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Here’s What You Need to Avoid Food Poisoning
(and Get Better If You Have It)
Food poisoning is the worst. Some symptoms include stomach cramps, headaches, and severe vomiting as your body violently tries to get rid of everything inside of it. If you’re not severely dehydrated or in desperate need of medical assistance, you can usually ride this horrific bug out while wrapped in a sweat ridden comforter, tucked in with Netflix, and a bowl of ice. There are a few things you can have around to make your recovery time a little faster and easier.
Food Poisoning or Flu? Make Sure It’s Food Poisoning
There are a variety of issues that could be going on with your stomach. You could have a more serious health issue. For example, stomach pain marked with vomiting could be GERD symptoms if felt for a prolonged period of time, it could also be a stomach flu, meningitis, or any number of more extreme conditions (so if it gets worse, go to the hospital). You should be especially cautious if you have recently had surgery, as complications from even minor repairs could mimic flu or food poisoning. You know it’s food poisoning if you are tired and your body is detoxing. Extreme cramps, loss of consciousness, if it lasts more than 48-hours, and high fevers are all reasons to visit the hospital and get a double check.
How to Treat Food Poisoning: Foods to Eat
Just like the flu, foods that are good to rehydrate and to bring back the good bacteria that lives in your gut will help you get better. These foods can be helpful for anyone with an upset stomach:
Papaya is a great beginner fruit when your stomach is still upset. It contains digestive enzymes that can help your body digest it a little easier. It’s water-based, full of B-vitamins, magnesium, and potassium that will help your cramps and dehydration.
Herbal teas are great since the warm water is easier for your body to deal with, and certain teas can help symptoms of your food poisoning. Ginger tea can reduce nausea, chamomile is great for an upset tummy and getting to sleep, and some simple hot water with honey can soothe your throat.
Fruits are water-based (great for rehydrating), full of important vitamins and minerals, and are easy to eat if your stomach is upset. Plus, fruit is one of the more calorie-dense foods you can eat, and foods like bananas help grow gut bacteria.
Bone broth is a fantastic hydrator. Its salty water is full of gelatin, which is great for your upset stomach, and it is also full of protein and trace minerals.
Activated Charcoal can be used to help stop diarrhea
Coconut water can replenish your electrolytes after vomiting (but don’t use if you’re also experiencing diarrhea)
Don’t try anything spicy, acidic, with lots of dairy, fibrous, or fatty. Spices and acidic foods can be tried, but it depends on your body. If your stomach can take a soup with pepper, go for it!
Prevent Food Poisoning From Coming Back
You can prevent food poisoning from coming back through a variety of safety measures. It’s nothing too crazy; it involves steps like using food thermometers when cooking, keeping a safe, sterile kitchen, and avoiding low-grade eateries when eating out. You can use this helpful chart to determine safe cooking temperatures for your meat.
Practicing basic food safety in your home will help prevent food poisoning. Remember to wash your hands, fruits and vegetables, and your refrigerator. Keep raw food away from foods that don’t need to be cooked — meaning no bloody steak juice on top of your apples in the fridge, and no cutting them on the same cutting board. You should also keep things at an appropriate temperature by checking the fridge temperature and cooking food using a food thermometer.
When you’re going out to eat in some states, the food safety score is clearly posted on the wall of many restaurants. If you’re really not sure and don’t want to ask, check out the bathroom. Gross bathrooms can sometimes hint at a gross kitchen, or give you an idea of the general cleanliness of the restaurant.