Article by Angela Haldane
Q. I have had a terrible 24 hour stomach bug. I am now embarking on a solid food diet again. What foods could you recommend?
A. Cooked food is best, as it is soft and warm on a tender stomach lining. In particular, cooked apple is good for its pectin content. Pectin has astringent properties and will help to repair the gut lining.
In addition to this, a practitioner-only strength probiotic powder would be useful to replenish the beneficial intestinal bacteria which may have been depleted. Alternatively, acidophilus yoghurt will supply some probiotics, but to a lesser degree. Add some ground linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA) for extra minerals and essential fatty acids that are easy to absorb (in the fridge at the natural health shop).
Miso soup is a good protein soup which is light but will provide some strength, otherwise a good organic chicken and vegetable broth. Make sure you restore your fluid balance with diluted fruit juices, or an electrolyte solution from the chemist. One of the risks of severe vomiting and diahorrea is dehydration. Even if you can only take sips at a time, try to maintain fluid intake, otherwise hospitalisation may be required for intravenous fluids to treat the dehydration.
White rice initially is good as a soft, easy to digest starch to build up energy again. As you tolerate these suggested foods, you will find that you can progress to your usual diet over the next few weeks, just follow your symptoms as a guide.