Hopefully this is the blog post you will never need, but if you do, I hope it’s helpful to you. Having stomach problems is never fun. You can either help or hinder your healing with the right foods.
The BRAT Diet
I got really familiar with this one last week — luckily I already knew about it. BRAT stands for:
- Rice (preferably white)
These are foods that are easy to digest and good for an upset stomach.
Usually I’m all about the brown rice, much to Mr. Judy’s chagrin, but when your stomach is upset, white rice is your friend. It’s just easier to digest. I won’t say Mr. Judy was actually happy I was sick, but he was happy he didn’t have to eat the dreaded brown rice. Soon, honey, soon.
Unless you have a sensitivity or an allergy, eggs are generally an easily digestible protein. You’re probably less active, so you won’t need as much protein as usual, but if you don’t get any, your body is going to turn to your muscles for its protein.
You don’t want to lose your muscles, right?
I almost always have bone broth around. I don’t actually enjoy drinking it on its own; usually I use it as a base for soups. However, I drank a whole lotta bone broth while sick and while recovering. It’s another easily digestible source of protein, but if you believe the hype, it will cure anything that ails you.
Probably not, but it is soothing to the stomach in addition to an easy source of protein.
Rice is a little easier to digest than potatoes, but potatoes aren’t far behind. White or sweet, it’s all good.
Jello or Gelatin?
Jello got its reputation for stomach soothing sort of the same way bone broth did — it’s the gelatin. The problem with actual Jello is that it’s usually full of additives and sugar. It may soothe your stomach but it’s not doing a whole lot for your health.
Making home made? That’s a different story, and it’s really not that hard. There will still be a fair amount of sugar, but there will also be easily digestible protein — again. And let’s face it, unless you’re a vegetarian, jello is a nice sweet treat. I started craving sweets, no doubt because for a week I wasn’t eating a whole lot at all. Home made jello will soothe your stomach, provide you with easily digestible protein, and curb your cravings for sweets.
I used Vital Proteins Unflavored Beef Gelatin (Amazon Affiliate link here) — make sure you don’t buy the Collagen Peptides, as that won’t gel — although you can use that in cold or hot drinks for the same benefits, minus the sugar. Great Lakes is another commonly recommended brand.
Chocolate: for Medicinal Purposes Only
I’m not kidding! Okay, so chocolate isn’t necessarily good for an upset stomach — it’s high in both fat and sugar. Ginger, on the other hand, is a known tummy soother (as is peppermint — I drank a lot of ginger tea!). I prefer to get mine in the form of dark chocolate covered crystalized ginger. I have that on hand because I also like to use some for long runs & races.
I ate it several times a day while my stomach was still upset, and it did not upset it further. You can, of course, stick to the teas or use ginger candies or plain crystalized ginger or grind up ginger root in your smoothies.
When you’re feeling better
It’s time to start adding in some actual lean protein: chicken and fish are usually good choices.
Raw vegetables, unfortunately, are hard to digest when you’re not feeling good. I’m used to a lot of veggies and a high fiber diet, but I went pretty much a week with nary a vegetable.
When you’re feeling better, adding in some green smoothies is a great way to reintroduce veggies. Blending the veggies helps make them much easier to digest. I have a smoothie board on Pinterest here, and I added several smoothies that are good for upset stomachs and foods to eat for an upset stomach to it (some day maybe I’ll make that two boards).
- What’s your go-to “cure” for an upset stomach?
- What foods do you find to be easily digestible?
- Have you had a green smoothie recently?