FOODS AND DRINKS TO TAKE WHEN STOMACH FLU STRIKES
Stomach flu is a common problem globally, resulting in some 19-21 million cases per year. When it leads to abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, clear drinks, electrolytic beverages, ginger, broth-based soups, and tea are some of the foods/drinks that will help you handle the situation and bounce back faster.
Stomach flu is a stomach problem caused by the Norovirus microorganism. It affects many people globally, causing some 19-21 million cases yearly. It surfaces as diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramping, and abdominal pain. As the severity and frequency of these symptoms increase, you may want to prevent further complications and help the body bounce back faster. Tea, ice chips, broth-based foods, vinegar, ginger, electrolytic beverages, etc., are some of the drinks and foods you may take to handle the situation. Here is an entire list of what you can have when stomach flu strikes.
i. Clear drinks
These are technically ‘clear’ drinks and are made up of water and carbs only. They are practically ideal for stomach flu, especially when having diarrhea or vomiting. For instance, sports drinks, clear fruit juices made from cranberries, apples, etc., decaffeinated tea, oral rehydration salts, and coconut water, among many others. These drinks will help the body replenish the lost fluids, preventing further dehydration.
ii. A mixture of cinnamon and turmeric
Cinnamon and turmeric are popularly known as good spices which add special seasonings and tastes to food. Indeed, they are good additions to food that will bring out the best in what you eat. Still, they can help you when having stomach flu since studies have revealed that they have some unique potential to outweigh the signs and symptoms of gastroenteritis. You only need to grate them, mix them together, and add some water to them, and you are good to go.
iii. Electrolyte beverages
Electrolytes are electrically-charged minerals the body needs to control muscle contraction, regulate blood pressure, and balance fluids in the blood plasma. As you vomit or have diarrhea because of stomach flu, the body’s electrolyte balance is messed up. Consequently, you need to boost the balance by taking in electrolyte beverages such as oral rehydration salts (for infants) or oral rehydration salt solutions (for adults). These beverages are packed with water, sugar, and salt, adding all the electrolytes the body needs to keep functioning.
Cancer patients, pregnant women, and people with motion sickness and experienced nausea have used ginger from time to time to alleviate nausea. You can also use this root when you have stomach flu and expect the same results. What’s more, ginger is versatile and can be taken raw, as an ingredient in tea, in powdered form as a spice, in candies, or as ginger ale. Besides, you can find ginger tinctures, capsules, and syrups, all of which have concentrated forms of ginger. However, these may worsen diarrhea during stomach flu, and you need to avoid them. Contrastingly, you can grate ginger or steep it into tea to alleviate nausea.
v. Bland foods
Bland foods compromise easily digestible picks that add no strain to the already-troubled stomach. There are a number of these, including tofu, tempeh, low-fat dairy products, cream, pudding, fruit juices, and lean meats, including chicken or skinless fish. Besides, you can also prepare bland vegetables, including beans, beet, and spinach. As you do this, remember to keep the fat content low since more fats will worsen the stomach flu symptoms.
vi. Ice chips
Sucking ice chips is probably the commonest way of preventing stomach flu symptoms from worsening and for every good reason. When Norovirus causes you to vomit or diarrhea, you lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes, which you need to replenish fast. However, you might also find it hard to hold down any drink or food due to vomiting and nausea. Ice chips come in handy since you suck them slowly and add water to the system bit by bit. As such, you might think of them as the first option when stomach flu strikes.
vii. Peppermint tea
Teas, including peppermint tea, might be what you need when stomach flu strikes. Peppermint tea has an aromatic smell, and feeling its oil could go a long way to ease your nausea. As such, many people, including athletes, have used it to remedy nausea while doing deep breathing exercises. Besides, the tea is heavily packed with liquids, and that’s exactly what the body needs when stomach flu leaves you vomiting or passing out diarrhea. While studies on this function may be limited, there is no harm in trying the tea.
viii. Broths and broth-based soups
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, broths and broth-based foods are the best picks when stomach flu strikes. This is because they are heavily laden with electrolytes, including sodium, and this is exactly what the body needs to replenish the fluids lost as you vomit and diarrhea. Besides, they are easily digestible and will add no strain to the already-troubled stomach.
ix. Boiled starches
Stomach flu results in losing a lot of energy, and you need to replenish the lost energy. Taking boiled starches is definitely a good way to boost your carb stores. Why not boil some cereals without salt, oats, or potatoes? They should be easy to just but great for the stomach.
When stomach flu leaves you vomiting, passing out diarrhea, or nauseous, taking fruits is an ideal way to rehydrate and re-introduce sugar to the system without worsening the situation. Fruits such as watermelon, melons, peaches, and strawberries have 88.3%- 91.45% water and will help the body rehydrate faster. As usual, remember to keep the portion sizes low to help the stomach hold down the intake without a struggle.
Probiotics are a group of bacteria taken to improve the balance of good bacteria in the body. This way, the gut’s health is improved, and one’s overall well-being is equally bettered. However, you should only take probiotics when advised by the doctor, especially when you have stomach flu. Of course, you may take them anytime when you are not sick. Miso, sauerkraut, and non-dairy yogurt are three examples of probiotics that will go a long way to improve your stomach condition and stop diarrhea.
Stomach flu is a viral infection caused by Norovirus that results in vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and other forms of discomfort. Knowing what to eat when managing stomach flu symptoms helps prevent the situation from worsening. Electrolyte beverages, clear drinks, ginger, bland foods, teas, probiotics, broths, and broth-based soups are among the major picks you might opt for in times of stomach flu.