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What is the Best Diet for Upset Stomach?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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An upset stomach can be caused by a number of factors, but in many cases will eventually go away on its own. The key to a safe, speedy recovery from nausea or digestive discomfort is following an appropriate diet for upset stomach that will provide some nutrients and calories while not overtaxing a person's digestive system. In severe cases of upset stomach, when there has been significant vomiting, consuming solid foods may not be appropriate, and doctors may recommend that the sick person suck on ice chips or hard candy or sip plain water. As the sick person begins to recover, a liquid diet may be a good way to transition to solid food. Once solid foods are reintroduced, they should ideally be bland, low in fat and fiber, and easy to digest.

People who are getting over an upset stomach may want to adopt a liquid diet at first. They can drink clear liquids, such as weak tea with sugar, flat sodas, and sports drinks. Ginger for upset stomach is a common folk remedy, and both ginger-flavored teas and ginger ale are easy to find in the stores. Flavored gelatin can also be a good option if someone feels like eating but isn't yet up to consuming solid food. Most dairy products, as well highly seasoned or fatty foods, should generally be avoided.

If the liquid diet proves to be well tolerated, it may be time to introduce the BRAT diet. BRAT is an acronym for the first letters of the four recommended foods for upset stomach recovery: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. This diet for upset stomach is recommended because each of these foods is bland, digests easily, and can bulk up stools and thus aid in controlling diarrhea. In addition, bananas contain potassium, which can help restore a person's electrolyte balance.

Some health professionals recommend a few modifications to the BRAT diet for upset stomach. The BRATY diet includes yogurt, which contains helpful bacteria that can be very beneficial to the digestive system. The BRATT diet, on the other hand, adds tea to the regimen. It should be noted, however, that while many doctors prescribe this limited, bland diet for upset stomach in adults, not all agree that such a diet is nutritionally appropriate for children. As such, parents should talk to their pediatrician about what to feed their children as they recover from their illness.

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Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By bagley79 — On Jun 09, 2011

I was having some problems with upset stomach and figured it was from heartburn from eating greasy foods too soon before going to bed. A friend of mine said the best heartburn remedies she knew of were to avoid the three C's - carbonation, caffeine and chocolate.

I did not like to hear this because I love all three of them! I have heard that carbonation is not good for you if you have heartburn problems. That is easier for me to give up than the chocolate.

By John57 — On Jun 07, 2011

I think it is helpful to know why your stomach is upset to know which foods to add or avoid. Changing your diet and trying some upset stomach remedies such as ginger tea can help.

Also, if you know that you are lactose intolerant, then you know to stay away from dairy products that may cause you to have an upset stomach. Many times people will know which foods can cause them to have problems, and will avoid them so they don't continue to have an upset stomach.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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