What Can I Eat with Gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is a condition that can be characterized as the inflammation of the lining of the stomach and small and large intestines, typically stemming from a viral infection. Sufferers may experience symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, belly cramps, and headache. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration. The foods you eat when you have gastroenteritis can prevent dehydration and alleviate symptoms of the condition. If you are suffering from a stomach bug, call AFC Urgent Care Danbury. Our physicians can help recommend the best treatment for you to feel your best again. 

Foods You Can Eat When You Have Gastroenteritis

It’s generally recommended that you quit eating for a couple of hours when the illness manifests. Rather than drink in large quantities, sip your liquids to minimize the risk of dehydration. Gradually ease back into eating, starting with bland foods that are easily digested. Some foods include:

  • Soda crackers
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Jello
  • Bananas
  • Rice
  • Chicken
  • Clear soups
  • Coconut water
  • Gatorade
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Well-cooked vegetables
  • Gelatin
  • Toast
  • Boiled or poached eggs
  • Cooked cereal

Foods to Avoid

When suffering from gastroenteritis or recovering from it, there are certain foods that you should avoid entirely to prevent the condition from worsening and prolonging recovery. The last thing that you want is persistent diarrhea, unrelenting stomach cramps, or draining dehydration. Avoid foods such as:

  • Caffeine
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods or highly seasoned foods
  • Fatty meat (pork and veal)
  • Sugary foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Alcohol
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Raw vegetables
  • High fiber foods
  • Nuts and seeds

Prevention of Gastroenteritis

To limit the risk of contracting gastroenteritis adhere to clean water usage and good sanitation practices. Proper hand-washing with antibacterial soap and warm water after using the restroom and before preparing food or eating has been shown to minimize the risk of gastroenteritis by roughly 47%. It’s best to avoid contaminated foods as well since they could contain toxic bacteria and parasites. Rotavirus vaccination is also possible. Thoroughly wash raw fruits and vegetables before consumption and store foods properly. Keep away from anyone who has gastroenteritis. The goal should be to avoid contact with any bug that can cause gastroenteritis.

While gastroenteritis often resolves on its own, you want to avoid any complications. The foods you eat during the condition can either help or hurt. You want to avoid persistent diarrhea that could lead to severe dehydration or even hospitalization. Knowing what to eat can keep you out of trouble and help you obtain key nutrients that your body needs to recover.