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What to Eat When You Have Food Poisoning

If you’ve developed food poisoning from eating contaminated food, you know that foodborne illness is no fun. Though you’ve likely lost your appetite, certain products are known to treat symptoms and are what you should eat when you have food poisoning to help you heal.

About Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is also known as foodborne illness. It develops shortly after you’ve consumed a food item that’s been contaminated by viruses, bacteria or parasites that have now infected you. Food can become contaminated at any point during processing. Unsafe food handling practices cause cross-contamination from environmental organisms and their toxins that infect food.1,2

Some of the possible organisms that cause foodborne illness include:1,2

  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Hepatitis A
  • Noroviruses
  • Rotavirus
  • Listeria


Depending on the organism that has infected you, food poisoning symptoms can take as little as 9 hours and as long as 4 weeks to develop. Specific symptoms also vary depending on the type of organism causing the food poisoning. However, general food poisoning symptoms include:1

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Body aches


Depending on the affected person as well as the type of food poisoning, symptoms can pass within a few hours of onset or can last several days.1

In extremely severe cases, it’s possible to become dangerously dehydrated due to excessive vomiting and diarrhea, which deplete you of important electrolytes. This creates other complications as well, including kidney failure or neurological impairment such as blurred vision, muscle fatigue and tingling sensations in the arms and hands.1

While it’s probably more common to suffer food poisoning from a negligent third party handling your food, you can also cause food poisoning at home to yourself and your family. Practicing high caution and appropriate food safety is extremely important, especially in a household with little ones, pregnant women or older adults.1

Food poisoning can be avoided and the risk can be reduced by following a few essential prevention practices:1

  • Wash all cooking utensils and surfaces frequently
  • Always refrigerate or freeze perishable foods right away
  • Cook meat to the appropriate temperature
  • Keep raw meat away from other foods to prevent cross-contamination

Best Foods to Eat for Food Poisoning

There are certain foods and products you can eat when you have food poisoning to help alleviate nausea, stop vomiting and diarrhea and lessen stomach cramps:

Garlic - Garlic has natural antiviral properties that can help boost immune system function and help combat food poisoning.

Honey - Honey helps to naturally soothe stomach pain and can help ease food poisoning symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Ginger - Ginger has natural anti-nausea properties that can help alleviate vomiting and stomach cramps caused by food poisoning.

Flaxseed Oil - Flaxseed oil can help to naturally soothe an upset stomach and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract caused by foodborne illness.

Lemon - Lemons help to naturally kill bacteria that cause foodborne illness and can nourish and detoxify your body, helping you heal after a bout of food poisoning.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20356230
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/symptoms.html