Food poisoning is an all-encompassing term involving the consumption of contaminated food, stomach flu, stress, drug interactions, nutrient deficiencies or their excess. It can come on rather suddenly after eating; diarrhea or vomiting can begin 30 minutes to one hour after eating foods that are chemically poisonous; within one to 12 hours with bacterial poisoning, and 12 to 48 hours with viral or salmonella poisoning. Food poisoning can be serious and a medical professional should be contacted especially if it is accompanied by a difficulty in swallowing, speaking or breathing; if there is a fever of 100 degrees F; if the person can’t even hold down liquids; if there is severe diarrhea of more than two days.
The best remedy is to curtail eating until all the symptoms have subsided and the toxins have had the chance to exit your system. Drink plenty of fluids – vitamin C and blackberry and peppermint teas can be taken then to strengthen the stomach, along with yogurt that contains acidophilus to recolonize the lost flora in the bowel. Diluted sweetened drinks can also be consumed to replace the body’s lost fluid and electrolytes, and the BRAT diet (bananas, apples, rice and toast) can also be helpful in getting the toxins cleared from the body.
As a precaution against food poisoning, great care should be taken when preparing foods. Avoid over-handling foods, and when in doubt, throw it out – don’t take a risk with leftovers if you’re just not sure how long they’ve been in your refrigerator.
Mint, lemon, raspberry, chamomile or teas might also be helpful in easing the stomach pain associated with food poisoning or stomach cramping. Ginger tea is also good for settling an unsettled stomach, and promotes good digestion. Try to get plenty of rest as food poisoning can be an exhausting and nutrient-depleting chore for your body. Once you’re feeling better, be sure to eat a well-balanced healthy diet that includes foods rich in iron, zinc, vitamin C to help your body get back to its old self again.