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Natural Remedies for Tummie Troubles

March 4, 2010

I was very ill-prepared when Maddie and I got sick this past weekend. We’ve avoided sickness this whole winter besides a cold or two, and since this was Maddie’s first real illness it caught me by surprise. Since Stu was busy with work, I had to make due with what I had, which was just the chicken broth and regular hot tea.  We lived, though, and now I will be better prepared for next time!

Now that I’m a mom, and even a bit before then, I’ve gotten to be really passionate about what I eat. I try to eat whole foods and I love to cook things from scratch. However, the most commonly eaten foods for stomach viruses in America are processed foods like ginger ale, Gatorade, canned soup, and saltines, and I want to try to avoid those. So for next time, here is a list of whole foods that are also kind to an upset tummy.

Chicken broth: Homemade chicken broth is my favorite comforting drink during the winter, and was wonderful to have when I had the stomach bug. I always have some  tucked away in my freezer. When Maddie and I got sick, this was the first thing I turned to for relief. Homemade chicken broth is very settling to the stomach because of the gelatin in it, and it is also a good s0urce of minerals that can be lost during an illness.

Ginger tea: Spicy ginger is known to have soothing properties for an upset stomach. A hot tea steeped with nothing but fresh ginger, raw honey, and a splash of lemon can help calm the tummy and keep dehydration away.

Coconut water: The water from young coconuts is a wonderful natural electrolyte and is good for those with dehydration, as it provides the body with sodium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as water. From Food Renegade:

Coconut water has many benefits. It’s full of potassium and electrolytes and has an osmolality identical to our own blood. Translation: it’s amazingly hydrating, and the water is absorbed almost immediately into our cells. Hence, it’s “nature’s Gatorade.”

This is a good replacement for those sports energy drinks that aren’t much besides high fructose corn syrup.  This can be a little pricey, but I plan on keeping a can or two on hand for the next bug. I tried some the other day and didn’t quite care for the taste. It’s rather bland, since coconut water is not very sweet or sour. I bet it would be excellent mixed with sparkling water.

Probiotic drinks: Water kefir and kombucha are probably very unfamiliar to Americans, but both are filled with probiotics just like yogurt is. Both of these drinks are naturally carbonated and can be more palatable than dairy like yogurt. However, they can be an acquired taste, as they are quite sour. I buy kombucha at my local organic store, where it is really expensive.  The ginger flavor is very good however, and would be just right for a tummy soother. The probiotics can help restore good bacteria to the gut when a stomach bug has wiped them out.

*I’m not a doctor, just a mom sharing what I’ve learned in my research on the Net. Please consult a doctor if your condition warrants medical care.*

For more ideas, check out this post at the Nourishing Gourmet.

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