Gastroenteritis is the scientific name of  stomach flu. With gastroenteritis, your stomach or your intestines are inflamed, which causes the patient to be nauseous, and may even experience diarrhea or vomiting.

The most common cause of the stomach flu are rotavirus and norovirus. Both viruses are very contagious. Rotavirus is the world's most common cause of diarrhea in infants and young children, while norovirus is the most common cause of serious gastroenteritis and food borne disease outbreaks.

Despite the discomfort one can experience with the stomach flu, there is no specific treatment for viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and the overuse of them may actually cause bacteria to develop antibiotic-resistance.

The treatment of gastroenteritis consists of self-care measures. To add to the list of treatments and home remedies, here is a list of food to eat that can help ease your stomach flu.

Bananas

Bananas are packed with electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium, which has a relaxation effect on the muscles. Potassium is actually one of the nutrients quickly lost when someone has diarrhea or vomiting. They’re easy to digest, so this means that your body won’t have to exert as much effort in digesting it. Aside from electrolytes, bananas are very high in fiber, which can absorb water. This helps to firm up loose stools.

Rice

Your body loses a lot of nutrients when you have the stomach flu. Complex carbohydrates help replace those nutrients as quickly as possible so that your body doesn’t get too weak. However, remember to eat rice plain or only with a little bit of basic seasoning so that it would not upset your stomach further.

Crackers

Crackers or any plain-seasoned biscuits are easy snacks that help keep other food in your stomach down, instead of coming back up. These kinds of snacks have neutral enough ingredients that settle your stomach while replacing nutrients that have been lost during the time of your stomach flu.

Broth

Broth is definitely the way to go if you’re craving for something else than dry, sugar-free food. Sipping on some chicken or vegetable broth is a great way to get some protein and fat without bothering your stomach too much. You can even pair it with rice if you’re up to it. After all, is a meal ever truly complete without rice?

Toast

Similar to rice and crackers, toast is a great way to fill your sick, grumbling stomach without wreaking havoc on your digestive system. Although keep in mind that eating whole grain toast is a much better option for your health compared to white bread.

Chicken

If you’re starting to feel a little bit better, chicken is a neutral tasting food that can really help your body quite literally get back up on its feet. You can opt to fry, grill, or boil it, so long as the recipe you’re following isn’t spicy.

Chicken will provide your body with some excellent protein while avoiding triggering your gag reflex with any strong flavors. You can eat it with some pasta or rice for added nutritional value, and to make your meal heavier.

Fruit

Aside from bananas, fruits (in general) are an all natural way to fill your body with lots of delicious nutrients without irritating your stomach too much. If you’re craving for something sweet, fruits are the healthiest option for you.

With fruits, you can ensure that your blood sugar levels are at a healthy level, while also making sure that you have enough energy to fight off your flu. You can even add it to your sugar-free cereal or eat it as a dessert with any meal!

Sugar-Free Cereals

Similar to crackers and toast, sugar-free cereals taste neutral enough to keep your gag reflex at bay, while still filling up your belly with some useful nutrients. If milk is too irritating for your stomach right now, try eating the cereal dry so that your body can slowly digest it without getting overwhelmed.

Ginger

Ginger and lemon tea is something often suggested to those who are sick with the stomach flu. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial which means it not only helps your digestive system relax, but it also helps prevent your illness from getting worse. Aside from this, lemon can also eliminate the microorganisms causing your diarrhea.

Pasta

By the end of being sick, toast, cereal, and rice would already be driving you crazy. To add a bit of variety, pasta is actually a fantastic food alternative which fills you up with fiber, while ensuring that your stomach stays settled. However, make sure to skip the high dairy content and tomato sauces for now as those will most likely make you feel sick.

If after a few days and your stomach still hasn’t settled, make sure to visit your doctor. The recommended food may help you keep your nutrients, but diarrhea and constant vomiting, if left unchecked for too long, can leave you severely dehydrated. Easily book your appointments now online using SeeYouDoc. With a wide variety of doctors with different specializations, your need for a medical professional will no doubt be attended to.


References: EMedicineHealth, MayoClinic, Forkly