A selection of fresh and healthy foods to help with food poisoning recovery
Food Poisoning

What to Eat When You Have Food Poisoning

Dealing with food poisoning can be incredibly uncomfortable and debilitating. Whether it’s from consuming contaminated food or water, the symptoms of food poisoning can range from mild stomach discomfort to severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. During this challenging time, knowing what to eat can make a significant difference in your recovery process.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Foods

When experiencing food poisoning, it’s essential to choose foods that are gentle on the stomach, easy to digest, and can help alleviate symptoms. Opting for the wrong foods can further irritate the digestive system and prolong your discomfort. Therefore, selecting the right foods is crucial for a speedy recovery.

Clear Liquids: The Initial Approach

In the initial stages of food poisoning, clear liquids should be your primary source of nourishment. Clear liquids help prevent dehydration, which is common during bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Opt for options such as:

  • Water: Plain water is the best way to stay hydrated and flush out toxins from your system.
  • Broth: Clear broth, such as chicken or vegetable broth, provides essential electrolytes and minerals.
  • Herbal Tea: Herbal teas like ginger or peppermint can soothe the stomach and alleviate nausea.
  • Electrolyte Drinks: Drinks like sports drinks or oral rehydration solutions can help replenish lost electrolytes.

The BRAT Diet: A Time-Tested Remedy

The BRAT diet is a popular choice for individuals recovering from food poisoning. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, which are bland, easily digestible foods that can help firm up stools and reduce diarrhea. These foods provide essential nutrients while being gentle on the stomach.


Potassium, which is abundant in bananas, can aid in replenishing electrolytes lost due to vomiting and diarrhoea. They can give a much-needed energy boost during recuperation and are simple to stomach.


Plain white rice is a staple of the BRAT diet due to its blandness and binding properties. It can help absorb excess moisture in the digestive tract, firming up stools and reducing diarrhea.


Applesauce is gentle on the stomach and provides essential vitamins and minerals. Opt for unsweetened applesauce to avoid exacerbating symptoms with added sugars.


Without adding extra fat or fibre, plain toast prepared from white bread or crackers can serve as a source of carbs. It can soothe an upset stomach and is simple to digest.

Incorporating Bland Proteins and Vegetables

As your symptoms start to improve, you can gradually incorporate bland proteins and cooked vegetables into your diet. Avoid spicy, greasy, or fatty foods, as they can trigger digestive discomfort. Opt for:

  • Boiled Chicken: Lean, boiled chicken breast is easy to digest and provides a source of protein.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Cooked vegetables like carrots, spinach, or zucchini are gentle on the stomach and packed with essential nutrients.
  • Plain Pasta or Noodles: Plain pasta or noodles can provide a source of carbohydrates without adding unnecessary spices or sauces.

Avoiding Certain Foods

While certain foods can help alleviate symptoms of food poisoning, others can exacerbate them. It’s essential to avoid the following foods until you have fully recovered:

  • Dairy Products: Dairy products may exacerbate diarrhea and be difficult to digest.
  • Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can irritate the digestive tract and exacerbate symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
  • Fatty or Fried Foods: Foods high in fat can be hard to digest and may worsen stomach discomfort.
  • Raw Fruits and Vegetables: Raw fruits and vegetables can be difficult to digest and may contain bacteria that could further irritate the stomach.


Managing food poisoning can be difficult, but eating the correct foods can help reduce symptoms and hasten recovery. Until your symptoms go away, stick to plain meals and clean beverages; steer clear of spicy or fatty foods. Recall to pay attention to your body’s signals and to keep hydrated. You’ll feel better quickly if you take the appropriate strategy.

Janvi Dhiman holds a Master's degree in Biotechnology and has a background in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies from Amity University, Noida. Her passion lies in making meaningful contributions to the healthcare and research sectors. Currently, she is a valued member of our team, serving as a Research Analyst and a medical content writer at DiseaseInfoHub.

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