What Should I Eat If I Have Food Poisoning


What to eat if I have food poisoning? Is an important question because it’s possible food poisoning causes symptoms like nausea and vomiting that makes it hard to know whether you should or shouldn’t eat.

Food poisoning is a common cause of discomfort in humans, and though it is often thought of as a more severe condition, most cases resolve without treatment after a few days. Most importantly it is not usually life threatening, however if you are not sure what you should be eating if you have food poisoning please get it checked out by your doctor to avoid complications.

What Should I Eat If I Have Food Poisoning

You get food poisoning, often known as a foodborne sickness, when you ingest tainted food. When something is contaminated, it has been infected by a hazardous organism, such as a virus, parasite, fungus, or bacteria. Food poisoning can occasionally be caused by these microbes’ harmful metabolites.

Your body reacts to remove the toxins once you consume anything hazardous. You may vomit, get diarrhea, get a fever, or do all three. The painful signs and symptoms of food poisoning are your body’s attempt to repair itself. In a day or two, it typically takes effect.


The severity of your symptoms and the source of the infection, if known, will determine how you should be treated for food poisoning. Most people recover from the sickness on their own in a few days, however severe forms of food poisoning might linger longer.

Treatment of food poisoning may include:

  • Replacement of lost fluids. Fluids and electrolytes — minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium that maintain the balance of fluids in your body — lost to persistent diarrhea need to be replaced. Some children and adults with persistent diarrhea or vomiting may need hospitalization, where they can receive salts and fluids through a vein (intravenously), to prevent or treat dehydration.
  • Antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have a certain kind of bacterial food poisoning and your symptoms are severe. Food poisoning caused by listeria needs to be treated with intravenous antibiotics during hospitalization. The sooner treatment begins, the better. During pregnancy, prompt antibiotic treatment may help keep the infection from affecting the baby.Antibiotics will not help food poisoning caused by viruses. Antibiotics may actually worsen symptoms in certain kinds of viral or bacterial food poisoning. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Adults with non-bloody diarrhea who are not feverish may get relief by taking loperamide (Imodium A-D) or bismuth subsalicylate. (Pepto-Bismol). Consult your doctor about these possibilities.

Foods to avoid

Food poisoning often irritates and inflames the stomach and intestines. Consequently, after food poisoning, people may choose to eat foods that do not overstimulate the stomach and are not likely to a cause stomach upset.

Examples of foods to avoid are:

Dairy foods

Dairy foods such as cheese, ice cream, and yogurt can upset the stomach after food poisoning. So, people may want to avoid them in favor of hydrating beverages and less-irritating foods.

High-fat foods

Fried foods such as fried chicken, french fries, and other high-fat items can all cause rapid emptying of the stomach and worsening diarrhea-related symptoms.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods that people prepare with hot peppers can irritate the stomach and result in a stomach upset.

Foods that cause bloating

A person may also wish to avoid foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates. Nutritionists call these FODMAPs, and they can cause bloating in those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While few researchers have studied reducing FODMAPs to help with food poisoning, doing so may reduce gas, bloating, or cramping.

Examples of foods rich in FODMAPs include:

  • apples
  • beans
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • garlic

Drinks to avoid

Electrolyte-rich beverages may be viewed by many as a good substitute for oral rehydration solutions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise against using electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or Powerade because they aren’t made to make up for losses brought on by diarrhea.

These beverages may also be heavy in sugar, which can stimulate the bowels and make symptoms worse.

If a person only has access to these drinks, they should dilute them with water.

Other drinks to avoid include:

  • coffee
  • dark sodas
  • milk
  • caffeinated tea

These drinks can affect a person’s hydration status and be more dehydrating than hydrating. In the case of milk, some people develop a temporary lactose intolerance after a gastrointestinal infection and may experience symptoms when drinking it.

Food Items To Limit

  1. Spicy food : In the case of food poisoning, spicy foods can irritate your stomach.
  2. Fried food and Heavy sauces : Foods that are heavier are not as easily digested and may temporarily worsen symptoms.
  3. Dairy : Some bacteria and viruses distort, shorten, and damage the villi that line the intestine.
  4. What made you sick in the first place : Wash hands before eating, use hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to a sink. Avoid unpasteurized fruit juices and unpasteurized milk and milk products. Eat food that is fully cooked and served hot, and avoid tap water and ice.

Do’s And Dont’s

Do’s & Dont’s

  1. Remember that not all stomach upsets are caused by food poisoning. Your illness can be brought on by a virus, adverse drug reactions, or excessive alcohol consumption. Of course, two of those are ruled out. You know that you either have a virus or food poisoning if you haven’t lately consumed excessive amounts of alcohol or begun any new medications. In general, there are enough variations in symptoms to distinguish between the two.
  2. Food poisoning symptoms can frequently be controlled at home to reduce your suffering while you recover. The two key things to do are to stop the nausea and stay hydrated. While you recuperate from the food illness, you should eat more bland meals. You should consume items like plain crackers, rice, plain bread, and bananas when you are throwing up.
  3. Any foods that can cause your stomach more discomfort must be avoided. Anything fried or oily, anything spicy, or too sugary foods would all fall under this category. Avoid taking any over-the-counter medications because they can make your illness worse.
  4. You run the risk of dehydration if you are frequently nauseous and vomiting. Make sure you are drinking enough water to avoid being dehydrated. Choose only transparent liquids, such as water, juice, and sports drinks. Avoid consuming soda, milk, coffee, or tea because these could exacerbate your symptoms.

Home Remedies to Cure Food Poisoning

1. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar or ACV, as it is commonly called, is a vinegar made from apples. It is one of the best treatments to cure food poisoning due to its alkaline effect. The alkaline effect reduces the acidity in your stomach and hence, helps in relieving symptoms of food poisoning.

Mix 2-3 teaspoons of ACV in a cup of hot water. Consume the prepared drink before eating your meal. If the problem persists, consume 2-3 teaspoons of undiluted ACV for better results.

2. Ginger (Adrakh)

Ginger plays an important role in reducing the symptoms of food poisoning. Due to its natural anti inflammatory properties, ginger will soothe your stomach lining.

It is recommended to boil a cup of water with about one spoon of grated ginger in it. Add honey or sugar according to taste. Alternatively, you can consume pieces of ginger directly. 

3. Yogurt And Fenugreek Seeds (Dahi and Methi)

a simple and efficient way to treat food poisoning. In order to combat the microorganisms that cause food poisoning, yogurt possesses antibacterial (bacteria-killing) capabilities. Fenugreek seeds also contain a lot of soluble fiber, which helps the meal go along by absorbing water and giving stools volume. Fenugreek seeds’ lubricating ability aids in the relief of stomach discomfort.

Eat around one teaspoon of yogurt and one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. It is advisable not to chew the seeds; instead, just swallow them.

4. Lemon

Lemon is considered the “king of remedies” as far as food poisoning is concerned. The strong anti inflammatory (reduces swelling), antiviral (virus-killing), and antibacterial properties in lemons kill the bacteria causing food poisoning.

Mix about one teaspoon of lemon juice with sugar and consume directly. You can dilute it with lukewarm water.

5. Bananas

Because they are so light and simple to digest, bananas are an effective treatment for food illness.

Bananas are a dependable, speedy, and healthful remedy for food poisoning since they are high in potassium (a vital element in the body that aids in regulating fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve messages) and fiber.

A glass of banana shake or at least one ripe banana should be consumed each day.

6. Garlic

Garlic is well known for its cardiac and antipyretic (prevents or decreases fever) effects. It reduces symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain because of its potent antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects.

Every day, take one clove of garlic and a glass of water. If you can’t handle the smell of garlic, you can also drink garlic juice. If not, create a mixture of soybean oil and garlic and massage it after meals onto your stomach.

7. Honey

Owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, honey is one of the most effective food poisoning remedies.

Eat about one teaspoon of honey in its pure form three times a day. Else, you can have it with tea or lemonade.

8. Apples

As the proverb says “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”; apples play an important role in curing food poisoning. Apple considerably reduces reflux and heartburns. It prohibits the formation of bacteria that causes stomach ache and diarrhoea.

9. Cold Milk

By lowering stomach acidity and preventing acid reflux, cold milk calms your stomach lining and provides symptomatic relief in the event of food poisoning.

A glass of ice-cold milk is suggested as a remedy for an upset stomach. You can add any flavor for flavor, but drinking plain, ice-cold milk is advised for immediate relief.

10. Rehydration Mixture 

Food poisoning is often accompanied by dehydration which extracts out essential fluids and salts from your body. Hence, drinking lime water can hydrate and replenish essential salts in the body. 

In a liter of water, mix 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice along with sugar and salt according to taste. Drink it on a daily basis to prevent dehydration. 

11. Water

In summers, water is the universal healer. Drink plenty of water (approx. 2.5 liters to 3.5 liters every day), especially during food poisoning to effectively flush out all the toxins and bacteria from your body. 

12. Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

Cumin seeds or ‘jeera’ is a very popular home remedy for the treatment of food poisoning. It increases the activity of digestive enzymes (break down food) present in your body, potentially speeding up digestion.

In a cup of water, boil cumin seeds and add freshly extracted coriander juice and consume it twice a day. You can also have a mixture of salt, cumin seeds, and asafoetida (hing). Consume this drink 2-3 times a day.

13. Basil (Tulsi) 

The most effective herbs against food poisoning are basil or tulsi leaves. The digestive system benefits from the anti-inflammatory effects of basil leaves. By regulating the amount of acid in your body, basil also aids in restoring the pH level to its proper state (pH is a measurement of how basic or acidic a liquid is).

Extract a glass full of basil juice from a few leaves. Add honey for taste and drink it several times a day.

  • Alternatively, add a few drops of basil oil in water and consume.
  • Mix three plain tablespoons of plain yogurt, add a pinch of black pepper, basil leaves, and sea salt. Consume several times a day till the symptoms subside.

When to see a doctor

If a person has a fever above 101.5°F, they should see a doctor.

A person can often treat mild to moderate food poisoning with over-the-counter methods. However, if a person has any of the following symptoms, they may need to see a doctor:

  • bloody stools, which can sometimes resemble coffee grounds or have red streaks
  • dehydration symptoms, such as little urination, dry mouth, or dizziness
  • diarrhea that lasts longer than 3 days
  • fever above 101.5°F
  • vomiting that prevents a person from keeping liquids down

A person may require intravenous fluids to rehydrate them if they have any of these symptoms. Additionally, they can get drugs that lessen motion in the intestines and lessen diarrhea. Antibiotics may occasionally be required to lower bacterial levels in the stomach.

To decrease diarrhea or halt vomiting, however, a person typically needs to wait until they have had enough time to clear their bodies of the virus. Otherwise, the bacteria might be around longer.

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