Causes of Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is caused by pathogens such as bacterias, viruses, parasites, and microorganisms that contaminate food or drinks. These infectious agents include:
Salmonella – found in meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Norovirus – found in fruits, vegetables, and oysters.
Listeria – found in deli meat and soft cheese.
Campylobacter – found in contaminated water and undercooked or poorly processed meat.
Escherichia colo (E. coli) – found in undercooked meat and raw vegetables.
Clostridium Perfringes – found in poultry and meat.
Staphylococcus aureus – found in animal products such as milk and eggs.
Salmonella, norovirus, and undercooked meat are the most common causes of food poisoning in individuals. Abdominal cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, fatigue, eye swelling, thirst, blurry vision, muscle ache, and general malaise are some of the signs and symptoms caused by food poisoning. Food poisoning affects more to infants, young children, pregnant women, people with weak immune systems, and the elderly.
Treating Food Poisoning
The best way to tackle food poisoning is by letting your stomach rest by not having food and drinks for a couple of hours. As lots of fluid leaves your body because of vomiting and diarrhea, can make your body dehydrated in a very short period of time and feel very weak. That’s why it is recommended to stay hydrated with little sips of saline water or electrolytes.
Once your body settles down a bit and you feel that your body can retain food, try low fiber bland foods that are easy for your stomach to digest. Avoid dairy products, fried food, high fiber, and fatty food. Balanced foods that are easy to digest gives the stomach some rest, reduce the amount of stool produces, and are also recommended for children include fruit, vegetables, probiotics such as yogurt, and complex carbohydrates such as peas, beans, and whole grains, barley, potatoes, cereal, and oatmeal. For adults egg white, meat broth, or soup can be easily digested for adults but are not recommended for children.
BRAT ( Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) Diet have widely been used for treating food poisoning and has been recommended by pediatricians worldwide.
You should get medical assistance if your health condition is severe or food poisoning symptoms last longer. Severe symptoms include:
- High fever
- Severe dehydration
- Blurry vision
- Severe abdominal pain
- Blood in vomit and stool
Natural Remedies for Food Poisoning
Ginger, Honey & Mint Tea
Ginger has been used to treat nausea and vomiting in traditional medicines for thousands of years. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help soothe the lining of the stomach. It also helps in absorbing nutrition from food and digestion. Ginger tea with mint or honey was shown to provide quick relief from food poisoning. Honey has an antibacterial effect that can kill harmful bacterias and provides instant energy. Mint has also been used in traditional medicines to settle and relieve pain in the gut.
Antimicrobial properties in basil help fight germs and settle stomach discomforts caused by food poisoning. The inflammatory properties in basil help soothe digestive tracks during food poisoning. It also balances the acid in your body by correcting the PH level. It can be drunk by making basil leave juice or mixing basil leaves with yogurt as well.
Research finds out Garlic is an effective food poisoning remedy due to its strong antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It helps relieve food poisoning symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. Garlic can be eaten raw or can be drunk as garlic juice to ease the symptoms.
Ascorbic acid in lemon has been shown to have a good effect in eliminating germs in the stomach caused by food poisoning. Lemon also has antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it a good home remedy to treat food poisoning symptoms. By drinking lemon juice with hot or normal water in small sips throughout the day can relieve symptoms and also helps aid dehydration caused by vomiting or diarrhea.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A 2018 study shows that the Antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties of apple cider vinegar have the ability to fights pathogens responsible for food poisoning. It fights against harmful infectious agents such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression.
To get relief from the food poisoning symptoms have two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water. For children have half of that amount.
Fenugreek Seed and Yogurt
Yogurt is a probiotic which promotes good bacteria to maintain a healthy digestive system. During food poisoning, bad bacteria enter the stomach and multiply exponentially. Probiotics help restore the balance of the right amount of good and bad bacteria to keep your gut healthy.
Fenugreek seed help soothes abdominal pain and discomfort. Having the same amount of yogurt and fenugreek seed during food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting have shown to provide much relief.
Prevent Food Poisoning
- Maintain proper hygiene while preparing food such as wash your hand properly, keep food preparation areas and utensils clean.
- Make sure raw foods such as meat and poultry, in particular, are cooked properly.
- Make sure perishable foods are refrigerated within an hour.
- Throw away smelly food quickly.
- Wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating.