Whether it is caused by a stomach bug, food poisoning or a baby in your womb, vomiting is extraordinarily unpleasant. And unfortunately, the side effects last far beyond the visit to the bowl. After throwing up, your body typically becomes fatigued and your digestive system becomes weak and sensitive. Although food might be the last thing on your mind, eating a small amount of food is crucial to replenish fluids, calories and nutrients. Just be selective about your snacks to prevent another trip to the toilet.
The BRAT diet is a popular solution for nausea, vomiting and diarrhea woes. The eating plan consists of bland and binding foods, which allow your digestive system to relax and recuperate. The acronym stands for "bananas, rice, applesauce and toast." The applesauce, rice and toast keep your belly full, while the bananas provide potassium and other nutrients, which your body likely lost during vomiting. Wait until you’ve finished vomiting and can handle solid foods before initiating the BRAT diet. No exact time frame exists -- let your body be your guide. However, many people can begin the BRAT diet within 6 to 12 hours of the last vomiting episode. Once you start the diet, follow it for 24 to 48 hours. If your body still can’t handle a regular diet after 48 hours, consult your physician.
If the BRAT diet is just too restrictive for your tastes, try other bland foods instead. Ideas include saltine crackers, boiled potatoes, noodles or English muffins. But if you want to prevent another episode of vomiting, you’ll have to eat them plain, so avoid butter, oils, sauces and cheese. If you can’t get by on carbs alone, you might also try plain baked chicken or turkey. The flavor is mild, so your sensitive stomach should be able to handle it. Just be prepared to make a quick sprint to the toilet if your tummy turns.
Fill Up With Water
Vomiting leads to excessive water loss, which can quickly dehydrate a sick body. Although it’s crucial to replenish your fluids, drinking water probably doesn’t sound appetizing after a vomiting session. If you can’t bring yourself to guzzle down the good stuff, rehydrate yourself by having foods rich in water content. Ideas include frozen ice pops, flavored gelatin, broth or clear soup.
Foods to Avoid
Along with knowing which foods to eat, you should also know which foods to avoid when you’re nauseous or vomiting. As a general rule, avoid any foods with a strong smell or spicy taste. Greasy, fatty and salty foods will likely be too difficult for your tummy to handle -- so skip the pastries, fast foods, red meat and potato chips. And of course, avoid any food that trigger somersaults in your stomach.
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.