What to Eat When You Have a Stomach Flu

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The stomach flu (or gastroenteritis) is a condition that typically causes inflammation of the stomach and small intestines. This sickness is a virus, not a bacteria, so it cannot be treated with antibiotics. The symptoms of the stomach flu include nausea, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. Generally, stomach flu is not a serious illness, and most people recover completely. The duration of the stomach flu virus is 1 to 10 days but only 3 to 5 days on average. Some of the symptoms can be alleviated by eating specific foods. The food and drink ingested during the gastroenteritis virus can affect the illness and the strain on the body.

Prevent Deyhydration

The main objective when treating the stomach flu is to replace fluids that have been lost. If your vomiting is consistent and you cannot keep liquids down, then you need to wait 2 to 4 hours before eating or drinking anything. Drinking small amounts of water and other beverages like Gatorade, Powerade, or flat clear soda such as Sprite or ginger ale is essential, especially if the stomach flu virus is causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. The body is not able to replenish liquids lost quickly by these stomach flu symptoms. Drinking clear liquids is one way to help your body combat the stomach flu virus and soothe some of the nausea you are feeling.

Solid Food and the Stomach Flu

The stomach flu is one illness that is not food-friendly. Individuals suffering from the stomach flu typically do not have much of an appetite. Once the nausea and vomiting have subsided and you can keep liquids down, then you may be ready to try some solid food. The best food for people with the stomach flu virus is bland food that can be easily digested. Saltine crackers, gelatin, eggs, and plain noodles are some good food choices for stomach flu sufferers.

Foods To Eat If You Have Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common symptom of the stomach flu virus. This unpleasant condition may be soothed by eating specific foods. The common diarrhea diet is known as the BRAT diet, which is bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast. Dry toast and bananas are popular choices because they tend to be easy on the stomach. Typically, you should not eat fruit if you have diarrhea, but bananas are one fruit that can help with this condition. If you choose apple sauce, make sure it is actual apple sauce and not sliced apples because regular apples may make diarrhea symptoms worse.

Foods To Avoid During the Stomach Flu

There are some foods that you should avoid if you have the stomach flu virus. Some food may make your stomach flu symptoms worse and irritate your system while your body is trying to recover from the virus. These foods include spicy, acidic, fatty, and fibrous foods. Meats, coarse grains, and vegetables are not good to eat if you have the stomach flu. You should also avoid dairy products because they are hard to digest and may irritate your stomach as well.


The stomach flu is a common virus that infects millions of Americans every year. While there is not a cure for this illness, there are some things you can do to prevent catching the virus. Wash your hands regularly, avoid contact with thos infected with the stomach flu, and disinfect items used by those who are suffering from the virus. Food can also play a part in the treatment of the stomach flu virus. Drinking enough fluids and eating the right kind of foods for the duration of the stomach flu can help with the recovery process and make eating more enjoyable.