Fruits For Stomach Infection


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17 Foods and Drinks for When the Stomach Flu Strikes

Scientifically, the stomach flu is known as viral gastroenteritis, a highly contagious infection that affects your stomach and intestines.

Norovirus — the most common stomach flu virus — results in 19–21 million cases each year in the United States alone

The primary symptoms of the stomach flu include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, and abdominal pain

Fortunately, some foods and beverages may help settle your stomach, prevent further complications, and help you bounce back faster.

Here are 17 foods and drinks for when you have the stomach flu.

1. Ice chips

The most common complication of the stomach flu is dehydration

When the virus strikes you, it can be difficult to keep anything down, including water and other liquids.

Though hydration is crucial when faced with this illness, drinking too much at once may worsen nausea and vomiting.

Sucking on ice chips is a great place to start, as it prevents you from consuming liquids too quickly. This may help you keep fluids down and stay better hydrated in the early stages of the stomach flu


Ice chips help you take in water slowly, which your body may tolerate better in the early stages of the stomach flu.

2. Clear liquids

Diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms of the stomach flu. They can quickly lead to dehydration if lost fluids aren’t replaced

Keep in mind that fruit juices and sports drinks can be very high in sugar, so it’s important to not drink too much of these beverages at once. Plus, avoid giving them to infants and young children without professional guidance, as they may worsen diarrhea


Clear liquids are easily digested and help replenish fluids lost due to diarrhea and vomiting.

3. Electrolyte beverages

Electrolytes are a group of electrically-charged minerals that aid critical bodily functions, such as blood pressure regulation and muscle contraction.

Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is the cornerstone of stomach flu treatment

At the first onset of diarrhea and vomiting, health professionals often recommend oral rehydration solutions, especially for infants and children. These contain water, sugar, and electrolytes in specific proportions that are easy to digest

Sports drinks are another option to help replenish fluids and electrolytes but are typically higher in sugar.

Researchers suggest that they may be just as effective as oral rehydration solutions at treating dehydration in adults


Electrolyte beverages provide fluids and replenish important minerals lost during the stomach flu.

4. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea may help relieve stomach flu symptoms. In fact, just the smell of peppermint may reduce nausea

In one study in 26 people who experienced nausea after surgery, smelling peppermint oil while doing deep breathing exercises relieved nausea in 58% of participants

Other studies suggest that smelling peppermint oil may help decrease episodes of diarrhea in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

While studies on the benefits of peppermint tea for stomach flu specifically are lacking, there is little to lose by trying it. At the very least, peppermint tea is a potential source of much-needed fluids when you’re sick.


Several studies suggest that smelling peppermint may alleviate nausea, though more research is needed on peppermint and the stomach flu specifically.

5. Ginger

Ginger is commonly used to alleviate nausea, a primary symptom of the stomach flu

Though research on ginger for nausea during the stomach flu specifically is lacking, several studies have found that ginger helped reduce nausea due to pregnancy, cancer treatment, and motion sickness

Ginger is available fresh, as a spice, or as an ingredient in teas, ginger ale, and candies. Meanwhile, concentrated amounts of this spice can be found in syrups, capsules, and tinctures

However, it may be best to avoid concentrated sources, as ginger may cause diarrhea when taken in high doses

Instead, try freshly grating ginger root into a soup or brewing it in tea to potentially relieve nausea during the stomach flu.


Many studies support using ginger to reduce nausea, but more research is needed on using this herb to reduce nausea during the stomach flu specifically.

6. Broth-based soups

When experiencing diarrhea, the American College of Gastroenterology recommends broth and broth-based soups as a first choice when transitioning back to eating.

Broth-based soups have a very high water content, which can help with hydration during a bout of stomach flu.

They’re also an excellent source of sodium, an electrolyte that can quickly become depleted with frequent vomiting and diarrhea.

For example, 1 cup (240 ml) of a standard chicken-noodle soup is about 90% percent water and provides roughly 50% of the Daily Value (DV ) for sodium


During the stomach flu, broth-based soups are an ideal transition to solid foods, as they provide plenty of fluids and electrolytes.

7–10. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast

Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are the foundation of the BRAT diet.

Health professionals commonly recommend these bland foods for stomach complaints, as they’re gentle on your stomach.

Keep in mind that the BRAT diet alone will not provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children return to their usual age-appropriate diets as soon as they are rehydrated

Nonetheless, bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are safe options to start with when queasy from the stomach flu.


Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are safe foods to try while sick with the stomach flu.

17 foods to eat if you have stomach flu

Stomach flu causes uncomfortable stomach symptoms. It can be difficult to keep foods down or even have an appetite. However, consuming bland foods, boiled starches, and certain drinks can help a person recover.

Doctors refer to stomach flu as viral gastroenteritis. Norovirus is the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis.

Here are 33 foods and drinks that a person can consume to help their recovery if they have stomach flu. Read on to learn more about some other ways to feel better and when to contact a doctor.

1. Bland foods

According to one articleTrusted Source, a bland diet consists of easily digestible foods that do not put a strain on the stomach.

They recommend following a bland diet for or following stomach flu and several other conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

A bland diet can include:

  • low fat dairy products
  • eggs
  • broth
  • pudding
  • fruit juices
  • cream of wheat
  • tofu
  • lean meats, such as skinless chicken or fish
  • bland, cooked vegetables, such as:
    • beets
    • beans
    • spinach
    • carrots

If cooking these foods, a person should be careful when frying them in fats such as butter or oil, as this can worsen stomach flu symptoms. An alternative way to cook them is by boiling them.

2. The BRAT diet foods

The BRAT diet is a type of bland diet. The letters in the term “BRAT” stand for what a person can eat on this diet, namely:

  • bananas
  • rice
  • applesauce
  • toast

According to the Oncology Nursing Society, doctors often recommend the BRAT diet for adults and children with upset stomachs or diarrhea.

A person can ease into a bland diet as they feel ready for food. Generally, with the BRAT diet, a person can incorporate additional foods back into their diet as they feel better.

3. Boiled starches

A person can eat boiled starches when they have diarrhea. Boiled starches can include foods such as:

  • potatoes
  • oats
  • plain cereals with salt
  • noodles

4. Electrolytes

Both diarrhea and vomiting can cause a person to lose a lot of liquids. Drinking fluids that contain electrolytes can help prevent dehydration.

In drinks

To help prevent dehydration, older children and adults can drink sports drinks such as Gatorade.

However, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)Trusted Source recommend avoiding drinks that have a lot of added sugar, such as certain fruit juices and sodas. These can make diarrhea symptoms worse.

A person can read the label of the food or drink product to understand its sugar content.

In food

In terms of food, saltine crackersTrusted Source can be a good way to replace electrolytes.

5. Oral rehydration solutions

Oral rehydration solutions, which contain glucose and electrolytes, are another good way of rehydrating the body if it has lost liquids due to stomach flu.

To make an oral rehydration solutionTrusted Source at home, boil 1 liter of water, add half a small spoon of salt and six level small spoons of sugar, and dissolve.

The World Health Organization (WHO) state that this method is most effective at preventing or delaying diarrhea caused by dehydration but that people should not use it as their sole method of treating it.

6. Teas

A great way to include liquids in the diet that give more flavor is to consume healthy teas.

Certain types of tea may also provide extra benefits to a person with stomach flu.

Ginger tea

A recent review found that many studies show the positive effects of ginger tea in reducing nausea. However, the review authors did go on to say that more studies are necessary to confirm this.

Peppermint tea

Another reviewTrusted Source suggested that, in trials, peppermint tea has also helped many people with nausea, regardless of age.

Although they described this as encouraging, the reviewers did mention that they cannot draw definitive conclusions until they have more evidence from further trials.

Viral Gastroenteritis: Foods To Eat If You Are Suffering From Stomach Flu

Viral gastroenteritis is also known as stomach flu and can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, etc. Here are the foods you should eat if you have the flu.

Soups can help you recover if you have a stomach flu

Viral gastroenteritis is an infection that might occur in the intestines. Viral gastroenteritis, more commonly known as stomach flu is often a result of eating contaminated food or drinking unfit water. Viral gastroenteritis can cause discomfort due to cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and, fever.

As viral gastroenteritis is an infection that directly affects the digestive system, we must be mindful of what we eat. In this article, the best foods to eat in case you are suffering from stomach flu.

14 foods to eat if you are suffering from viral gastroenteritis:

Low-fat dairy products

In case you are suffering from stomach flu, we advise you to avoid fatty foods. Go for low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, etc. which might be soothing.


Eggs are a great source of protein and provide energy which is often drained due to viral gastroenteritis. Some warm scrabbled eggs might help nourish you without straining your bowels.

Sugar-free foods

People who are suffering from viral gastroenteritis are often suggested against eating sugary foods as these foods might slow down digestion.


Rice is a great source of carbs which might be encouraged if you have stomach flu. It is also often bland and can be incorporated with eggs.


Fruits are a great source of nutrients and provide ample fibre which helps in our digestion. Fruits such as bananas, berries, etc. might also be soothing.

Boiled vegetables

Cooked or boiled vegetables are highly encouraged for people suffering from viral gastroenteritis. However, make sure to only season it lightly with some salt and avoid spices and chillies.


Fresh fruit and vegetable juices are a great way to incorporate nutritious foods into your diet. They also help you stay hydrated and are easy to digest.

Coconut water

Coconut water is another great drink to keep you hydrated, nourished, and energised without eating heavily.

Electrolyte drinks

Electrolyte drinks such as ORS and hydrating drinks are a great way to keep yourself nourished and hydrated. They ensure you receive the right levels and salts your body requires.


Tofu is another great low-fat high-protein food that can help with digestion if you have viral gastroenteritis.


Chicken is another great way to help you energise if you are suffering from viral gastroenteritis. It can also be cooked into soups and stews with light seasoning.

Low-fat fish

As discussed above, in case you’re suffering from viral gastroenteritis, you are advised to reduce your consumption of fatty foods. Opt for low-fat fish, unlike salmon and tuna.


Potatoes are a great source of carbs and are also soothing to the stomach. Baked potatoes or even sweet potatoes are encouraged.

Decaffeinated teas

Decaffeinated teas might bring some comfort to your digestive system, unlike caffeinated drinks which are often too harsh.

Best foods to eat when you have a stomach ‘bug’

Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting and sometimes fever. It often is called a stomach “bug” or the stomach “flu,” but it’s not actually the flu or influenza, which is a respiratory illness. This infection often develops though contact with an infected person or by ingesting contaminated food or water.

An upset stomach is a common symptom of a stomach bug, and this can make eating sound unappealing, even though you may be hungry. Knowing what to eat is difficult because you don’t always know what’s going to agree with your stomach.

I recommend these tips for fueling your body when you have viral gastroenteritis:

  • Let your stomach settle.
    Avoid solid foods for a few hours, and stick with liquids.
  • Hydrate.
    Try drinking clear soda or broths, or noncaffeinated sports drinks in small, but frequent, amounts to stay hydrated.
  • Ease back into eating.
    Gradually incorporate bland, easy-to-digest foods into your system, but be sure to back off if your nausea returns. Foods to eat include clear broths, crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, rice and chicken.
  • Avoid certain foods until you feel better.
    These foods include dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, processed foods, and fatty, spicy or highly seasoned foods.
  • Be cautious with medications.
    It’s best to use medications, such as ibuprofen, with food and sparingly, if at all, as they can cause an upset stomach. As always, discuss your medications with your health care provider to avoid any potential side effects.

The main complication of a stomach bug is dehydration ― a severe loss of water, and essential salts and minerals. If you’re healthy and drink enough to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration shouldn’t be a problem.

What is the stomach flu?

  • The stomach flu (gastroenteritis) is an infection of the stomach and intestines. Though it is referred to as the “flu” it is not the same as influenza. Influenza does not always affect the gastrointestinal tract, and most influenza symptoms involve the respiratory tract.
  • Infection of the stomach and intestines is referred to as gastroenteritis.
  • Stomach flu is usually caused by viruses, but it also can be caused by bacteria or parasites.

Is the Stomach Flu Contagious?

There are a variety of causes of the stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Unfortunately, the most common causes are contagious, for example:

  • Bacteria, for example, E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella
  • Viruses, for example, norovirus and adenovirus
  • Parasites, for example, Giardia lambia and Cryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”)

Are the stomach flu and food poisoning the same thing?

Food poisoning and the stomach flu are not the same thing. There are many types of food poisoning that are not infectious. Food poisoning and the stomach flu share many of the same symptoms, including

  • diarrhea,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain, and
  • sometimes fever.

However, food poisoning comes on pretty quickly after eating contaminated food, and usually it goes away within a few hours to days. Gastroenteritis can last for up to 10 days.

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