It’s happened to all of us: one minute you’re enjoying a nice evening at home, and the next you’re hanging your miserable head over the toilet wishing you’d never been born. While you can take certain actions to avoid them (washing your hands and avoiding sushi forever), the stomach flu and food poisoning can technically strike at any time, so it’s best to be prepared. Below, we’ve compiled a list of items to keep handy for the next time you lose your lunch. Best of all, most of them are non-perishable, so they can hang out in your kitchen until you need them (although we hope you never do)!
It may seem strange, but taking capsules of oregano oil at the first signs of food poisoning may be your saving grace. According to University Health News Daily, oregano oil, “contains a powerful blend of antimicrobial compounds… that can destroy the most common foodborne pathogens.” Oregano oil can stop bad food from turning into a full-blown stomach virus, so if you’ve eaten something iffy and are starting to feel those telltale pinpricks of nausea, pop a capsule or two. It may spare you a very unpleasant 24 hours.
If you’re past the point of no return and it’s time to hunker down and ride it out, the best thing to do is hydrate. Food poisoning and the flu can wipe out your body’s water supply, so drinking fluids is essential for your body to be able to recover quickly. Liquid I.V.’s Hydration Multiplier follows the guidelines set down by the World Health Organization for oral rehydration solutions—so it can certainly help with dehydration. Better yet, it utilizes the breakthrough science of Cellular Transport Technology, which means one stick in water can hydrate you faster and more efficiently than water alone. Liquid I.V. is an absolute game-changer when it comes to replenishing your body with the water and salts it loses to a virus. Keep some in your kitchen cabinet at all times.
Fresh ginger can work wonders for nausea, and for the inevitable inflammation that follows vomiting. Ginger root has been used for centuries to calm queasy stomachs, and can be chewed or made into a tea for a soothing effect. If you can’t quite stomach food yet, chewing on some ginger or sipping ginger-infused hot water may be a nice solution in the meantime. One drawback: ginger is often served with sushi, so if it’s giving you flashbacks, maybe avoid this one 🤢.
Once you can keep fluids down, it’s time to start inching your way up the food chain. Applesauce is a gentle intro back to food because of its semi-solid consistency—it’s not quite a liquid, but not quite a solid. The sugar and nutrients in applesauce can help replenish you, filling you up with some of the calories you’ve lost and giving your body the boost it needs to keep fighting what ails you.
If you can keep applesauce down, it’s time to starch it up! Consuming bland, starchy foods like rice, toast and plain crackers coats the lining of your stomach, and sops up some of the harsh acids that accumulate there during gastrointestinal upheaval. Often, these thick, bland foods can help you feel better, too. Making the leap to solid food can sometimes signal the end of the “emergency phase” of the virus and the beginning of the recovery phase. Take small bites and you may be feeling better in a few hours.
Enduring food poisoning or the stomach flu can be challenging to say the least, but keeping these items around can cut your sick time down significantly. Flu season is at its peak right now, so be prepared and order some Liquid I.V. now! Remember, if after a few days you still don’t feel better, can’t keep food down, or have a fever, it’s definitely time to see a doctor. Good luck!