Best Foods to Eat if You Have an Upset Stomach

Tummy troubles

Everyone gets an upset stomach from time to time.

“It’s totally normal, and it happens to everyone,” says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian based in New York City. “It could be a meal that didn’t agree with you for whatever reason, it could be stress, nerves or it could just be a 24-hour bug.” Parasites and food allergies and sensitivities can also cause stomach troubles.

Fortunately, there are certain foods you can eat when you have an upset stomach that should help you feel better.

Settling the stomach

When your stomach is queasy, bland foods are a good choice because they’re easy to digest.

Here are 10 of the best foods to eat when you have an upset stomach:

— Ginger.

— Other herbs and spices.

— Plain crackers.

— Dry toast.

— White rice.

— Unseasoned, skinless chicken or fish.

— Plain scrambled eggs.

— Bananas.

— Oatmeal.

— Broth-based soups.

1. Ginger

If you’re suffering from nausea, ginger can help mitigate your symptoms, says Steven Lalevich, a registered dietitian with Healthy IU. That’s the employee wellness program at Indiana University.

Here are three ginger-based foods and drinks that may help alleviate an upset stomach:

— Ginger tea.

— Ginger chews.

— Crystallized ginger chips.

2. Other herbs and spices

“Many people should consider various herbs and spices when they have stomach pain,” says Dr. Carolyn Kaloostian, a family medicine and geriatrics physician and clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Things like ginger, licorice, chamomile, spearmint and mint can help soothe.”

Chamomile, for example, has anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties and seems to help reduce gas and relieve an upset stomach. Licorice root also appears to have immune-boosting qualities and has been found to help with stomach pain. Given the toleration of and need for fluids, tea is a great way to take in herbs and spices like chamomile that may soothe the stomach.

Coriander, cardamom and fennel have been found to help with things like easing indigestion, as well as reducing bloating and constipation. Although the exact reasons for this aren’t well understood or thoroughly studied, it’s thought that spices like coriander may stimulate the gut to help with digestion and keep things moving.

3. Plain crackers

You may not have much of an appetite if you have an upset stomach, but it’s important to eat something that’s light and easily digestible. Try nibbling on plain crackers without any toppings, Gans says.

4. Dry toast

Like crackers, dry toast is easy to digest and probably won’t make you feel worse if you have an upset stomach, Lalevich says.

5. White rice

Plain white rice is easy to digest and provides energy because it contains carbohydrates, Gans says.

6. Unseasoned, skinless chicken or fish.

Even when you have an upset stomach, you will eventually feel hungry. Unseasoned and skinless chicken or fish that’s broiled, roasted or grilled is easy to digest and provides protein and satiety.

7. Plain scrambled eggs

Easy to digest and prepare, plain scrambled eggs are a good food to eat with an upset stomach, Gans says. They provide protein and carbs. “You can throw them on dry toast,” she says. You’re getting a mini-meal when you don’t feel like eating. It gives you some sustenance.”

8. Bananas

This fruit is easy to digest and provides soluble fiber, which helps provide bulk. This can be helpful if you’re suffering from diarrhea, Gans says.

9. Oatmeal

Whole-wheat cereals are typically a healthy bet, but when your gut is upset, switching to oats can be relieving, says Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian with Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition. Like bananas, oats “are a source of soluble fiber, which can normalize bowel movements and may be better tolerated than wheat, which is a notable source of insoluble fiber,” she says. Gluten and fermentable carbs in wheat may also make oats a better pick when your stomach is feeling sick.

10. Broth-based soups

Broth-based soups — like chicken soup — are easy to digest and provide vitamins, protein and other nutrients your body needs. Soups can also help keep your body hydrated if you’ve been suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

To recap, here are 10 of the best foods to eat with an upset stomach:

— Ginger.

— Plain crackers.

— Dry toast.

— White rice.

— Unseasoned, skinless chicken.

— Plain scrambled eggs.

— Bananas.

— Oatmeal.

— Broth-based soups.

More from U.S. News

Heart-Healthy Breakfast Ideas for a Busy Morning

Heart-Healthy Soups

Healthy High-Fat Foods

Best Foods to Eat if You Have an Upset Stomach originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 01/19/21: This slideshow was previously published and has been updated with new information.

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