Weekly Wellness: Foods to help with an upset tummy
COLUMBIA — Well, now you’ve done it. I can’t believe you ate ALL that food! Holy moly! Your tummy is kinda upset, eh? I think I can help…
This week we are focusing on foods that have been proven to help your upset tummy to feel better. (Hold on to this list… we still have a few more weeks of this holiday season of eating to traverse.)
1. Papaya. This tropical fruit carries an enzyme called papain, which is known to aid digestion. However, if you don’t enjoy the taste of papaya but still want the benefits of the enzyme, look for papain pills at your local health food store.
2. Mint. Peppermint is known to calm stomach muscles and improve digestion. (This is why you’ll often find that restaurants will serve peppermints at the end of a meal.) If you have a belly ache, drink peppermint tea or try some peppermint oil pills. If peppermint isn’t available, you can try spearmint or any other mint. It should still work.
3. Licorice, Fennel, and Caraway Seeds. Fennel, licorice and caraway seeds contain oils that have been shown to help relax the GI tract and aid digestion.
4. Ginger. Ginger helps with the motility of the GI tract (which means that it keeps everything down there moving smoothly), which can help alleviate nausea.
5. Bland Carbs. White rice, pasta, crackers, and oat brans are easy to digest and don’t tend to have an offensive taste or smell which makes them easy (and soothing) to eat.
6. Bananas. Bananas are one part of the well-known, nausea-combating BRAT diet (BRAT = bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) that are all foods that are easy to tolerate. The electrolytes in bananas will help you rehydrate, especially after vomiting or diarrhea.