Foods for an Upset Stomach
Maybe you overate, had too much ice cream, or your immune system has been weakened lately, so your stomach and digestion have gone downhill. Next time you encounter this situation, try some of the tips below!
Eat simple to digest foods:
Most of the time, the foods that we eat significantly impact our mood, energy levels, and overall health. Although it is well-known that eating fibre-rich foods and sprouted grains are suitable for providing a wide range of nutrients and vitamins, some of them are not necessarily fitting for an upset stomach. Whole-grain foods may be harder to digest than simple carbohydrates, such as white rice. When your stomach is upset, it is generally better to eat foods that are easier on the stomach, and simple carbs found in white rice can be absorbed into your body more easily.
Eating plain rice can be bland, so in China, those with a stomachache often choose to drink congee and other types of soups as their 'go-to' remedy. With multiple soup variations, such as the comforting chicken congee, the famous "thousand-year egg" and pork congee, or the basic plain congee.
2. Try Tea:
Drinking warm, decaffeinated teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, ginger and lemon, is an excellent way to settle an upset stomach. Ginger is a powerful root vegetable that is often extracted for its juices because it contains a potent compound named gingerol. Gingerol has antioxidant properties, reduces inflammatory enzymes, and helps to regulate the nervous system signalling in the stomach. This speeds up the rate at which the stomach empties, thereby reducing nausea and reliving stomaches.
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which helps help with digestion. Papain is a type of proteolytic enzyme, which is an enzyme that helps break larger food molecules such as protein into smaller substituents for easier absorption. By consuming papain from papaya or taking it as a supplement, it can increase the number of enzymes in your digestive tract to help increase the rate of digestion and relieve an upset stomach.
Flaxseeds contain a lot of fibre. Whether you're consuming it through whole flaxseeds, powdered flaxseeds, or flaxseed oil, it contains linolenic acid, a fatty acid that reduces the 'bad' LDL cholesterol. It has also been shown that patients who ate flax muffins had 30% more bowel movements than those that did not eat them. Therefore, it may be beneficial in helping to relieve uncomfortable symptoms of constipation.
5. Eating low FODMAP Foods:
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These compounds are primarily found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chickpeas, lactose etc. When these "fodmap" foods are consumed, they may ferment in the digestive tract with the existing bacteria and cause increasing gas and bloating, resulting in abdominal discomfort. Therefore, consuming less of these foods during a stomach can help quicken the healing process.
6. Fermented and Probiotic-Rich Foods
Speaking of gas and bloating from the previous tip, you can also eat more probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk. Since upset stomachs can sometimes mean an imbalance of bacteria in the gut, consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and others can be beneficial in helping restore the balance to create a healthy gut environment for a happy stomach. It should note that those with lactose intolerance can look for lactose-free milk or try oat and almond milk instead of the regular type to avoid the lactose in milk from getting fermented in the smaller intestines and causing gas.
7. Skipping a meal:
Although it is not often advised to skip meals because it may cause overeating at the next course, skipping a meal can be beneficial to let your body process the excess amount of foods eaten. Therefore, it is also essential to not be absent-minded when eating, such as watching TV while eating, as it can distract your attention and prevent you from acknowledging that you are already full. However, this should only be used at most once a week.