You have enjoyed a lovely meal at home or perhaps at your favorite dining restaurant.
Within a short time, you begin having severe stomach pains before the vomiting and diarrhea begins.
You have food poisoning. Before you reach for the phone to call the doctor or head for the medicine cabinet, we have some tips on what to do and what to eat after food poisoning.
In most cases it lasts for a few days and is not considered a serious medical condition. The symptoms can be a concern for those with an existing health condition, low functioning immune system, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
So how do you manage to get food poisoning even when you watch what you eat? Food poisoning can be caused by different pathogens that contaminate food during the preparation or cooking method. Preparation includes the beginning of life of the food such as the growing, harvesting, processing, storing or shipping productions. It can also appear if the person preparing the food has unwashed hands, the dishes or utensils are not properly cleaned, or the food itself was not stored or cooked at correct temperatures.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five most common pathogens in food poisoning cases in the country are:
- Norovirus – common in fruit, vegetables, and oysters
- Salmonella –meat, eggs, and dairy products
- Staphylococcus –cream, eggs, and milk
- Clostridium perfringens –beef and poultry
- Campylobacter – undercooked meat and contaminated water
Some cases of food poisoning require medical attention and hospitalization. Most of these cases are caused by the norovirus and salmonella poisoning. Undercooked meats and unwashed produce are involved in much of the cases. Foods that are raw and packed as ready-to-eat can become cross contaminated since they are not cooked. Other cases are caused by:
In fact, it is estimated by the CDC that one in six Americans will experience some form of food poisoning this year alone.
What to Eat (and Drink) after Food Poisoning
A case of food poisoning leaves you questioning your last meal and thinking you will never eat again, at least during the symptoms. Despite the fact you may be having a hard time digesting food physically and mentally, it is vital to continue your nourishment.
- First, allow your stomach to settle for a few hours after the majority of the symptoms pass.
- Hydrate with ice chips and small sips of water. It will help your body fight the poisoning.
- Add liquids slowly. Boost your electrolytes with sports drinks, decaffeinated tea, broth, and clear soda.
- Bland food is gentle on your stomach. Follow the BRAT diet with bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Other low-fat and low-fiber foods to eat are egg whites, jello, oatmeal, and plain mashed potatoes.
- Brush your teeth to get rid not only the taste of vomit but to remove the stomach acid that sticks to your enamel.
- Rest as much as you can.
There are also several natural remedies to remove the bacteria residue from your digestive system.
1. Ginger Tea
With its antibacterial components, ginger fights pathogens affecting your body and soothes the stomach.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
There are a few studies showing this type of vinegar has antimicrobial properties to flush out the toxins.
Sip on one cup of water mixed with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
3. Activated Charcoal
Said to remove toxins from the body while killing bacteria, these capsules will help speed healing time. Once you are beginning to feel like yourself again, it is recommended to add probiotics to your diet. Whether it is on the form of a supplement capsule or food, probiotics will kick-start your digestive system and replenish your stomach’s healthy bacteria.
Foods to Avoid after Food Poisoning
Your reintroduction to regular food should be met with caution. There are certain foods that can upset your tender stomach walls and could possibly start your food poisoning symptoms again.
High fiber foods are critical to a healthy diet; however, it is best to wait before reintroducing these foods. Your digestive tract works hard to break down high fiber foods, and it too needs time to rest and recover. Avoid vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain products, and legumes, for the time being.
Although they may seem to fall under the clear liquid remedies, apple and pear juice have sorbitol, glucose, and fructose which can initiate diarrhea.
Intestinal gas issues may arise if spicy or fatty foods are consumed too soon after you begin to recover.
It can restart your bouts of diarrhea as well.
Food and drink products can result in bloating and indigestion for some time after your food poisoning recovery. Diarrhea can cause you to become lactose intolerant while the harmful bacteria is in your system. Yogurt is a dairy product that is safe for your stomach due to its low lactose properties.
5. Caffeine and Alcohol
You need fluids but not these forms as they dehydrate the body and can stimulate your food poisoning symptoms. Avoid caffeine products such as chocolate as well.
The idea of contracting food poisoning is enough for some people to avoid dining out or enjoying particular foods. Food poisoning can happen to anyone at anytime as cross contamination with an entity may occur from the beginning of the product’s life. If you do come down with food poisoning, there are important steps to follow to reduce the severity and speed up your recovery. Rest and rehydration are the two most important factors in healing from food poisoning. For severe cases that last more than a few days or produce blood in your stool or blurry vision, seek immediate medical attention.
- Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning
- How to Fight Back Against Food Poisoning
- How Long Do Food Poisoning Symptoms Last?
Krans, B., “What to Eat After Food Poisoning,” Healthline, February 17, 2015; http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/what-to-eat-after-food-poisoning#Overview1, last accessed February 9, 2017.
“What to Eat After Food Poisoning,” Med-Health; http://www.med-health.net/What-To-Eat-After-Food-Poisoning.html, last accessed February 9, 2017.
“Food Poisoning,” WebMD; http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/food-poisoning#1, last accessed February 9, 2017.
“What Foods Should Be Avoided While Recuperating From Food Poisoning?” SF Gate; http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-should-avoided-recuperating-food-poisoning-1204.html, last accessed 9, 2017.