Nausea, stomach upset, and general digestion woes are some of the most troublesome health issues people struggle with today. It’s no surprise that digestive upset seems to be more problematic than ever due to the prevalence of processed foods and animal foods available to consumers. Over the course of the last decade, we’ve learned more and more about how these foods damage our digestive tract, lead to disease, and some even contribute to permanent gut issues such as leaky gut syndrome and IBS. Improving your diet is one of the best ways to not only avoid digestive issues but also improve day to day quality of life.
For instance, nausea and an upset stomach (and even indigestion) are gastrointestinal complaints that some people deal with on a regular basis that can be somewhat controlled through diet and lifestyle changes. Stress, hormones, a processed diet, lack of sleep, an overly acidic or an overall poor diet are all things that can contribute to these (and many other) digestive problems. Though certain foods can’t cure any digestive problem alone, it’s always best to turn to food before over the counter supplements, since many contain chemicals that may hurt your body in ways you don’t even realize, while some contain simple enzymes or beneficial probiotics and other nutrients that you can actually get through your food.
So the next time your stomach starts to feel a little woozy or upset, give these food and drinks a try to add some nutrition and also settle the stomach.
Ginger is a powerhouse food for not only nausea, but also for poor overall digestion, chronic indigestion, slow digestion, and even constipation and diarrhea. It contains natural properties that balance and soothe the entire system. Ginger powder can easily be used, but the fresh root is best if you have access to it. A couple ways to use it are to make a ginger tea, add a slice to as smoothie, steep in some hot water with lemon, or better yet, make a green juice with it and add some fresh fennel and lemon to really make you feel better fast!
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil (preferably organic) is like peppermint tea times ten! It’s so powerful at relieving digestive upset that even just a tiny drop on your tongue can help your stomach within minutes. Peppermint contains volatile oils that combat nausea, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and most any other stomach problem you could think of. It’s also helpful to drop a tiny bit into a hot cup of water to make an instant tea, or try a using drop in your next smoothie for a minty fresh breakfast! Be sure to choose organic essential oils with no alcohol added and only use a very tiny drop since it’s so powerful. You can also use peppermint tea or fresh peppermint leaves as another option.
3. Wild Rice
Bland foods are often recommended for upset stomachs, such as rice and easy-to-digest starches. However, to keep your blood sugar steady, try to choose something with a little more fiber, magnesium and other nutrients as opposed to white rice and bread which have very little (or no) nutrition. Wild rice is a wonderful food for upset stomach, but not just because it’s a type of rice. Wild rice is actually a grain-free aquatic grass that looks like and even cooks like rice, but is much more nutritious. It actually alkalizes the body unlike other rice varieties and can settle the stomach quickly. Best of all, wild rice provides the body with nutrients like potassium and iron that are harder to obtain from less nutritious starchy foods. It’s also tasty! Try making a soup with wild rice or using it as an easy-on-the-tummy breakfast option in place of other grains.
4. Vegetable Broth
Broth is a great tool for easing nausea and providing nutrients at the same time. Try to choose an organic vegetable broth without added salts or oils. Vegetable broth is rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and even Vitamins A and C that the body needs for balance and to fight off harmful bacteria. Since it’s a liquid form of nutrition and a warming beverage, it won’t cause an upset stomach like a heavier meal may. You can drink this in the morning or anytime during the day or evening when your stomach doesn’t feel well.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes act like a sponge for the bad guys in your stomach. They’re one of the cheapest, humblest superfoods we have available to us all year round. Their complex carbohydrate content will help soak up toxins in the digestive tract and are at the same time very easy to digest. Sweet potatoes are also low on the glycemic index and can help calm the nerves thanks to Vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. Remember that a nervous stomach is usually an upset stomach, so always remember to eat calming foods rich in nutrients like sweet potatoes when your stomach feels out of sorts.
Tip: Be sure to eat them pretty simple (no heavy toppings here). For instance, a simple, but way to enjoy them is to bake them whole or you can puree them as a soup, perhaps with a little cinnamon, ginger and cardamom for a sweet, anti-nausea soup. Try to choose organic potatoes when possible since most potato skins (which have a large dose of nutrition) are heavily coated with pesticides and contaminants in conventional form. If you don’t like sweet potatoes, pumpkin is another great food to eat during a time of weak digestion as well.
Keep in mind that sugary foods and even fruit on an upset stomach may make symptoms worse, as will high fat foods like animal foods, most all processed foods, chocolate, and nuts. You want to emphasize easy to digest foods that are rich in nutrients that your body can assimilate to help you feel better fast.
What do you eat when you have an upset stomach?
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