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Food Poisoning Diet & Symptoms

Food poisoning is generally the result of eating contaminated food. Contaminated food contains various toxic substances, bacteria and viruses which can cause food poisoning. A good food poisoning diet plays an important role in the recovery of a patient suffering from this condition. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea. Some people may even experience severe symptoms like breathlessness, bloody diarrhea, difficulty in swallowing and talking, fever, dehydration, severe vomiting, diarrhea and constant abdominal pain.

If any of these symptoms are experienced you must contact a specialist immediately. The most common causes of food poisoning include eating food which has not been prepared properly, unhygienic conditions while cooking food, drinking contaminated water and eating raw foods. Meat and poultry products which are undercooked and raw seafood can increase the risk of food poisoning. Generally for a person suffering from this condition, a typical diet during food poisoning would include mainly liquids for a while like glucose electrolyte solutions which can be given orally or through an intravenous catheter. Sugar and salt should be included in other liquids to replace the ones that were lost from the body during food poisoning.

Diet Changes For Food Poisoning

After food poisoning, diet changes should be made and followed strictly to recover from this condition quickly and prevent it from happening again. Milk should be avoided as far as possible for food poisoning patients. Essentially a food poisoning diet should include bland foods and other foods which can be digested easily. A bland diet after food poisoning generally includes foods which are soft and have low acidity levels as well as foods with little or no seasoning. Carbonated drinks, coffee, sodas, chocolates and dried beans should be completely avoided in a bland diet for food poisoning. Foods like porridge, cereal, broth and pudding are also good choices to include in a food poisoning recovery diet.  

A food poisoning brat diet is another good option which is generally introduced in such cases only after 24 hours once the vomiting has subsided. BRAT is a short form for bananas rice applesauce toast. Brat diets are generally recommended in food poisoning cases because they contain a combination of bland low fiber foods which boost energy levels without causing any gastric irritation. Bananas are a good source of potassium, rice and toast provide good low fiber carbohydrates and the applesauce helps in cleaning the digestive system. Other foods like fruit and vegetables juices, pasta, crackers and cooked cereals are also good foods to eat after food poisoning. A brat diet is generally used as a post food poisoning diet and would also include oral rehydration fluids or liquids such as juices, caffeine free sodas and broth which help in preventing dehydration. Besides a brat diet, after food poisoning foods to eat would also include boiled chicken breast, rice cooked in chicken broth, pasta cooked in broth and saltines. These are some of the best foods after food poisoning. However, solid foods to eat after food poisoning must not include high fat foods, fried foods or spicy foods which can create further problems in digestion.

Clear liquids like coconut water, apple juice, flavored electrolyte powder mixed with water and sports drinks are all good options. Most fruit juices are fine however prune juice must be avoided. Solid foods should generally be avoided till the vomiting and diarrhea have completely subsided. If you are recovering from food poisoning foods to avoid include milk, all other dairy products and caffeinated beverages. Dairy products need to be avoided as they can worsen diarrhea during food poisoning. The most common food poisoning foods like beef, poultry, mushrooms, eggs, tuna, oysters, cheese, leafy vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, ice creams, berries and sprouts should also be avoided or eaten in limitation. These foods contain harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, shigella, listeria and vibrio and are considered high risk food poisoning foods. To prevent food poisoning canned foods must be avoided as they can cause botulism. Foods which have not been canned properly or are kept in dented cans can cause this type of food poisoning.

Remedies For Food Poison

One of the best remedies for food poisoning is complete rest. Millions of parasites and bacteria enter the body through contaminated food and the immune system has to start producing antibodies to defend the body from these agents. This process takes time and hence a person suffering from food poisoning should get adequate bed rest so that the body has enough time to heal. If you suspect that you are suffering from food poisoning, it is best to contact your doctor immediately and start treatment. Antibiotics are prescribed in most cases to combat the symptoms of food poisoning. Liquid medications are also given to help ease vomiting and nausea in food poisoning patients. There are other natural food poisoning remedies which can easily be prepared at home such as;

  1. Boil grated or cut pieces of one raw papaya in 1-2 glasses of water for about 20 minutes and drain this mixture. Drink this liquid 2-3 times a day as it is a great natural remedy for food poisoning.
  2. A small piece of ground ginger mixed with buttermilk is another good remedy for food poisoning. This mixture can be had 2-3 times a day. Food poisoning patients can also have ginger extracts with lemon juice to help ease nausea and vomiting.
  3. Mix these ingredients: 1 teaspoon each of poppy seeds, cardamom powder, and edible gum, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg powder and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Chew on this mixture until it loses all taste. Do this every 2 hours or so as it is a good food poisoning remedy which can be easily prepared at home.

The best way to avoid food poisoning is to take special care at home as well as while eating outside. Simple things like washing your hands regularly before and after cooking food especially after handling raw meat or eggs and avoiding foods that contain harmful bacteria and viruses can help you avoid health problems like food poisoning.

Submitted on January 16, 2014