Foods for Upset Stomach: What to Eat (and What to Avoid)

When your stomach is hurting, and you feel like you are going to throw up, the last thing you want to do is find something to eat. Whether you’ve got just a little stomach discomfort or your stomach ache is associated with other symptoms, it is important that you are selective about choosing the right foods for upset stomach. The wrong food choices could contribute to other symptoms, including indigestion, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, or bloating.

Why is Your Stomach Upset?

Stomach problems can be caused by a variety of issues, and the treatment should vary depending on the underlying reason why the stomach is upset. Some of the most common causes of an upset stomach include:

  • Motion sickness
  • Flu
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating or drinking too much food
  • Eating or drinking too quickly
  • Spicy, acidic, or greasy foods
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Food poisoning
  • Heartburn
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac disease
  • Food allergies
  • Medication side effects
  • Parasites
  • Infection
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Gastritis

For a minor upset stomach, at-home remedies can be used to calm the symptoms. But if the discomfort persists and you are unsure about the cause of your stomach symptoms, then it might be time to talk to a doctor to identify the underlying cause.

Regardless of the reason why you are experiencing an upset stomach, there are a few things that you can do to manage the symptoms.

What Foods Make Your Stomach Feel Better?

Certain foods can help by reducing nausea. These are some of the most common food choices that should be part of your diet when you are calming an upset stomach:

Ginger: To manage nausea and reduce vomiting.

  • Chamomile: Soothes intestinal discomfort and can decrease vomiting.
  • Peppermint: Some people find that peppermint helps to minimize nausea and reduce symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Flaxseed: People suffering from constipation might benefit by adding flaxseed into their diets, helping to regulate bowel movements and reduce abdominal discomfort.
  • Crackers: Dry, salty foods can help manage nausea. Women often find that crackers are effective for morning sickness during pregnancy.
  • Papaya: This tropical fruit is a natural remedy used to help with parasites and ulcers.
  • Turmeric: Researchers have found that turmeric can have an anti-inflammatory benefit on the body. If the upset stomach is a chronic condition, then it might be helpful to use turmeric to reduce inflammation.

Plain Yogurt:Probiotic-rich foods can be helpful for certain types of stomach problems. Choose plain yogurt to avoid sweeteners and artificial ingredients added to some brands.

  • BRAT Diet: One widely-known recommendation is to follow a BRAT diet when the stomach is upset: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. The goal is to stick with bland foods that won’t cause additional stomach problems.
  • Fluids: When you are experiencing symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea, then dehydration can be a risk. Even if you don’t have much of an appetite for solid foods, make sure you are drinking enough fluids to avoid dehydration. Stick with clear liquids, including broth, herbal tea, or coconut water.

Foods for Upset Stomach: What to Avoid

Not only do you need to be deliberate in choosing the right foods to calm your stomach, but certain dishes and ingredients should be avoided. Eating the wrong foods is like the common saying: “throwing gas on the fire.” If your stomach is experiencing discomfort and nausea, then some food choices can intensify the pain and symptoms.

These are some of the most common foods that should be avoided:

  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Acidic foods
  • Creamy or rich foods
  • Non-cultured dairy products (cheese, milk, ice cream)
  • Fatty or deep-fried foods

Keep in mind that every person is unique, which means that food choices might be different from one person to the next. The most important thing you can do is to pay attention to how your body responds when eating different ingredients. Then, you can be selective in choosing the right foods that help you feel your best.

For example, some people want comfort food for upset stomach, such as chicken noodle soup or mom’s cooking. In other cases, it might feel better to stick with fluids and crackers for a few hours, until the symptoms have subsided.

Changing Habits: How to Settle an Upset Stomach

Food choices are important for managing stomach problems, but there are other home remedies for upset stomach and diarrhea. As mentioned above, the most important thing you need to consider is the reason why your stomach is upset.

In some cases, you just need to wait for the illness to pass (if caused by the flu or food poisoning). Or, these upset stomach symptoms will subside when you get out of a moving vehicle (if caused by motion sickness), or when the hormones change (if caused by pregnancy).

Some of the most common home remedies for upset stomach include using a heating pad, drinking lemon water, or taking a warm bath. It can also be helpful to avoid lying down if the stomach problems are connected to indigestion or acid reflux. One immediate solution you can try is to go to the bathroom, especially when bowel movements are infrequent.

Pay attention to any patterns that might be affecting your symptoms. For example, a food journal can be an effective way to see if any dietary choices or lifestyle habits are creating an upset stomach pattern. While there are home remedies that can be used to manage immediate symptoms, lifestyle changes are essential if you are looking to overcome chronic stomach problems.

Kids and Tummy Troubles

As a parent, it can be difficult to see your child suffer when they are sick. You’ve likely heard your child complain that their tummy’s upset at some point. In fact, stomach pain is one of the most common health concerns for children and teenagers.

Keep in mind that kids are still learning how to manage their food and portions. Sometimes they overindulge in sweet treats, resulting in a stomach ache. You can teach your child how to be an intuitive eater by talking about body cues that they need to pay attention to.

Also, it is common for children to feel stomach pain when they are worried or stressed. If the pain is recurrent and there is no apparent cause for the pain, then try having a conversation with the child to see if they are worried about something.

School and friends can be another cause of tummy trouble because of the exposure to bacterial or viral infections that can spread through the classroom. If your child is complaining of a stomach ache and starts vomiting or diarrhea within a day, then the child likely picked up a bug from school.

The food recommendations listed above apply for both adults and children. Since your child doesn’t know what they need to calm a stomach ache, you can offer food options that fall within this list of foods that help to calm an upset stomach.

Natural Remedy for Upset Stomach

If you are looking for a convenient, natural solution to settle your stomach, then Hana Tonic is here to help. We have a convenient remedy that uses a proprietary blend of ingredients to help reduce the symptoms of nausea. Try our easy-to-take liquid shot and experience the relief that can come from an all-natural supplement.