Foods to eat when you have gastroenteritis

During gastroenteritis, it is important to eat as normally as possible. In fact, eating helps the lining of the intestine to heal quickly and allows the body to regain strength. On the contrary, not eating prolongs diarrhea.

Start by eating small amounts of food. Then, gradually increase quantities depending on your appetite and the improvement of your condition.

Make sure you rehydrate well by drinking water or a rehydration solution preferably, especially if you cannot eat. If your child is breast or bottle-fed, he or she can continue drinking his or her regular milk, without diluting it. Offer it more often, in small quantities. To find out more about rehydration, read the page Hydrating and rehydrating when you have gastroenteritis.

Foods to eat

  • Pastas
  • Rice
  • Lean meats prepared with little fat
  • Low-fat cooked fish
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruits, or fruits canned in their own juice
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Sugar-free cereals
  • Bread

You can eat the following foods if you tolerate them well or if they are lactose free:

  • low-fat yogurt;
  • low-fat cheese;
  • milk.

Foods and drinks to avoid

  • Fruit juices that contain a lot of sugar and fruit drinks
  • Sports drinks such as Gatorade
  • Soft or carbonated drinks
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Broths and canned or packaged soups
  • Fried foods or those rich in fat (delicatessen, potato chips, French fries, pastries)
  • Ice cream, sherbet, popsicles and jellies (such as Jell-O)
  • Dried fruits, fruits canned in syrup
  • Sweet cereals
  • Candy and chocolate
  • Very spicy foods

If you have questions regarding rehydration or diet in cases of gastroenteritis, you can contact Info-Santé 811.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Viral Gastroenteritis (“Stomach Flu”)

What should I eat if I have viral gastroenteritis?

When you have viral gastroenteritis, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. You may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea.

When children have viral gastroenteritis, parents and caretakers should give children what they usually eat as soon as their appetite returns. Parents and caretakers should give infants breast milk or formula as usual.

When children have viral gastroenteritis, parents and caretakers can give children what they usually eat as soon as their appetite returns.

What should I avoid eating if I have viral gastroenteritis?

Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat viral gastroenteritis. Most experts do not recommend fasting or following a restricted diet when you have viral gastroenteritis.

For some people, certain food ingredients may make symptoms such as diarrhea worse, including

  • drinks with caffeine, such as coffee and tea, and some soft drinks.
  • foods that are high in fat, such as fried foods, pizza, and fast foods.
  • foods and drinks containing large amounts of simple sugars, such as sweetened beverages and some fruit juices.
  • milk and milk products, which contain the sugar lactose. Some people recovering from viral gastroenteritis have problems digesting lactose for up to a month or more afterwards.

Stomach Flu (Viral Gastroenteritis)

What is stomach flu?

Stomach flu is a viral infection that affects the stomach and small intestine. It is also called viral gastroenteritis. The illness is usually brief, lasting 1 to 3 days.

How does it occur?

Many different viruses can cause stomach flu, including rotaviruses, adenoviruses, and the Norwalk virus. The body fluids of infected people contain the virus, sometimes even before their symptoms begin. The virus can be spread by direct contact with an infected person. For example, you might get it by kissing or shaking hands or by sharing food, drink, or eating utensils.

The virus inflames the stomach and intestine. When the stomach and intestine are inflamed, they don’t work as well as they should. Food may move faster through your digestive tract.

What are the symptoms?

When you have stomach flu, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • diarrhea
  • mild fever
  • tiredness
  • chills
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle aches

The illness may develop over a period of hours, or it may suddenly start with stomach cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Some bacteria, parasites, medicines, or other medical conditions can cause similar symptoms. If your symptoms are unusually severe or last longer than a few days, your healthcare provider can determine if the diarrhea is caused by something other than a virus.

How is it diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms. He or she will examine you. You may have lab tests to rule out more serious illnesses and to check for problems that can be caused by stomach flu, such as dehydration.

How is it treated?

The most important thing to do is to rest the stomach and intestine. You can do this by not eating solid food for a while and drinking only clear liquids. As your symptoms go away, you can start eating soft bland foods that are easy to digest.

If you have been vomiting a lot, it is best to have only small, frequent sips of liquids. Drinking too much at once, even an ounce or two, may cause more vomiting.

Your choice of liquids is important. If water is the only liquid you can drink without vomiting, that is OK. However, if you have been vomiting often or for a long time, you must replace the minerals, sodium and potassium, that are lost when you vomit. Ask your healthcare provider what sport drinks or other rehydration drinks could help you replace these minerals.

Other clear liquids you can drink are weak tea and apple juice. You may also drink soft drinks without caffeine (such as 7-UP) after letting them go flat (lose their carbonation). It may be easier to keep down liquids that are cold. Avoid liquids that are acidic (such as orange juice) or caffeinated (such as coffee) or have a lot of carbonation. Do not drink milk until you no longer have diarrhea.

You may start eating soft bland foods when you have not vomited for several hours and are able to drink clear liquids without further upset. Soda crackers, toast, plain noodles, gelatin, eggs, applesauce, and bananas are good first choices. Avoid foods that are acidic, spicy, fatty, or fibrous (such as meats, coarse grains, vegetables). Also avoid dairy products. You may start eating these foods again in 3 days or so, when all signs of illness have passed.

Sometimes treatment includes prescription medicine to prevent nausea and vomiting or diarrhea.

Nonprescription medicine is available for the treatment of diarrhea and can be very effective. If you use it, make sure you use only the dose recommended on the package. If you have chronic health problems, always check with your healthcare provider before you use any medicine for diarrhea.

How long do the effects last?

Stomach flu rarely lasts longer than 1 to 3 days. However, it may be 1 to 2 weeks before your bowel habits are completely back to normal.

Dehydration is a potentially serious complication of stomach flu. It can happen if your body loses too much fluid because you keep vomiting or having diarrhea. If you are severely dehydrated, you may need to be given fluids intravenously (IV). In children and older adults, dehydration can quickly become life threatening.

How can I take care of myself?

  • Rest your stomach and intestines by following the suggested guidelines for your diet during the illness, but make sure you prevent dehydration by drinking enough liquids. Drink just small amounts or sips while you are having vomiting.
  • Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDS) without checking first with your healthcare provider.
  • Call your healthcare provider if:
    • Your symptoms are getting worse.
    • You keep having severe symptoms (vomiting or frequent diarrhea) for more than 1 or 2 days, or you are just not getting better after a few days.
    • You start having symptoms that are not usually caused by stomach flu, such as blood in your vomit, bloody diarrhea, or severe abdominal pain.

What can I do to help prevent stomach flu?

The single, most helpful way to prevent the spread of stomach flu is frequent, thorough hand washing. Also, avoid contact with the body fluids of an infected person, including saliva. Don’t share food with someone who has stomach flu.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Published by RelayHealth.
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2018 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

How to Get Rid of the Stomach Flu

Table of Contents

Stomach Flu Remedies: How to Eat With the Stomach Flu

The stomach flu is a common term used to describe inflammation and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite the “flu” association, the stomach flu isn’t actually a form of influenza, which refers to an infection in the respiratory system.

The stomach flu is also called “gastroenteritis” and is a viral infection, not a bacterial infection. This means that with proper care, gastroenteritis will usually end within 2-7 days and does not require the use of antibiotics. Learn more about common remedies for stomach flu and tips to help you prevent the spread of the virus.

What is the Stomach Flu?

The stomach flu, or gastroenteritis, is a common virus that affects people all over the world. In the US, it is the second most common illness (second only to respiratory ailments) and is responsible for thousands of doctor visits every year. The stomach flu is highly contagious, and spreads mostly through contact with other infected individuals. Gastroenteritis is commonly transmitted in places such as dormitories and airplanes, where many people are sharing the same facilities.

Gastroenteritis can be caused by several different viruses. Most commonly, gastroenteritis develops from either Rotavirus or Norovirus. Gastroenteritis can also be contracted after consuming contaminated food or water.

While the stomach flu will usually go away within a few days, children and elderly people may experience further complications. People taking medication that may weaken their immune systems are more susceptible to viral gastroenteritis.

On a global scale, viral gastroenteritis is a leading cause of death in children under four years, and is more prevalent in developing countries with little access to clean water or facilities.

Common Symptoms of the Stomach Flu

While most people experience similar symptoms of stomach flu, other problems can indicate more serious conditions, and should be discussed with a doctor. This also makes it important to understand the typical duration of symptoms and recognize symptoms of stomach flu. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea – when infected, the large intestine is unable to absorb fluids, which causes the stool to be loose and watery. If diarrhea is bloody or persists for more than three days, call your doctor.
  • Abdominal pain – discomfort in the abdominal area is usually a dull ache that may increase in intensity leading up to loose bowel movements. Belly bloating often accompanies abdominal pain. Infection of the intestines causes inflammation, which is the leading cause for abdominal pain during the course of stomach flu.
  • Nausea – nausea is the sensation often associated with motion sickness, and sometimes followed by vomiting. Nausea as a symptom of the stomach flu is often caused by dehydration, loss of appetite, and abdominal discomfort.
  • Vomiting – vomiting is a common symptom of the stomach flu, and is caused by the inflammation of the intestines. Feelings of nausea often lead to vomiting. Vomiting can be dangerous because it causes your body to lose fluids, and accelerates the process of dehydration. Many of the remedies for stomach flu work to both settle the stomach and replenish the fluids your body loses through vomiting. Contact your doctor if vomiting does not cease within 48 hours.
  • Fever – a fever occurs when a body’s core temperature is above normal (98.6º Fahrenheit), and is an indication that your body is battling an infection. Fevers do not require medical attention unless temperature exceeds 102ºF. A high fever can indicate a serious infection or other problem and especially in children, can lead to life-threatening conditions. Seek medical attention if you or your child experiences a high fever, and especially if fever persists for more than 48 hours.
  • Body weakness and aching – weakness and aching in your muscles and body are common symptoms of gastroenteritis. These symptoms are often worsened by dehydration and abdominal discomfort. Getting lots of rest and hydrating well often relieve these sensations.

Stomach Flu Treatment Options

Stomach flu and accompanying symptoms can usually be treated at home, and do not require professional medical attention. Antibiotics are not effective for gastroenteritis as a viral infection, and should not be used to treat the stomach flu. There are important ways to help your body fight the stomach flu and to prevent the spread of the virus.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

The most effective way to combat the uncomfortable symptoms of stomach flu is to stay hydrated. As you experience diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, your body loses valuable fluids that it needs to get rid of the stomach flu. Extreme dehydration can be very dangerous and lead to more serious problems. You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms of extreme dehydration:

  • Dark yellow urine
  • Decreased or no urination
  • Dry/cotton mouth
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness

To avoid reaching a dangerous state of dehydration, it is vital to stay hydrated as soon as you feel the onset of common stomach flu symptoms. Helpful ways to prevent dehydration are:

  • Drinking electrolytes – beverages with electrolytes, such as Gatorade, Powerade, and Pedialyte, are designed to replenish nutrients like potassium and sodium, which your body loses through diarrhea. These drinks have low sugar contents and help rehydrate the cells without taxing the digestive system.
  • Avoid caffeine and sugars – physicians recommend sticking to clear drinks and avoiding caffeine and sugars, as they tend to dehydrate the body. Apple juice can be combined with equal parts water to settle the stomach. Drinking juice by itself is not recommended because of it’s high sugar content.
  • Ice chips and Infused Water – eating ice chips can be soothing to your stomach, and will increase your water intake. You can also infuse your water in these creative ways.
  • Increasing frequency – while the stomach flu can make drinking water unappealing, even drinking a few ounces of water many times throughout the day can help your body absorb fluid. In the early stages of gastroenteritis, drinking several ounces of water (or any other fluid) at once may worsen nausea and vomiting.
  • Chicken or vegetable broth – cooking vegetables in water or light chicken broth will provide nutrients and hydration for your body. Avoid adding salt, which dehydrates cells.

Ginger Ale for Stomach Flu?

Ginger ale is a common home remedy for stomach flu. Experts have debated its effectiveness as a treatment, as it contains high levels of sugar. Many people tout the benefits of carbonation to settle an upset stomach, but these claims are not corroborated by medical findings. Ginger itself is a natural anti-inflammatory and can be used to make teas or supplements to combat nausea and discomfort in the abdominal region.

What to Eat with Stomach Flu

Many people who have the stomach flu experience a loss of appetite, mostly due to the nausea and vomiting that come with the virus. While the key to fighting the stomach flu is staying hydrated, some doctors recommend specific diets and foods to help your body recover. Here are some tips for what to eat with the stomach flu:

  • The BRAT diet – many physicians recommend a diet consisting of (B) bananas, (R) rice, (A) applesauce, and (T) toast to calm the gastrointestinal system during the stomach flu. The basis of this diet rests in the fact that these foods have low amounts of fiber, protein, and fat. Reduced fiber, protein, and fat intake slow the production of solid waste, which helps the body retain nutrients and decreases the frequency of bowel movements. This diet is not recommended for children, however, as many doctors believe that children need a more colorful and nutritious array of foods to help their immune systems battle the stomach flu.
  • Chicken noodle soup – an age-old remedy for the stomach flu is chicken noodle soup and saltine crackers. The rationale behind this remedy cites the water content of the soup, which helps to rehydrate the body. Additional benefits come from the easily-digestible cooked vegetables and chicken that provide essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, potassium, and protein – nutrients that your body loses through vomit and diarrhea. Physicians recommend avoiding spicy soups, or broths with tomato or red meat bases, as these foods require more energy to digest and can aggravate the intestinal tract.

Medicine for Stomach Flu

Although gastroenteritis does not require formal medical attention, some medications can be helpful in minimizing the symptoms.

**Doctors recommend hydration as the first and most important treatment for gastroenteritis.
The following medications may help relieve symptoms of stomach flu:

  • Ioperamide (Immodium) – anti-diarrheal medicines can help solidify the stool and reduce the effects of diarrhea.
  • Promethazine – antiemetic (anti-nausea) medications disrupt the function of acetylcholine, a naturally-occurring chemical that produces feelings of nausea and motion sickness.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Ibuprofen) – analgesics reduce fever and alleviate aches and pains caused by abdominal inflammation.

These medications can be prescribed by a doctor to minimize the uncomfortable symptoms of a gastroenteritis, but aren’t necessarily remedies for stomach flu.

It is important to note that physicians recommend that children consume fluids and bland, easily digestible foods to beat stomach flu, as over-the-counter and prescription medications can further aggravate the gastrointestinal tract. Rest and hydration are most commonly advised to alleviate the symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Home Remedies for Stomach Flu

In addition to rest, hydration, and easily-digestible foods, there are many home remedies for stomach flu. The effectiveness of these remedies may vary from person to person, but all offer low-cost methods of treating gastroenteritis at home.

  • Ginger – as mentioned earlier, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, reduces symptoms of nausea, and helps digestion. It is found in most grocery stores as lozenges, or fresh in the produce section.
  • Peppermint – peppermint leaves is a natural pain reliever, and can be consumed as mints or infused in tea to relieve stomach aches and pains.
  • Apple cider vinegar– apple cider vinegar is found in most grocery stores and can be diluted in water (if the taste is too strong) one tablespoon at a time. The bacteria in the solution promote a healthy gut, and for this reason, can be used as a preventative measure against the stomach flu.

How to Prevent the Stomach Flu

The viruses that cause the stomach flu are contagious and become more prevalent during the winter months. The most effective ways to prevent the spread of the stomach flu are to be vaccinated (and vaccinate your children) for Rotavirus, and to regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap.

Proper nutrition and adequate hydration can help protect you and your children from the stomach flu.

When to Contact Your Doctor

Most cases of stomach flu can be treated at home without professional medical attention. However, if symptoms worsen, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. This includes:

  • Signs of extreme dehydration
  • High fever (exceeding 102ºF)
  • Vomiting for more than 48 hours
  • Bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea for more than three days

Closely monitor stomach flu symptoms in children, and consult a physician should they experience a high fever. Fighting stomach flu makes your body more susceptible to dehydration, which can become very dangerous in children and adults alike. If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact a doctor or visit an urgent care near you.

Health Starts At Home

Acute gastroenteritis is commonly known as the “stomach flu,” but it’s not actually the flu at all. The most common cause of gastroenteritis in the U.S. are viruses called norovirus and rotovirus. However bacterial and parasitic infections may also be to blame. Sometimes these are transmitted person-to-person, and sometimes they are spread through contaminated food or water (including swimming pools!).

Physicians may prescribe medications to help with nausea and rehydration, but in most cases antibiotic therapy is not indicated. Gastroenteritis is usually self-limited, meaning it gets better on its own. However, it can lead to long-term problems like postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Regardless of the cause, tummy troubles are important to address and take seriously.

Find Out How I Can Help You, Too!

My natural approach offers comfort and speeds recovery. Here are 12 simple tips to recover from the “stomach flu”:

      1. Bone broth – There’s a reason we make chicken soup. Bone broth is nutrient-dense, easy to digest, and helps heal the gut. With collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine, and minerals, bone broth really is the perfect remedy.
      2. Electrolytes – Coconut Water is a great source of natural electrolytes. I much prefer it to sports drinks like Gatorade that are full of food dyes and sugar (or even worse, artificial sweetener). My other favorite electrolyte mix is this powder from Seeking Health.
      3. Chamomile Tea – Chamomile has long been known for it’s soothing effects, and also has antimicrobial activity. Add a teaspoon of raw honey (remember, no honey for children under 1 year old).
      4. Fresh Ginger – Ginger is widely known for its digestive effects. Studies show it to be an effective option for relieving nausea and vomiting. Grate fresh ginger into warm water and add honey, or add grated ginger to plain sparkling water.
      5. Apple Sauce – Cooked apples are easier to digest and contain more pectin, which helps to reduce the symptoms of diarrhea and soothes the gastrointestinal tract.
      6. Bananas – Bananas are easy to digest and a good source of potassium. They also contain pectin. There’s something to the BRAT (Bananas-Rice-Applesauce-Toast) diet, just stay away from the toast.
      7. Fresh or Frozen Pineapple – Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which acts as a digestive aid, is anti-inflammatory, and may even help kill viruses.
      8. Peppermint Essential Oil – Peppermint is well known for it’s anti-nausea effects. Dilute it with a carrier oil and rub on the soles of the feet (be careful not to get it on the eyes or face). You can also diffuse it into a room or put it on a wet washcloth. My favorite brand of essential oils is doTERRA. (Please note that peppermint oil might not be the best choice for young children because it can potentially cause skin irritation and respiratory distress when inhaled.)
      9. Warm Epsom Salt Bath– Epsom salts are comforting, good for detox, and will provide some needed magnesium. We add a few drops of doTERRA lavender essential oil to our bath, too.
      10. Activated Charcoal – Charcoal can help to naturally remove toxins and bacteria. I like G.I. Detox from Bio-Botanical Research.
      11. Probiotics – double up on a high quality probiotic supplement for a few weeks to months. I recommend daily probiotics for just about everyone to help restore and maintain healthy gut flora. Probiotic or fermented drinks like Kevita’s Lemon Ginger and Kosmic Kombucha Ginger Mary Ann can also help. However, watch the sugar content and avoid these if you struggle with fungal or candida overgrowth.
      12. Serum-derived Bovine Immunoglobulins – that’s a mouthful! There’s good evidence to support the use of oral immunoglobulins to improve gut barrier function, reduce the severity of symptoms, and support nutritional status. My favorite products are SBI Protect and MegaMucosa. Keep these stocked in your medicine cabinet because you never know when you’ll need them!

Stick to warm, cooked, easily digested foods like soups. Boiled potatoes or cooked basmati rice are a good option if you tolerate them. I recommend avoiding inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten and sugar.

More importantly, focus on hydration with electrolyte-rich fluids (electrolytes are depleted with vomiting and diarrhea). Hydrate with frequent, small sips – no gulping or chugging.

Keep in mind that high sugar foods can sometimes make the situation worse by creating osmotic diarrhea (and feeding Candida and yeast). That said, I would prefer natural sugars to artificial sweeteners.

Remember to wash your hands with soap and water! Alcohol based (triclosan-free) hand sanitizers are ok in a pinch, but are no substitute for soap and water and are not effective against certain infections like Clostridium Difficile.

Please note, this is not meant to be a substitute for seeking medical care. See your doctor or go to the Emergency Room if you have any concerns for dehydration. In children especially, it’s important to monitor urine output. See your doctor if there is blood or mucous in the stool, pain, lethargy, if symptoms persist more than a few days or if you have any other concerns.

Let’s Get Started Together!

Stomach flu isn’t limited to those living ashore. It can hit you on the boat, in a remote anchorage. No stores nearby. As we’re stocking up for a Bahamas trip — where part of the time we hope to be in remote anchorages — I’ve thought a bit about various illnesses that could befall us and what we’d want . . .

None of us really plans to get sick with stomach flu, but it’s important to have foods aboard that won’t make the situation worse.

Thus, you might want to think about this when you’re provisioning — particularly if you’re going to be cruising where the shopping is limited.

A few caveats on this:

  • I’m not a doctor, so this isn’t medical advice (although most of the “do’s” and “don’ts” did come from Dave’s brother, who is a retired physician). If you’re seriously ill, get medical attention!
  • I’m not talking about seasickness here or morning sickness — both of which have different needs and guidelines (although staying hydrated is important for anyone).
  • These foods aren’t going to cure you — you may need antibiotics or other meds for that.
  • If your doctor recommends something different, take their advice.

Instead, here are some things that are good to have on board both in the initial stages to keep you hydrated and get some calories into you, then as you recover and don’t want to upset your digestive tract as it returns to normal.

Initial Stage — clear liquids:

  • Gatorade or rehydration drink (if you have pets aboard, get some large “medicine droppers” or syringes without needles to be able to give some to them if they are sick, too; dogs and cats usually won’t lap it up on their own, but it’s equally important to keep them hydrated. Our vet recommended giving very small amounts every 20 to 30 minutes to start, and increasing the amount as she was able to keep it in her.) In severe cases, rehydration drink is better than Gatorade — you can buy packets to mix with water or make your own.
  • Tea with honey — honey is better than sugar as a sweetener, Dave’s brother says, as it tends to calm the stomach.
  • Flat soda such as ginger ale, 7Up, Sprite — stir it to get all the carbonation out.
  • Rice water — don’t give them the rice, but cook it in double the amount of water you’d normally use, and let the person drink the water. You can add a little honey, too.
  • Jello (or the local brand of gelatin) — plain, clear with nothing added. Don’t use the no-calorie type as you’re trying to get calories into the patient. Jello is particularly good as it gives the person the sensation of “eating” (Dave’s about as sick of eating it as I am of making several packages a day but it’s been the best thing for him). If you’re in a hot climate, make it with less water than the directions state and it won’t melt as fast. Make it in a plastic bowl with a locking lid so it won’t slosh out before it sets up. And even without a refrigerator, liquid Jello makes a tasty drink.
  • Freeze pops or plain popsicles. Anything that would be a clear liquid when melted is okay, but things with ice cream should wait — many people that don’t truly have lactose intolerance can be bothered by milk products when their digestion is already off. I like the freeze pops as I can usually find room for a couple no matter how full the freezer is . . . and you can even “drink” them if they’re not frozen . . . and they are dirt cheap!

Returning to Solid Foods:

When you’ve had an episode lasting more than two days, you need to reintroduce solid foods very, very slowly to avoid irritating the digestive system. It’s not uncommon to try to return to your normal diet too quickly and have a relapse, necessitating going back to clear liquids.

Dave’s brother said that we shouldn’t even begin to reintroduce solid foods until we’d had no vomiting or diarrhea for 12 hours, then begin with just a single spoonful. Wait 6 hours, if there was no relapse, try 2 spoonfuls, wait 3 hours and try a bit more. During this time, we supplemented the solid food with lots of the clear liquids. He also noted that after a particularly nasty episode of “intestinal distress” it could take 3 or 4 days — even without a relapse — to slowly work back to a “normal” diet.

But it’s not just keeping the amounts small, you also need to start with foods that are easy to digest. And again, that’s where having the right provisions aboard is crucial.

Good first foods:

  • Banana (can be mixed in Jello, too — be sure to totally cover the banana or it will tun brown)
  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal (make it soupier than normal) — see “Boatmeal” for an easy way to make it
  • Vegetable broth or any fat-free broth (fats irritate the digestive tract). Canned chicken noodle soup, while long considered a comfort food, is not a good choice in this case as it is relatively high in fat.
  • Rice

As the “first foods” are tolerated without a relapse, good ones to try next include:

  • Saltines
  • Dry toast
  • Yogurt IF it has active culture
  • Egg — try just the white first (yolk has a lot of fat), and cook it well; then move to whole hard-boiled eggs.
  • Cooked “easy to digest” vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes — but don’t add butter or other fats.
  • Chicken or fish (cooked without fats) are good first meats to try. Beef and pork tend to be harder to digest because of their higher fat content.

Foods to stay away from:

  • Anything that normally upsets your stomach.
  • Anything with fat, oils, butter and the like.
  • Nuts.
  • “Gassy” or hard-to-digest vegetables such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, onions and corn, to name the most popular.
  • Acidic foods, such as orange juice and vinegar. Coffee bothers some people but not all.
  • Milk products can upset some people.
  • Spicy foods.

All of these should be slowly reintroduced once you’re eating “normal” meals without them.

Other Considerations:

Digestive upsets can interfere with other medical conditions as well. Again, I’m not a doctor, but this is something to be aware of and think how it might affect you.

  • If you’re on a diuretic for high blood pressure (or any other condition), check with your doctor if you should discontinue taking it if you’re losing more liquid than normal.
  • Check whether any other medicines, vitamins or supplements should be discontinued.
  • Watch your blood pressure if you have problems with it: mine ran quite high for several days and my meds had to be adjusted as pills weren’t being absorbed properly. The opposite problem can also occur with blood pressure dropping if you’re a little dehydrated.
  • If you have diabetes, you need to really confer with your doctor about what foods to eat — the typical ones suggested (as above) are all very high in sugar.
  • Birth control pills may not be fully absorbed. Stories abound of seasickness leading to pregnancy — the same can happen with a bout of the flu! Check with your doctor and carry alternatives.
  • Obviously, the same problem of insufficient absorption will apply to any medicine you take on a daily basis. Talk to your doctor ahead of time about what you should do if you expect to be out of direct communication range.

If you’re just out for a day or two, just some Gatorade or Pedialyte aboard is probably sufficient. But if you’re heading out where it would be more than a day to get provisions or medical help, you need to carry more of the needed foods with you. And I hope you never need them!

Have you discovered any other foods that are useful in case of a bout of stomach flu?

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So, you’re sick in bed and your stomach is grumbling and you don’t know what to eat that won’t make you throw up. Forkly is on a mission to help its followers successfully beat that stomach flu without starving to death! Try eating some of these basic foods while you have the stomach flu and hopefully it will help you recover over the next few days.


1. Bananas

We all know that bananas are packed with potassium, but did you know that potassium is a nutrient that is quickly lost when you have diarrhea or are vomiting?

Eating bananas help reduce diarrhea and replace the potassium in your body that you’ve lost through vomiting or diarrhea. The best part is, it’s a very digestible food when you’re sick so your body won’t be stressing out while digesting it.


2. Rice

When you have the stomach flu, your body loses a lot of nutrients at one time when you’re vomiting. Complex carbs are a great way to replace those nutrients as quickly as possible so your body doesn’t get too weak.

Eat your rice plain or with a little bit of basic seasoning that won’t upset your stomach – avoid anything spicy and lean more towards salty.


3. Instant Pot Hack: Cooking Perfect White Rice

When you’re sick, you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, which is part of the reason why this easy Instant Pot rice is perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather! Just dump it in with some water (and salt and oil for taste, if desired) and it’ll cook quickly, hands-off, while you lay on the couch.


4. Crackers

Crackers are an easy snack food that tastes good and helps keep any other food in your stomach down, instead of coming back up!

Crackers have neutral enough ingredients to settle your stomach while replacing nutrients that have been lost during the time of your stomach flu.



5. Broth

Needing something different than just dry, sugar-free food? Sipping on some chicken or veggie broth is a great way to get some protein and fat without bothering your stomach too much.

You can even add a slice of toast on the side with a little bit of butter on top to make it a full meal because after all, it’s probably been a while since you ate a proper supper.


6. Easy 90-Minute Instant Pot Bone Broth

Bone broth is great when you’re sick. It has gut-healing properties and generally helps reduce inflammation in the body. But it takes way to long to make on the stovetop, so we made it in our Instant Pot! All you need to do is dump a handful of ingredients in, set it, and forget it. When it’s done, store it in the fridge and heat it in the microwave to sip on while you’re sick!


7. Toast

Much like rice and crackers, toast is a great way to fill your sick, grumbling stomach without wreaking havoc on your digestive system.

Eating whole-grain toast is obviously a better option for your health, but if you feel extremely lousy, listen to your body and eat some white bread.


8. Ice Chips

Sometimes the flu can get really out of hand and you don’t know what to do with yourself when your stomach grumbles. The main goal is to stay hydrated.

Suck on some ice chips to slowly give your body the water it needs without overwhelming your stomach with big mouthfuls of water.



9. Apple Sauce

Applesauce is typical go-to food for those of us who are feeling sick and even throwing up. Why does it work when we are sick though?

Applesauce contains something called pectin which is a soluble fiber that ensures that our bodies say hydrated throughout our illness. Applesauce can also help make your diarrhea slow down, which is never a bad thing.


10. Chicken

If you’re starting to feel a little bit better, chicken is a neutral-tasting food that can really help your body quite literally get back up on its feet.

It will provide your body with some excellent protein while avoiding triggering your gag reflex with any strong flavors. You can eat it with some pasta or rice to add nutritional value.


11. Instant Pot Hack: Cooking Chicken From Frozen

The Instant Pot can actually cook chicken from frozen in around 25 minutes, including the time it takes to reach pressure. This is perfect for when you’re sick and need something bland (though you can add a dry rub!) without having to put in much time in the kitchen.


12. Jell-O

Jell-O, as we all know, goes down extremely easily without any chewing required. It is a sugar-packed food that is actually good for your body when you have the stomach flu.

Eating a bowl of Jell-O can help maintain your blood sugar levels while providing your body with a little kick of energy to fight your flu virus.



13. Fruit

Fruit is an all-natural way to fill your body up with a lot of delicious nutrients without irritating your stomach too much.

If you need to ensure your blood sugar levels are at a healthy level, while also making sure you have enough energy to fight off your flu, fruit is your best friend. Try adding some to your sugar-free cereal or eating it all on its own!


14. Sugar-Free Cereals

Similarly to crackers and toast, sugar-free cereals taste-neutral enough to keep your gag reflex at bay, while still filling up your belly with some useful nutrients.

If milk is too irritating for you, try eating the cereal dry so that your body can slowly digest it without getting overwhelmed.


15. Ginger

Ginger and lemon tea is something that is often suggested to those who are sick with the stomach flu. It turns out that it’s not just because Grandma said it was good for you, but there’s actual scientific research showing it is good for you!

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial food which means it not only helps your digestive system relax, but it also helps prevent your illness from getting worse.


16. Pasta

By the end of being sick toast, cereal and applesauce can be foods that are now driving you crazy and make you want to gag.

Pasta is a fantastic alternative food for filling up on some good fiber while ensuring that your stomach stays settled. Skip the harsh high dairy and tomato sauces as those will probably make you want to vomit again!



17. Butternut Squash

You may not have heard that butternut squash is a good food to eat while you are sick, but it’s true! To further our point, we can even say that butternut squash is a superfood for cases of flu!

It contains more potassium than an average banana while providing your body with vitamins A and C, along with folate. Vitamin A is lost through vomiting and diarrhea and the squash gives you about quadruple your daily serving so when you throw up, you aren’t losing too much of that vitamin.


18. Instant Pot Hack: How to Cook Butternut Squash

Our Instant Pot method for cooking butternut squash will allow you to make the squash super quickly, as well as cook it in a way that separates the squash from the skin with minimal effort. Eat it on its own or turn it into a soup! Regardless, it’ll be easy on your sensitive stomach.


19. Lemon

Lemons are your new best friend next time you have the stomach flu. They are an amazing fruit that can even make you feel better just by tasting its tangy flavor.

Lemons help prevent vomiting and diarrhea by killing some of the bad pathogens in your body that cause diarrhea. Add slices of lemon to your next glass of water, or squeeze over your pasta or rice.


20. Plain Yogurt

Yogurt would be another excellent food to eat while battling the flu. It’s full of live and active cultures that can help support the health and normal performance of the digestive system.

Some studies have shown that eating yogurt when you have the stomach flu could help shorten the length as well as the severity of your symptoms. However, not all yogurt is helpful for the stomach flu. Make sure to avoid sugary or sweetened yogurts and opt for a low-fat, plain yogurt for optimal benefits.



21. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is often recommended if you need a warm drink to help you relax and sleep, however, it is also highly recommended while battling the stomach flu.

Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its capabilities to help relax the muscles. Both of these qualities help to combat common flu symptoms such as vomiting, stomach cramping, and diarrhea.


22. Oatmeal

Oatmeal doesn’t contain any fancy nutrients that help the stomach flu per se, however, it’s a bland food that is easily tolerated when nothing else is appealing. It’s also a low-fat food that is easy to digest!

Further, if you’re experiencing diarrhea, oatmeal can help add bulk to your stool. Be sure when preparing your oatmeal you make it plain without any added sugar.


23. Mint

Along with ginger, mint has also been known to be an excellent ingredient when trying to fight an upset stomach! Some studies have shown that peppermint can help ease the symptoms of indigestion as well as irritable bowel syndrome.

You could try chewing on a piece of peppermint gum, however, it is most effective when used as a tea. Once again ensure you’re drinking plain tea without any added sugars.


24. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known to help promote a healthy gut. It can be used as a preventative measure but it can help if you’ve come down with the flu too!

Some of the unfortunate flu symptoms are abdominal pain and apple cider vinegar is known to help fight gas and cramps. It is important to note it’s best to consume ACV in a diluted form otherwise it could actually wreak havoc in your body. It’s recommended that you drink a mixture of 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of ACV in 1 cup of warm water.



25. Homemade Ginger Candies

Previously we talked about how ginger can help curb nausea, specifically with the stomach flu. If you’re tired of drinking ginger tea then give these homemade ginger candies a try!

This recipe will help you make both ginger chews and hard ginger candies. They’re quite simple to make and can store for several weeks. Ensure you have these prepared before the stomach flu hits your household!


26. Charcoal Gummies

Activated charcoal could be an excellent remedy for the stomach flu. When you consume activated charcoal it can pull out toxins and flush them out of the body. Along with activated charcoal, grape juice has been known to help ease the flu too. While the grape juice remedy may just be an old wives’ tale, many parents claim it’s the only thing their child can keep down when battling the flu.

These charcoal gummies contain both activated charcoal and grape juice. Keep in mind when searching for a grape juice you purchase one that is 100% grape juice that doesn’t contain any added sugars. Form the gummies in fun shapes so your kids will feel encouraged to eat their remedy candies!


27. Instant Pot Healing Chicken Soup

Next time you or your family are feeling under the weather, whip up this Instant Pot Healing Chicken Soup, full of hearty ingredients and anti-inflammatory turmeric, sickness-fighting fresh garlic, and nutrient-dense bone broth. It doesn’t require much effort and it’ll be the perfect thing to sip on on your road to recovery. Plus, as a bonus, it’s Whole30 compliant!


28. Flu Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Try this recipe! This chicken noodle soup is more than your traditional grandmother’s recipe. It contains a few upgrades that make it an excellent meal when combating the flu.

Firstly, the broth will help add protein and fat into your body without upsetting your stomach. Further, this soup is infused with lemon juice which both helps enhance the flavor of the soup but also provides your body with vitamin C which in turn makes your immune system strong. Lastly, it’s also chock full of other healthy ingredients such as chopped carrot and sliced chicken breasts.



29. Turmeric Flu Buster Smoothie

Whether you’re trying to ward off the flu or you are trying to restore your body while experiencing the flu this smoothie would be a great option for you. This immune-boosting smoothing is thriving in healthy ingredients!

Firstly, it contains plain yogurt which is full of probiotics. Secondly, it contains loads of vitamin C from orange juice, frozen pineapple, and mango. Further lemon juice keeps the immune system strong and helps neutralize any free radicals in the body. Lastly, turmeric is full of antioxidants which also helps to build a strong and healthy immune system.


30. Flu-Fighting Kale And Mint Soup

This is another excellent soup option. Fuel your body with wholesome ingredients to try and restore your body back to normal as soon as possible!

The base of this soup is chicken stock and the only fresh ingredients you’ll need are baby kale and fresh mint leaves. It has a subtle flavor that makes it extremely delicious but without wreaking havoc on your stomach. Before serving, top the soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt! For more recipes that can help battle a cold or the flu read HERE.


31. Garlic

Garlic is commonly used as a food-flavoring agent but it can do so much more than that! Believe it or not, garlic has been used as an alternative medicine o treat a variety of ailments for centuries.

To reap the benefits of garlic you could try taking a garlic supplement in pill form or you can try eating raw garlic too. It may be best to eat garlic at the first signs of the flu to help reduce the symptoms.



32. Leafy Greens

It may be hard to stomach a leafy green salad while experiencing the flu but leafy greens could do your body some good. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are full of vitamin C and vitamin E both of which are immune-enhancing nutrients.

So instead of forcing yourself to eat a bowl of salad try adding the greens to a smoothie with other fruits for added vitamin C. You could even add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt too.




33. Broccoli

Chomping on broccoli florets when the flu has just begun does not sound appetizing — eating any food for that matter is just out of the question. That said you should consider eating broccoli once your appetite returns which usually happens around the middle or end of the flu.

The reason for this is because broccoli is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrients. It’s full of immune-boosting vitamin C and vitamin E and is a great source of fiber and calcium. All of these nutrients can benefit your body when you’re fighting the flu.



34. Horseradish And Pepper

You’ll want to stay away from spicy foods while you’re sick, especially if you’re experiencing a sore throat. That said, horseradish and pepper are recommended towards the end of the flu.

Sinus pain and chest congestion often increase towards the end of the flu and both horseradish and pepper may help disperse the congestion which in turn, will help you breathe better.



35. Popsicles

Popicples are a great snack to have while battling the flu, however, it’s important to note we’re not talking about the sugary kind. Be sure to look for popsicles that are made from 100% fruit juice.

If you’re having trouble finding these in store you could make your own by picking up a jug of 100% fruit juice and freeze the juice in a popsicle mold. Although, you probably won’t have any extra energy while fighting the flu so you may want to ask a family member to makes these for you!


Preventing norovirus–the name for the highly contagious group of viruses that cause stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea–can be tough. This sneaky stomach flu doesn’t just show up on cruise ships; it’s pretty much permanently around, although outbreaks typically spike in cold weather months. If friends and neighbors are coming down with icky stomach bugs this season, norovirus is probably to blame.

About 30 to 40 different strains are constantly in our environment, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone can get norovirus, and it’s usually from contaminated water and food, someone already sick with it, or even a contaminated countertop or tabletop.

Aside from washing your hands with soap and water, is there anything that can keep you and your family safe? Yes!

Avoid germ hotspots. More than a third of norovirus outbreaks are linked to restaurants with buffets, and salad bars the top culprits. That’s because the virus is easily transmitted on raw foods, since they’re not exposed to heat, which kills the virus. Plus salad bar counters are usually crawling with bacteria. To protect yourself, order a “made-to-order” salad from the kitchen instead of picking through veggies that countless people have touched and picked through.

Can You Prevent Norovirus With Probiotics?

Shield yourself with yogurt. Keeping your digestive system well stocked with good bacteria–from, for example, a daily cup of yogurt containing live bacteria cultures–increases your ability to fight off bad bacteria. When enough of yogurt’s probiotic bacteria line your digestive tract, your risk of the virus taking hold plunges as much as 50 percent. (Bonus: Eating yogurt is also a natural cure for insomnia.)

(Getty Images)

Zap it with oregano. The pizza-topping herb oregano has the power to combat the norovirus. Thanks go to carvacrol, the primary component of oregano essential oil, which breaks down the tough exterior wall of the virus, causing it to die, according to a University of Arizona study in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Don’t rely on hand sanitizers. For maximum protection, hand sanitizers work best when used in addition to hand washing with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Always lather your hands well, and wash all surfaces, including between your fingers, the backs of your hands, wrists, and under your fingernails.

How do you treat stomach flu?

There’s no cure for the stomach flu. Antibiotics don’t help, because it’s caused by viruses, not bacteria. For the most part, you just have to wait it out. In the meantime, there are some things you can do to make yourself more comfortable and prevent complications.

  • Drink more. It’s important to up fluid intake when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea. Adults should aim to get one cup of fluid every hour. Children need 1 ounce of fluid every 30 to 60 minutes. Drink slowly, since too much at once could worsen vomiting. If your child tends to gulp, give her a frozen popsicle instead.
  • Drink wisely. When you have diarrhea, drinking more water may not be enough. You’re losing important minerals and electrolytes that water can’t supply. Instead, ask your doctor about giving your sick child an oral rehydration solution such as CeraLyte, Infalyte, Naturalyte, Pedialyte, and generic brands. (If your baby is still nursing or using formula, keep feeding him as usual.) Adults can use oral rehydration solutions or diluted juices, diluted sports drinks, clear broth, or decaffeinated tea. Sugary, carbonated, caffeinated, or alcoholic drinks can make diarrhea worse, so be sure to dilute sugary beverages if you drink them.
  • Don’t eat only bland foods. The old advice was to stick with a liquid diet for a few days and then to add in bland foods, such as the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. That’s fine for the first day or so of stomach flu. However, doctors say that you should return to your normal diet as soon as you feel up to it. BRAT foods aren’t bad. They just don’t provide the fat and protein that you need. Sticking with them too long could actually slow your recovery.
  • Get the right nutrients. Look for foods with potassium (such as potatoes, bananas, and fruit juices), salt (such as pretzels and soup), and yogurt with active bacterial cultures. Even a little fat could help, because it slows down digestion and may reduce diarrhea. If you feel up to it, add a pat of butter or some lean meat to your next meal.
  • Use over-the-counter medications. They’re not necessary, but some people find relief in medications for diarrhea and vomiting. Just use them with care, and read and follow the label instructions. Never give your child medication for diarrhea or vomiting unless your pediatrician says that you should.
  • Rest. Give your body time to recover.

10 Things To Get Your Family Through A Tummy Bug Naturally + A Soothing Stomach Smoothie

It might hit your house or it might not…

(And I’m not talking about a hurricane.)

Perhaps the thing I dread and fear most is a vicious stomach bug hitting our house and making its way through each member of my family (including me). Seriously, who wants to puke or clean up puke???

We haven’t dealt with a stomach virus in a looooooong time, but you better believe I’m prepared with all the natural things if and when we are.

The last thing I’m going to give my kids, my husband, or myself is a dose of Pepto Bismol or other over-the-counter medicine.

I don’t deny that those products help with symptoms, but they don’t actually promote true healing.We can recover from any illness and our bodies can actually be STRONGER and HEALTHIER on the other side when we use natural, holistic remedies instead of man-made substances.

Remember: our bodies are designed to heal themselves… when we give them the tools they need to do so. Plant-based remedies (like foods, herbs, and essential oils) and earth-given substances (like minerals) ARE THOSE TOOLS.

10 Things To Get Your Family Through A Tummy Bug Naturally

#1 – 3 Essential Oils: Because essential oils are powerful plant-based medicine, they work quickly and efficiently to bring relief from nausea, gas, bloating, and stomach cramps. My favorites are:

  • peppermint
  • ginger
  • Digest blend

I don’t support MLM companies, so I use Spark Naturals. Their prices beat out MLMs by a long shot, but their oils are just as pure and effective. (Trust me…I’ve been using their oils exclusively for 3 years!) My exclusive coupon code DIETZVILLE will save you 10% off any Spark Naturals oils or products!

#4 – Loose-Leaf, Dried Peppermint: When you just need something soothing to sip, nothing beats peppermint tea. It’s more economical to buy organic, loose-leaf, dried peppermint than tea bags, plus you can make a large amount at once (helpful when the entire family is sick!).

To make no-fuss tea, use a French press or tea ball. I also love my electric ceramic tea kettle — it boils water much faster than on the stove!

#5 — Activated Charcoal: Just in case we’re not dealing with a contagious virus but actual food poisoning, I keep activated charcoal on-hand at all times. I even travel with it!

#6 — Magnesium: We all know how important it is to prevent dehydration during a bout with the stomach flu. Rather than plain water, add a teaspoon or two of magnesium powder to water to keep electrolytes balanced and prevent dehydration.

(Use my coupon code TODAY10 at Perfect Supplements, and this magnesium is cheaper than on Amazon!)

#7 — Lots of Extra Probiotics: To boost the immune system and encourage the good bacteria to defeat the bad bugs, it’s helpful to increase your dose of probiotics. Just make sure to take them when the nausea has passed so you don’t waste your money by puking them back up!

(Use my coupon code TODAY10 for 10% off these probiotics!)

#8 — Bone Broth: Because nothing heals and soothes the gut better! Adding extra salt provides valuable trace minerals to keep electrolytes balanced.

#9 — Ginger Ale or Lemon-Lime Zevias: Remember drinking cans of Sprite and 7Up when you were sick as a kid? The carbonation can reduce nausea and make tummies feel better.

Yet, conventional soft drinks are full of high fructose corn syrup and sugar and artificial flavors. We prefer stevia-sweetened Zevias instead!

#10 — Soothing Stomach Smoothie: When the storm has passed and the afflicted person is ready to attempt food again, this smoothie is perfectly gentle and contains digestion-soothing ginger and lemon, plus greens for a boost of nutrition!

5 from 6 votes

Soothing Stomach Smoothie

When the stomach flu strikes, the last thing I’m going to give my family is a dose of Pepto Bismol or other over-the-counter medicine. Promote healing and recover naturally a Soothing Stomach Smoothie recipe that’s full of digestion-friendly foods like lemon and ginger!

CourseDrinks, Snacks CuisineFood As Medicine Cook Time 5 minutes Total Time 5 minutes Servings 1 serving Author Elyse Wagner

  • 1cupwaternut milk, or seed milk of choice
  • iceoptional
  • 1/2cucumber
  • 1cupspinachkale, or chard (I recommend using pre-steamed smoothie pucks for reduced oxalates.)
  • 1inchfresh ginger root
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1tablespoondried chamomile
  • loads of LOVE
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. If using ice, add it last before blending.

This upset stomach soothing smoothie contains ingredients that are meant to help sooth an upset stomach. Both peppermint tea and ginger have been shown to help with nausea. Banana and oats contain fiber and complex carbohydrates that are better for those experiencing constipation or diarrhea. Instead of sugar that can upset a stomach, stevia is used as a natural sweetener. Drink the stomach soothing smoothie to help when you have an upset stomach or to prevent from getting an upset stomach when you are ill with something such as the flu or a cold.


  • 8 fl oz iced peppermint tea
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/3 cup cooked oats (plain)
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 tsp ground ginger


  1. Combine all of the ingredients into the Nutribullet cup.
  2. Pour in the iced peppermint tea the max fill line.
  3. Blend together until smooth and consistent.

Nutrition Information:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227 Total Fat: 2.5g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 10mg Carbohydrates: 49g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 15.5g Protein: 5g


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Boost your immune system this winter with the anti-flu super smoothie!

Superior nutrition can keep your kids from catching every bug that goes around this winter. Sometimes however, super bugs invade their lives, and even with the best nutrition, they can get sick. We have a smoothie with the super foods that can not only boost their protection, but also help recover faster if they do get sick!

“Certain plant foods contain significant amounts of substances that enhance human immune function and defenses against acute illness and chronic disease.” There are a food plant foods that more than any others have the MOST of these substances! These include cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, garlic and onions, pomegranates, berries, and seeds. (Source: Super Immunity By Joel Fuhrman).

The Foods that Fight the Flu

Cruciferous Vegetables

Green, flowering vegetables that include kale, cabbage, and broccoli are considered cruciferous vegetables. Blending cruciferous veggies in a blender for a smoothie breaks the cell walls that cause a chemical reaction. This produces a substance called isothiocyanates which have been proven to have powerful immune boosting effects. Studies have shown they actually attack microbes such as viruses.

Compounds in cruciferous vegetables enhance defenses against bacterial infections as well, including those infections that become antibiotic resistant! A protein in cruciferous veggies activate a gene that produce protective compounds that protect from inflammation and disease.

We used kale for our smoothie, cause it just sounds tastier than a cabbage or broccoli smoothie.


We used pomegranate juice for this smoothie, and while expensive, the protection it provides is unmatched! (also, this past Sunday in the newspaper there were coupons for both pomegranates and Pomegranate juice!)

The juice and sees have antioxidant AND anticancer properties, including interference with tumor cell proliferation, life cycle invasion and angiogenesis. Studies just this past decade showed pomegranate benefits in the treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, bacterial infections, and UV induced skin damage.


Brightly colored berries like raspberries, blackberries and blueberries have benefits similar to pomegranates. There are many studies that show the ability of dark berries to inhibit tumor growth in cancer patients. However, while further study is needed, dark berries may also be able to block viruses!

Side note: Recently I attended a brain seminar that showed research of daily blueberry consumption increasing brain activity and memory! That makes me really excited, as I really don’t want to lose my mind! I bought a huge bag of frozen blueberries on the way home from the conference after hearing that, and may just need to move to Oregon in order to get me some fresh blueberries!! I love blueberries, and to have another reason to eat them, is just icing on the “cake” : )


We used Flax Seeds for our smoothie. Flax seeds of course have amazing benefits with the omega 3 fatty acids alone, but they also contain a powerful immune booster, lignans. These lignans bind to estrogen receptors and interfere with cancer and have strong anti-oxidant effects.

The other super foods that we did NOT include in our smoothie (for obvious reasons) is the mushrooms, garlic, and onion. So, make sure to get these foods into your kids at dinner, and they’ll benefit from the whole array of immune fighting super foods!

This smoothie is obviously delicious- How can it not be?? The flavor from the berries and pomegranate are dominant enough to make it yummy even for your pickiest eaters! (recipe below)

So, let us know if your kids try it. We are going to drink these all winter and keep the flu and cold away this year!

All the studies cited in this article are found in the book by Dr. Fuhrman, Super Immunity. My husband teases that Dr. Fuhrman is my boyfriend because I talk about him daily! His work has been truly life changing for me and my family. Check out our books page for my other favorite books!

Also, for more smoothies, check out our How to Make Green Smoothies printable!


The Anti-Flu Super Smoothie for Kids

4.78 from 9 votes Pin Course: Drinks Cuisine: American Keyword: Anti-Flu Super Smoothie for Kids Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Calories: 125kcal

  • 2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 cup, chopped kale
  • 2 cup mixed berries, frozen
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed, ground
  • Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. Depending on the type of blender you have, it may be better to split all ingredients in half and make 2 servings at a time.

Tried this recipe?Mention @SuperHealthyKids or tag #SuperHealthyKids!


Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 15mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g

Eat after stomach flu

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