  • pastries
  • cakes
  • ice cream
  • chocolate milk
  • sugary sodas
  • sports drinks
  • fruit juices
  • most flavored yogurts


It may be difficult for someone with an upset stomach to eat anything at all. To prevent dehydration, they should drink plenty of fluids.

It is possible to satisfy hunger with bland foods without further upsetting the stomach by avoiding foods with strong tastes or odors. Electrolytes lost through vomiting or diarrhea can also be replaced by some of these foods.

It is possible for certain foods to aggravate an upset stomach or an underlying digestive disorder. Foods high in sugar, fried or fatty, and insoluble fiber are examples.

If an upset stomach persists or worsens, a person should see a doctor. It is the doctor’s responsibility to diagnose the cause and provide appropriate treatment.

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