Foods To Eat When You Have Stomach Flu

Written by Dr. Amber Jones
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The stomach flu, also known as viral gastroenteritis, can leave you feeling extremely nauseous, vomiting, and having diarrhea. While it’s important to stay hydrated when you have the stomach flu by drinking clear fluids, eating the right foods can also help reduce symptoms and help you recover faster.

However, it’s crucial to be careful with what you eat, as you’ll want to give your gastrointestinal system a bit of a break while it recovers. Gentle, easy-to-digest foods are your best options. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best foods to eat when you’re suffering from stomach flu symptoms.

List Of Best Foods To Eat When You Have Stomach Flu

BRAT Diet Foods: The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast and includes bland, gentle foods that are easy on your stomach. Bananas contain potassium which can help replace electrolytes lost from vomiting and diarrhea. White rice is easy to digest.

Applesauce provides nutrients and necessary carbs without excess fiber. Toast made from white bread also gives you carbs and calories without irritating your stomach further. Stick to plain versions of BRAT foods when sick and avoid dairy and high-fat, highly seasoned, or very sugary foods until your symptoms improve.

Best Foods To Eat When You Have Stomach Flu

Probiotic Foods: Probiotic foods contain beneficial live bacteria and yeasts that can help get your gut microbiome back on track. Some good probiotic options include plain yogurt, kefir, miso soup, sauerkraut and kimchi. Take care not to consume too much dairy if you’re experiencing diarrhea. Avoid probiotic supplements or drinks with added sugars and stick to low-fiber probiotic foods instead. Start with small amounts at first when easing back into probiotic foods until you know your stomach can tolerate them. Getting the right balance of good bacteria can help ease stomach flu symptoms like diarrhea and support your immune system function.

Hydrating Drinks: Perhaps the most important thing to consume when you have the stomach flu is clear fluids to prevent potentially dangerous dehydration. Drink water, fruit juices, sports drinks, or broth. You can help replace lost electrolytes from vomiting and diarrhea by choosing drinks like Pedialyte or coconut water. Drink small frequent sips every 5-10 minutes instead of gulping large amounts at once if you’re struggling with nausea. Popsicles and gelatin can also help you stay hydrated. Avoid dairy products and sodas though until your symptoms start improving.

Conclusion

Stomach flu can leave you feeling extremely ill, but the right dietary choices can help ease your symptoms. Stick to a bland BRAT diet in the early stages when nausea and diarrhea have you down. Slowly integrate probiotic foods like yogurt and kefir to help get your gut back into balance. Making sure to sip on clear fluids consistently is also key to avoiding dehydration.

Listen to signals from your body to determine what you can tolerate and don’t overdo it too soon on heavy, fatty, or high-fiber items. Implementing a gentle nutrition plan tailored to stomach flu recovery will have you bouncing back faster and feeling healthier sooner. Focus on nourishing your body with simple, soothing foods and drinks. Before you know it, your appetite and energy will return

Amber Jones is a sought-after dietitian nutritionist with expertise in public and community health. She holds a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and completed her dietetic internship with the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center

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