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25 Food To Eat When You Have Food Poisoning

| Reviewed By Karthika Thirugnanam

Food poisoning(FP) is a foodborne illness caused due to the consumption of contaminated water or foods that contain infectious bacteria, virus, parasites or their toxins. The symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating or vomiting start within hours. Food poisoning symptoms can be mild or serious.

Home remedies for food poisoning are mainly for mild cases. They can help relax the stomach and flush out the toxins. Here are the foods to eat when you have food poisoning or mild food poisoning symptoms.

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1. Coconut Water

Coconut water is an excellent rehydrating solution as it serves the purpose of replacing lost electrolytes. The first symptoms of FP are generally vomiting or diarrhoea that result in fluid and electrolyte loss. Coconut water helps maintain/replenish fluid levels and soothes the stomach. The lauric acid in coconut water may also help kill the harmful foodborne pathogens. [1]

What to do: Drink coconut water early in the morning on an empty stomach.


2. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a quick remedy to reduce food poisoning symptoms. The antimicrobial agents in ginger may help fight the foodborne pathogens and speed up the recovery process.

What to do: Prepare ginger tea by boiling the herb in water. Consume 2-3 cups a day. You can also mix it with a small amount of honey for better results or chew a small piece of raw ginger.


3. Banana

A bland diet (soft, low fat, low dietary fibre and non-spicy) is recommended by a medical experts to treat food poisoning symptoms. Banana, fits these requirements perfectly and hence can help treat nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, heartburn and any kind of bowel disturbances caused due to FP. [2]

What to do: Consume a ripe banana 1-2 times a day or as needed depending on overall oral intake.


4. Tulsi Juice

Tulsi has multiple biologically active compounds. The antimicrobial agents in tulsi inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that commonly causes FP. Tulsi leaves may help reduce stomach pain related to foodborne microbes. [3]

What to do: Boil a few tulsi leaves in water and prepare tulsi water. You can also crush the leaves to extract a tsp of the juice, mix them with a small amount of honey and consume.


5. Turmeric

This bright yellow spice has numerous useful properties. A study has shown that curcumin, the principle curcuminoid in turmeric has antibacterial and antiviral activity against various strains of Staphylococcus bacteria. It may help relax the stomach and relieve FP symptoms as well as boost the immune system for a quick recovery. [4]

What to do: Drink turmeric water every morning.


6. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed/boiled potatoes fit well in a soft and bland diet that helps control diarrhoea associated with FP. The bland flavour of mashed potatoes prevent further aggravation of the stomach and helps with digestion.

What to do: Boil a potato, remove its peel, mash and consume with a dash of salt to taste.


7. Garlic With Water

Garlic is loaded with antimicrobial compounds. Its consumption may help kill the pathogens responsible for FP and treat diarrhoea and improper digestion.

What to do: Take a clove of garlic with a glass of water early in the morning.


8. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds (methi) may treat or reduce FP symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, stomach pain, loss of appetite and diarrhoea. Their natural digestive properties help soothe the belly and intestines and boost the metabolism for a quicker recovery.

What to do: Dry roast the seeds for 1-2 minutes and then blend them. Mix 1 teaspoon of the fenugreek powder in warm water and drink every morning.


9. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegarhas an alkaline effect due to the way itismetabolised in the body, although it is acidic in nature. Thus, itcanalleviate variousfood poisoningsymptoms. Itcan soothe the gastrointestinal lining, kill the bacteria and provide quick relief to FP symptoms.

What to do: Mix a teaspoon of ACV in a glass of warm water and consume 1-2 times a day.


10. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has antimicrobial activities against multiple strains of pathogens related to FP, especially Staphylococcus aureus. Consuming lemon juice may give much relief to the stomach and helps flush out the microbes. [5] This is why, it is considered one among the best home remedies for food poisoning symptoms.

What to do: Mix lemon juice in warm water and consume early morning.


11. Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

Cumin seeds may help reduce both the stomach discomfort and pain caused due to FP. They also help cleanse the digestive system in a short period.

What to do: Either soak the seeds in water overnight and consume in the morning or boil a teaspoon of seeds in water and consume.


12. Rice Or Rice Water

Rice water is the best food choices to prevent your body from dehydration. It may help restore fluids lost due to vomiting or diarrhoea associated with FP. Rice water decreases the frequency and volume of stool and relaxes the digestive system.

What to do: Take around 3 tablespoons of rice and two cups of water. Boil them and when the solution turns milky, strain the water and drink when cooled.


13. Oats

Low-fibre oats can be a good choice during food poisoning as oats may help settle the stomach and ease many symptoms of stomach upset caused by FP. They are also filled with nutrients and can help improve the immunity function.

What to do: Either boil oats in water or soak overnight and consume in the morning.


14. Pineapple

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that facilitates digestion. It is a natural remedy for many digestive problems, such as bloating, diarrhoea and nausea. [6] Pineapple is one among the best home remedies for mild food poisoning symptoms.

What to do: Consume a bowl of fresh pineapple if you notice diarrhoea right after a meal.


15. Sweet Potato

Sweet potato contains a considerable amount of soluble fibre which is easily digestible by the stomach. It also contains potassium which helps maintain the lost electrolyte. It also improves the stomach flora that contributes to healthy digestion.

What to do: Boil sweet potatoes and consume after mashing them. You can add salt for a better taste.


16. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is rich in probiotics that help maintain the normal flora of the intestines. Consuming low-fat yoghurt may help relieve diarrhoea and soothes the stomach. [7] But be cautious with this choice as lactose (sugar found in dairy products) can occasionally exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms.

What to do: Consume plain low-fat yoghurt if you observe FP symptoms.


17. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent antacid that may offer quick relief from stomach problems caused due to FP. It helps relieve symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux and facilitates digestion. Caution, avoid taking it in excess amounts as it may cause other abnormalities such as constipation. [8]

What to do: Mix around one-fourth tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and have it. Take it at least after one hour from the meal.


18. Orange

Orange is a citrus fruits that may help settle the stomach in a shorter period. Caution, avoid taking excessive amounts as it may increase heartburn and acid reflux.

What to do: Consume a few slices of orange if you observe FP symptoms after a meal. Avoid taking it in an empty stomach.


19. Honey

Honey is a natural antibiotic that may help kill the bacteria responsible for FP. It relieves diarrhoea, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and other digestive disorders. This is why, honey is considered one among the best home remedies to cure food poisoning.

What to do: Consume a tsp of honey at least thrice a day.


20. Fennel Seeds

The amazing benefits of fennel seeds for stomach are well-known. They relax theintestinal muscles, ease bloating and prevent stomach cramps.

What to do: Prepare fennel seed tea by adding a teaspoon of fennel seeds in water and boiling. Avoid consuming in excess amounts.


21. Oregano Oil

The natural antimicrobial properties of oregano oil may help fight bacteria that cause FP. It is also beneficial to gut health and improves symptoms like pain and diarrhoea. [9]

What to do: Pour 1-2 drops of oregano oil in a cup of water and consume. Essential oils may cause certain side effects. It is better to consult a health expert before.


22. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea may soothe the upset stomach caused by FP and hydrates the body. The tea also soothes the liver and improves digestion.

What to do: Sip peppermint tea between meals.


23. Clove

Cloves help relieve nausea and are excellent for digestion. The antimicrobial activity of the herb may help kill bacteria known for causing FP.

What to do: Chew one or two cloves if you observe FP symptoms. You can also make tea by boiling a few cloves in water.


24. Cinnamon

Cinnamon may help combat FP symptoms, especially nausea and vomiting. Its effectiveness against E.coli bacteria may also help treat the condition in a shorter period.

What to do: Boil a few pieces of cinnamon in water and consume. Add honey for a better taste.


25. Chamomile Tea

The tea is known to relax the digestive muscles and may help treat FP symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, flatulence and indigestion. [10]

What to do: Prepare chamomile tea by adding a teaspoon of dried leaves in a cup of water and boil.


Foods To Avoid During Food Poisoning

  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods like chips
  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods

Common FAQs

1. How long does food poisoning last?

Food poisoning symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea usually lasts for one or two days. Simple home remedies like coconut water, lemon juice, banana and tulsi water can help reduce the symptoms and speed up the recovery. However, if FP symptoms exceed two days, it is better to consult a medical expert.

2. What can I eat if I have food poisoning?

If you have food poisoning, it is better to eat bland foods like banana, rice or other low fat, non-spicy and low fibre foods. Drink fluids that help soothe the belly such as coconut water, basil juice, ginger water or turmeric water.

Karthika ThirugnanamClinical Nutritionist and Dietitian
Karthika Thirugnanam
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