What should you eat after a food poisoning episode?
Food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated or undercooked food with bacteria such as Campylobacter and E. coli, norovirus, Salmonella, or Vibrio.
These foods can cause nausea, vomiting, and headache. This can make it challenging to eat.
After a person feels better and is no longer vomiting, they can reintroduce foods that will give them energy.
What to eat and drink after food poisoning
Food poisoning causes a person to lose electrolytes and fluids through diarrhea and vomiting. Minerals called electrolytes help to maintain fluid balance in the body. Dehydration can occur when electrolytes and fluids are lost.
It is, therefore, essential to begin the recovery process with fluids.
Try these drinks
The Infectious Disorders Society of America suggests oral rehydration treats mild to moderate dehydration following vomiting or diarrhea. Severe dehydration requires emergency medical care.
Herbal teas are another option. Ginger is a popular tea that helps calm the stomach. There is some evidence that ginger tea can reduce nausea.
You can also try lemon tea. The scent of lemon essential oils was found in a study conducted in 2014 to reduce nausea and vomiting when pregnant.
Dehydrated people should first try oral rehydration solution before switching to liquids.
Avoid caffeinated beverages, which can cause diarrhea and stimulate the colon.
Try these foods
It is essential to choose foods that are easily digestible when a person returns to food after food poisoning. Diets for upset stomachs usually contain bland, low-fat, low-fiber foods.
The BRAT diet is one of the leading dietary recommendationsTrusted Sources for recovery from diarrhea.
This diet is ideal for recovering from illness because it contains bland foods and is high in starch. They help to bind stools and reduce diarrhea.
Some indications are cooked bananas (green), Trusted sources, and white rice (trusted sources) can help children with diarrhea.
The bananas in the BRAT Diet contain potassium which can help replace lost electrolytes.
According to the Infectious Disorders Society of America, there are limited studies that support the BRAT as a method to treat diarrhea. A regular diet may be more appropriate once the person has rehydrated.
Other options for people who choose to stick to low-fat and low-fiber food during recovery include:
- Clear broths
- instant or quick-cooking oatmeal
- Plain boiled potatoes
- Saltine Crackers
- Baked chicken without Skin
These foods’ blandness, starchiness, and nutritional value make them suitable for eating. The longer the illness lasts, the more protein a person needs to aid the healing process and prevent muscle breakdown without enough food and calories.
After a person has been able to tolerate these soft foods for a while, they can return to their regular diet.
Avoid these foods
Food poisoning can cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach and intestines. After food poisoning, people often choose foods that are easy to digest and less likely to cause stomach discomfort.
Avoid foods such as:
Fried foods like french fries and fried chicken are hard to digest. Dietary fat slows down digestion by delaying gastric emptying. This can cause feelings of bloating and nausea.
A person who has experienced food poisoning may want to delay reintroducing these foods.
High Fiber Foods
High-fiber foods are generally suitable for digestion. Food poisoning can cause a person to reduce their intake temporarily. High-fiber foods may be difficult to digest, and this can increase symptoms.
Examples of high-fiber foods include
- Avocado, broccoli, and apples are just a few fruits and vegetables you can find.
- Whole grain bread
- Brown rice
Raw fruits and vegetables are often more challenging to digest than cooked ones.
Some people report that spicy foods or food prepared with hot peppers can cause stomach irritation while recovering from food poisoning. Research is limited. This is why a person might want to avoid spicy food until their stomach fully recovers.
Some dairy products, such as ice cream and cheese, are high in fat. This can upset your stomach after food poisoning. People may avoid dairy foods in favor of more hydrating drinks and less irritating foods.
The amount of lactose in dairy products can vary. Some evidence indicates that avoiding milk while sick may help children recover more quickly from acute diarrhea. It is always best to consult a pediatrician or doctor before eliminating foods from your child’s diet.
After food poisoning, some people choose to avoid milk for a short time. After a gastrointestinal infection, it is possible to develop lactose tolerance. A person can experience symptoms after consuming dairy products high in lactose or drinking milk.