Summer is one of our favorite seasons- the time to rest, the time we take to share with people we love; the time we take to visit places where we haven’t been, but places which offer us comfort and inspiration; places which make us feel home, even if we are at the other end of the world.
Still, summer vacations are inevitably tied with some not so pleasant emotions- summer viruses.
I suggest that most of you are keen on healthy eating ( actually I am sure you are). Probably, every time when you become a victim of some stomach virus, besides the physical discomfort, your mind carries the burden as well- born by the conflict between your convictions and your reasoning.
We are all aware of the traditional methods to cure the stomach virus- baked bread, crackers and other similar foods. You are well aware that such foods are far from healthy and not something that is on your menu, when you are feeling well. Do you really need to eat them?
Before I answer, I want to emphasize on the traditional cures for the stomach flu- pills.
In my opinion, our body is our best advisor. It knows best what it needs and it always has a way to state it. The problem is that, usually, we are so engaged in thinking what “we are supposed to do”, that we totally ignore the signals and the voice of our own body.
The problem with traditional medicine is that pills don’t cure the illness, but just suppress the symptoms. The problem is that pills are not a long term solution, but a short term fix. Besides that, most pills have a negative influence on the body.
I’ve always found it strange, when somebody has a physical discomfort- let’s say he feels like puking and immediately rushes to buy pills, that will interfere with puking.
I like spreading the following recommendation: “If you take pills, you will get better in a week. If you don’t take pills, you will get better in 7 days.”
The stomach flu, suggests that you have some kind of bacteria, an infection that attacked your body. Puking, diarrhea, stomach sickness as a whole, are a mean through which your body, in a natural way, tries to get rid of this bacteria. By taking pills against the puking, we block the natural mechanisms of our body, to cope with the invaders.
Besides that, when we have stomach virus, we usually don’t have huge appetite. Then why would we insist on eating? Just give it a thought! There is a reason behind your lack of appetite. And it is in the fact that your body is trying to concentrate its efforts, so it can cope with the intruders as fast as possible. If we give our body more food, it will be busy digesting it and we will weaken its ability to deal with “the bad guys”.
What should we do when we get the stomach flu?
1.Listen to your body.
-if you don’t feel like eating, don’t eat. You won’t die if you eat less for the next 2-3 days.
-if you feel like puking, don’t rush to take pills. Give your body a chance to deal with the flu by itself.
-if you feel tired, don’t try to do all the work, you haven’t done in the last year. Take a break and use the opportunity to sleep. Sleep is the best remedy.
How should you eat?
Nature gives us an abundance of remedies, yet we ignore them. We neglect the traditions, which carry a lot of wisdom and knowledge and we turn to contemporary methods, which spin us in an enchanted circle, called- constant trips to the hospital.
There are a lot of herbs and spices, which we could take when we feel sick.
-elderberry– you might not be aware of it but when you have a stomach flu, elderberry tea is a really effective way to cope with bacteria
-ginger- ginger is really popular lately, so I won’t explain the positives of it. Probably you already know them better than me.
-cornel– a tea from cornels is a great way to cope with diarrhea without taking pills
-onion and garlic- it might sound strange but these foods should be present in our menu on a daily basis. They are a great source of prebiotics- i.e. the food of our good bacteria. In order to sustain a balanced gut flora, we should feed the bacteria- those that help us. The state of our stomach is such, that is the state of the food we give to these bacteria. If we feed bad bacteria, we will suffer inflammation and stomach discomfort.
As Jeff Leach says: An onion a day, keeps the doctor away. It is something like a periphrases of “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”
As I mentioned, you don’t need to eat, when you don’t feel like it. If you still need to eat, do not turn to crackers.
What I’d recommend you is to emphasize on homemade bone broths. They are extremely healthy ( read more HERE) and they will help you recover your body, by refueling you with some minerals, which you lose when you have diarrhea or when you puke.
I’d recommend you take probiotics, because the presence of a virus, suggests that your gut flora is out of balance. In order to recover it, you might help your body, by taking some probiotics or by receiving them from homemade yogurt, kefir and so forth. Fermented foods are really important for a balanced gut flora. They should be present in your menu, not just when you are sick, but all the time.
On the video below you will see Ben Greenfield and his wife- Jessa, explaining and showing how to prepare fermented foods.
Maybe you didn’t know it, but 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut and its health, determines the strength of our immune system. The more you take care of your gut, the stronger your immune system is going to be and the less you will suffer from bacterial infections.
Take some digestive enzymes, which will also aid your better digestion.
When you are sick, you can drink coconut water, because it contains a lot of electrolytes, which will help your body recover from dehydration.
Here is the place to say that you might not be hungry, but you should drink liquids. Drink teas; eat bone stocks ( homemade- I hope I don’t need to remind you ;)); drink water and if the plane taste does not appeal you, squeeze a lemon.
I rarely get sick, but when I get sick, I usually get a stomach flu… and I never eat crackers. Everybody is always astonished, when I eat eggs, meat or etc. The only difference is that usually, in this case I eat less quantities or not so fatty cuts of meat, as I do on a regular basis.
As a whole I try to listen to my body and sometimes I definitely feel like eating some carbs when I get a stomach flu. Then I give my body carbs, but not in the form of crackers, but instead I have an apple, some berries or some citrus fruit. Your body will tell you what it needs. Just free your mind of “I should” and interpret the REAL signals of your body.
Think that what you eat, feeds the bacteria in your stomach. After all you wouldn’t want to feed the bad bacteria, but instead you want to give more power to the good bacteria, right? Then give them foods that will “nourish”them.
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