man holding his stomach in pain

What to eat after food poisoning?

After food poisoning, you should give preference to mild and easily digested meals such as bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Maintain proper hydration by consuming tiny quantities of water or electrolyte solutions. Gradually reintegrate a diverse range of foods into your diet, with a particular emphasis on mild and non-aggravating options. Probiotics can assist in the restoration of gastrointestinal well-being. Exercise caution when consuming dairy, spicy, and fatty meals. Should symptoms persist or deteriorate, or if there are indications of dehydration or presence of blood in vomit or stool, quickly seek medical assistance.

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Foodborne illness is a distressing encounter that can leave individuals feeling debilitated and uncertain about dietary choices during the recuperation process. Gastrointestinal illness commonly arises from ingesting food that is contaminated or damaged, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. During the process of recovery, it is essential to gradually reintroduce meals that are gentle on the digestive system. This article provides a concise introduction to food poisoning and includes practical advice on what to eat after food poisoning.

The First 6 hours

The initial six hours following the onset of food poisoning are critical for symptom management and initiating the path towards recovery. During this early stage, it is crucial to prioritize mild rehydration, since the body may have experienced substantial fluid loss due to vomiting or diarrhea.

One of the most efficient methods to initiate this process is by orally consuming ice chips. Following an episode of food poisoning, the stomach and digestive system frequently become hypersensitive to substantial quantities of both liquid and solid nourishment. Ice chips offer a method of gradually replenishing moisture in the body without causing excessive strain on the stomach.

water glasses filled with ice

This incremental strategy helps to limit the likelihood of more emesis. The frigid touch of the ice might also provide relief for a sore throat, a frequent symptom following recurrent vomiting.

Maintaining proper hydration is crucial, even beyond the use of ice chips. Nevertheless, it is crucial to refrain from consuming excessive amounts of water or other fluids, since this might potentially exacerbate feelings of nausea. It is advisable to consume small amounts of water, transparent soups, or an electrolyte solution. Electrolyte solutions are highly advantageous as they aid in restoring the salts and minerals that are depleted during episodes of diarrhea and vomiting. It is recommended to abstain from consuming coffee, alcohol, and dairy products, as these substances have the potential to exacerbate gastrointestinal distress.

For the initial six-hour period, it is crucial to prioritize drinking rather than attempting to ingest any solid sustenance. The body requires a period of time to stabilize and recuperate from the irritation induced by the foodborne disease. After a period of many hours without vomiting and a decrease in nausea, it may be considered safe to transition to more substantial types of nourishment. However, in the beginning stages, it is crucial to prioritize patience and a steady process of replenishing fluids for the purpose of recuperation.

6-24 Hours

Typically, between 6 to 24 hours after suffering from food poisoning, the body is generally prepared to consume more substantial meals. However, it is still important to exercise caution. It is recommended to adhere to the BRAT diet, consisting of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, throughout this period. This diet consists of tasteless, low-fiber meals that are easy on the stomach and aid in solidifying stools, making it well-suited for recuperating from gastrointestinal distress.


Bananas are a highly favorable option due to their high digestibility and abundant potassium content, a crucial component that is frequently diminished following episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, they possess inherent sweetness, which imparts a little amount of energy without inducing any gastric discomfort. Due to their soft texture, bananas are easily masticated and ingested, reducing the strain on the digestive system.


Plain white rice is a fundamental component of the restorative diet. The lack of flavor is crucial in avoiding further irritation to the stomach. Rice also aids in the formation of firmer feces, which is advantageous following an episode of diarrhea. This is a valuable energy source that may be conveniently combined with a tiny quantity of salt to aid in restoring sodium levels.


Applesauce is superior to raw apples because of its smoother consistency and greater ease of digestion. The presence of pectin in applesauce facilitates the process of digestion and has the potential to promote stool firmness. Moreover, the inherent sweetness of applesauce might offer solace to an individual recuperating from food sickness, serving as a mild means to reintroduce tastes.


Finally, a simple slice of bread, without any butter or jam, is another viable choice. Toast is a mild and non-irritating method to reintroduce grains and fiber into the diet. It is crucial to make sure that the toast is simple in order to avoid any additional fats or sweets that might potentially irritate the stomach.

It is crucial to maintain hydration and progressively introduce solid foods within a 6-24 hour timeframe. Commence with modest servings and monitor your body’s response. If there is no exacerbation of symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea, it is OK to gradually augment the quantity of food consumed. It is important to treat your digestive system with care and avoid rushing the recuperation process.

What To Eat and Avoid The Next Few Days And Weeks

After experiencing food poisoning, it is crucial to maintain diligent care for your digestive system in the subsequent days and weeks. Systematically reintroducing a diverse range of meals while abstaining from certain ones might aid in guaranteeing a complete and expeditious recuperation.

  1. Gradually Expand the Variety of Foods in Your Diet: Following the adherence to the BRAT diet initially, gradually introduce a broader range of mild and easily digestible food options.1 One can incorporate boiled or steamed vegetables, lean poultry such as chicken or turkey, and low-fat dairy items. These foods offer vital nutrients and aid in restoring your energy levels without burdening your digestive system.
  2. Probiotics: Probiotic-rich foods, such yogurt containing living cultures, can have advantageous effects. Probiotics aid in the reestablishment of the equilibrium of beneficial microorganisms in your gastrointestinal tract, which may become disturbed during an episode of food poisoning. They facilitate the process of digestion and can assist in the prevention of subsequent gastrointestinal problems.
  3. Fiber-Rich Foods: As your gastrointestinal system reverts to its natural state, progressively incorporate foods that are abundant in dietary fiber into your diet. This encompasses a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Fiber facilitates the process of digestion and promotes regularity in bowel movements. However, it is crucial to gradually augment fiber consumption to prevent the occurrence of gas and bloating.
  4. Hydration: Maintain a consistent emphasis on maintaining proper hydration. Optimal hydration is achieved by consuming water, however herbal teas and clear broths can also be included as alternatives. Avoid very hot or cold liquids, since they might cause irritation to the digestive tract.
  1. Spicy and Fatty Food: Foods that are both spicy and high in fat: Consuming excessively spicy or high-fat foods might exert a strain on the digestive system. Consuming them may result in indigestion and exacerbate any lingering sensitivity in your stomach.
  2. Dairy Products: Following a bout of food poisoning, certain individuals may have a transient form of lactose intolerance. If you have symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, or diarrhea following the use of dairy products, it is advisable to abstain from their consumption for a period of time.
  3. Alcohol and Caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine have the potential to cause irritation in the digestive tract. In addition, they can exacerbate dehydration, a condition that should be avoided throughout the recovery process after food poisoning.
  4. Raw and Uncooked Foods: Uncooked or partially cooked foods: In order to mitigate the risk of additional cases of foodborne disease, it is advisable to refrain from consuming raw or undercooked meats, eggs, and shellfish. Additionally, use caution while consuming fresh fruits and vegetables, ensuring that they are fully washed before consumption.
  5. Highly Processed Foods: Foods that have undergone extensive processing: These frequently contain elevated amounts of sugar, salt, and synthetic chemicals, which might provide challenges for digestion and potentially impede your recuperation.

It is important to note that the healing process from food poisoning might differ for each individual. Pay close attention to your body’s signals, and if you see that specific foods consistently cause symptoms, it is advisable to wait longer before reintroducing them into your diet. It is recommended to get guidance from a healthcare professional if you have any apprehensions regarding your dietary choices or recuperation.

Holistic and Alternative Approaches

Examining comprehensive and unconventional methods for recuperation following food poisoning might be advantageous, particularly in bolstering gastrointestinal well-being and using organic treatments. These techniques prioritize the cultivation of the body’s inherent healing mechanisms and the reinstatement of equilibrium.

An essential component of comprehensive recuperation following food poisoning is the prioritization of probiotics to reinstate gastrointestinal well-being. Foodborne illness can disturb the inherent equilibrium of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, whereas probiotics function to restore the advantageous bacteria. Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt with active cultures, kefir, miso, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi have a high concentration of beneficial bacteria. These nutrients not only facilitate the restoration of the gut microbiota but also enhance digestion and fortify the immune system. Probiotic supplements might be considered as an alternative, especially when dietary limitations prohibit the consumption of foods that are high in probiotics.

Herbal medicines offer a calming and organic approach to alleviate the symptoms of food poisoning and facilitate the process of recovery. Specific herbs are renowned for their digestive and anti-inflammatory qualities. As an illustration:


Ginger, a well-known treatment for nausea and vomiting, can be ingested as tea, incorporated into meals, or even absorbed in its raw form by chewing. It has a soothing effect on the stomach and can alleviate inflammation.2


Peppermint tea is renowned for its capacity to alleviate stomach discomfort and enhance digestion. The presence of menthol in peppermint has the ability to induce relaxation in the muscles of the intestines, therefore alleviating symptoms of cramps and gas.


Chamomile tea is a mild alternative that can relieve gastrointestinal discomfort, diminish inflammation, and induce relaxation.3 This can be especially beneficial if the food poisoning has resulted in tension or worry.

Slippery Elm

This plant possesses a reputation for its calming impact on the gastrointestinal tract. When combined with water, it creates a gelatinous material that can cover and safeguard inflamed mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract.

It is crucial to use prudence while considering the use of herbal therapies, particularly if you have allergies or are on other medications, since many plants may have interactions with pharmaceuticals. Prior to commencing any new herbal regimen, it is imperative to get guidance from a healthcare expert or a competent herbalist.

Furthermore, holistic techniques frequently highlight the need of relaxation, water, and attentiveness to one’s bodily requirements, in addition to the aforementioned cures. This may involve engaging in low-impact physical activities such as walking or practicing yoga, which may promote digestion and enhance general health. Additionally, it is important to maintain a well-balanced diet that is rich in essential nutrients to support the body’s recovery.

When to See a Doctor

It is essential to determine the appropriate time to seek medical assistance following food poisoning, since specific symptoms and circumstances may suggest a more serious disease or consequences. Although most instances of foodborne illness can be self-resolving via adequate rest and care, certain indications need seeking medical attention.

Persistent Symptoms

Should symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach discomfort, or fever last for over 48 hours, it is crucial to get guidance from a healthcare professional. Extended symptoms might result in dehydration and other problems, necessitating medical intervention.

Signs of Dehydration

Excessive or persistent vomiting and diarrhea can result in dehydration, which is a significant risk. Indications of dehydration encompass heightened thirst, parched mouth, little or absent urine, profound debilitation, vertigo, or faintness. In such instances, it is imperative to seek medical assistance in order to restore fluids and electrolyte balance.

Blood in Vomit Or Stool

Hematemesis or melena indicates substantial irritation or injury to the gastrointestinal system. This may serve as an indication of a more serious kind of infection or other consequences.

High Fever

An elevated body temperature, usually over 101.5°F (38.6°C), may suggest a severe bacterial infection or other grave medical issues. Pyrexia may be accompanied with rigor and myalgia.

Neurological Symptoms

Blurred vision, muscular weakness, and tingling in the arms are indicative of specific forms of food poisoning that target the nerve system, such as botulism. Prompt medical intervention is necessary in such cases.

Pre-existing Health Conditions

Individuals who have pre-existing health concerns, such as diabetes, liver disease, or compromised immune systems, should promptly seek medical advice at the onset of food poisoning. Likewise, pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and anyone with severe reactions should instantly seek medical guidance.

Suspected Serious Contaminant

If you suspect that the food poisoning may be caused by a very hazardous contaminant, such as chemical toxins or specific types of seafood toxins, it is recommended to promptly seek medical assistance.

When it comes to health, it is always preferable to be cautious and avoid taking unnecessary risks. If you have doubts regarding the seriousness of your symptoms or how to effectively handle them, consulting a medical professional can offer direction and reassurance. A healthcare professional may give tailored treatment alternatives, conduct essential diagnostic tests, and ensure a secure and efficient rehabilitation strategy.


The process of healing from food poisoning necessitates a cautious and attentive attitude towards nourishment and maintaining proper hydration. Commencing with mild, easily digestible meals such as those included in the BRAT diet and gradually reintroducing a wider variety of foods aids in achieving a gradual restoration of regular eating patterns. Ensuring proper hydration, incorporating probiotic-rich meals to promote gut health, and choosing herbal therapies might provide further support in facilitating the healing process. It is crucial to attentively heed your body’s signals and use prudence, particularly if symptoms continue or deteriorate. It is important to remember that although most instances of food poisoning heal on their own without medical treatment, it is necessary to be mindful of the symptoms that indicate the need to see a doctor. In the end, adopting a well-rounded and considerate approach to diet after experiencing food poisoning can facilitate a faster and more pleasant recuperation, leading to a restoration of general health.

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[1] Weir SBS. - Bland Diet;

[2] Lete I. - The Effectiveness of Ginger in the Prevention of Nausea and Vomiting during Pregnancy and Chemotherapy;

[3] Dai YL. - Chamomile: A Review of Its Traditional Uses, Chemical Constituents, Pharmacological Activities and Quality Control Studies;