If you’re dealing with an upset tummy (we’ve all been there), it’s possible that the lining in your stomach is inflamed or irritated. Whenever gastric distress happens, it can be helpful to avoid caffeine and drink plenty of fluids. However, you likely still need food (when you’re up for it). While the idea of eating may seem counterintuitive, registered dietitians actually recommend eating a little something to ward off unwanted symptoms, including pain, discomfort, or nausea.
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“When you eat something, particularly something bland and easy to digest, it can help absorb excess stomach acid that may be contributing to the upset feeling,” Samantha Schleiger, MS, RDN, CD, CLT, IFNCP, an integrative and functional medicine dietitian, tells W+G. Diets like the BRAT diet—which stands for “bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast”—can be beneficial at keeping nausea, vomit, and diarrhea at bay. Eating starchy foods also comes with the benefit of creating a protective layer on the stomach lining, which can reduce future irritation, adds Schleiger.
What to look for in a snack for an upset stomach
When choosing a snack for an upset stomach, Schleiger says there are several factors to consider.
It’s easy to digest
One of the best things you can do for your stomach is avoid foods that can irritate your stomach lining. “Fatty foods, especially lower-quality fats (like artificial trans fats), can be harder to digest and may worsen the symptoms of an upset stomach,” says Schleiger. The same goes for naturally greasy foods and foods that have a boatload of added sugar.
Fiber is typically good to eat for digestion, but when it comes to an upset stomach, fiber is foe. Schleiger explains that too much fiber during an upset stomach can actually be hard on the gastrointestinal system. Therefore, you’ll want foods lower in fiber content (ahem, plain crackers or white rice).
Low spice levels
“Spicy foods can irritate the stomach lining, so it’s best to avoid them during this time,” recommends Schleiger. Instead, stick to mild, non-spicy snacks to prevent further discomfort.”
It’ll keep you hydrated
If you’re experiencing diarrhea as a result of your upset stomach, it’s essential to hydrate and replenish lost fluids. In addition to electrolytes, choose snacks with higher water content. Schleiger recommends watermelon or clear broths to help maintain proper hydration.
Ahead, you’ll find RD-approved snacks that will turn your stomach’s frown upside down. Even more to smile about? All of the snacks are available on Amazon.
The best snacks for an upset stomach
Back to Nature, Organic Saltine Crackers (Pack of 6) — $13.00
Whenever an upset stomach strikes, plain crackers are a safe bet. These Back to Nature saltines clock in at zero grams of dietary fiber and sugar. “They are odorless and bland, making them a food option for people experiencing an upset stomach,” says Schleiger.
Amount: 7 oz per box
Eden, Organic Applesauce — $12.00
A lunchbox staple, apple sauce is easy to digest and gentle on the stomach, so that’s why Scheliger recommends it. Eden’s applesauce is low in fiber and has no added sugars. The best part? It’s made from just one ingredient: organic apples.
Amount: 25 oz
Ginger People, Organic Crystallized Ginger Box — $7.00
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that can help ease nausea and settle the stomach. It’s no mystery why RDs recommend consuming it. These crystallized gingers are easy to chew and make a great snack for whenever nausea strikes.
Amount: 4 oz
Fond, Regenerative Chicken Bone Broth (Pack of 4) — $48.00
This lemon and garlic-infused chicken bone broth is delicious and makes a great cooking base for soups, sauces, and noodle dishes. It’s also a good remedy for upset stomachs. “Amino acids like glutamine found in bone broth support the gut mucosal lining in the intestines and offer a calming, easy-to-digest approach to staying hydrated,” Schleiger explains.
Amount: 14 fl oz per jar
Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Brown Rice Cakes — $5.00
These plain rice cakes come recommended by Schleiger. Made with simple ingredients (organic brown rice and sea salt), these likely won’t make your stomach rumble. Plus, each serving has zero grams of sugar and only one gram of fiber.
Amount: 8.5 oz
Sol Simple, Dried Banana Snack — $15.00
Because bananas are bland and easy to digest, they make for the perfect snack if you’re feeling under the weather. “Bananas pack an excellent nutrient punch with potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, and fiber,” says Schleiger. “This organic dried banana snack option is shelf stable and contains only one simple ingredient: organic bananas!”
Amount: 6 oz
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