Each year, contaminated food is responsible for 76 million people in the United States getting sick. Food poisoning (or food-borne illness) involves the consumption of infectious organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. The contamination of food can occur during any point of processing or production, as well as when food items are incorrectly handled, improperly cooked or poorly stored. Home remedies for food poisoning can ease mild symptoms without having to make a trip to the doctor.
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Causes and Symptoms
The most common ways we come in contact with harmful organisms related to food poisoning includes the processing of food, where bacteria hides in the intestines of healthy animals and can contaminate meat or poultry packaged for consumer use. Contaminants, such as campylobacter, salmonella, and E. coli usually pass in this manner. Sometimes, harmful organisms found in the environment, including dirt, dust and water, can also come in contact with the foods we eat. Other causes of food poisoning include:
• Food-Growing Process: If water compromised by animal manure or human sewage is used during the food growing process, consumers are placed in danger of staph food poisoning, E. coli, and shigellosis . Fresh fruits and vegetables are most susceptible to this type of contamination.
• Food Preparation: When an infected person handles your food, they can pass germs onto your meals – a common risk we take when eating at restaurants. This kind of contamination can literally lead to thousands of people being affected by an outbreak associated with just one dining location. Chopping your vegetables on the same cutting board used for raw meat preparation also puts you at risk for food contamination.
Every time you come in contact with contaminated food does not mean you will automatically fall ill. Factors play a role as to whether you will suffer the effects of a contaminant, including your age and health status. Symptoms of food poisoning may appear within hours of eating contaminated food or surface days later – generally lasting from one to 10 days .
If you do become a victim of food poisoning, typical signs and symptoms include:
• Abdominal pains and stomach cramping
• Watery diarrhea
• Poor appetite
• Fatigue and sluggishness
• Nausea and/or vomiting
Food Poisoning Home Remedies
Although a normal case of food poisoning typically disappears within a day or two, you probably want instant relief from symptoms. The following home remedies for food poisoning should have you feeling better in no time:
a) Fill Up on Liquids:
When bacteria attack the intestinal tract, fluid loss is a common consequence of food poisoning. Drinking plenty of fluids will prevent dehydration. While water is the best choice, you may choose clear liquids, such as apple juice, broth or bouillon.
b) Flat Soda:
When you’re in need of an energy boost, take advantage of the sugar found in soda by sipping on it (without any bubbles). Pouring soda back and forth between two glasses will quickly turn your drink flat. Ginger ale is a preferred choice, but Coca-Cola without bubbles is also known to settle the stomach.
c) Warm Water:
After vomiting, immediately sip warm water to soothe your stomach and gain relief from abdominal pain.
d) Choose Bland Foods:
To avoid further irritation of the stomach, enjoy bland foods when easing back into your regular diet. Include cereal, pudding, soda crackers and clear broth. It’s important to avoid foods known to cause irritation in the stomach, such as high-fiber, spicy, acidic, greasy, sugary, or dairy products.
e) Ginger and Buttermilk:
Create a paste out of a small piece of ginger and buttermilk, which is taken two to three times per day.
f) Ginger and Lemon Juice:
Some people have experienced results by taking two to three tablespoons each of ginger extract and lemon juice (with a small amount of black pepper) to ease the vomiting and nausea associated with food poisoning. Each day, take this mixture about three to four times.
Already known as an effectively natural digestive aid, papaya can also treat cases of food poisoning. Grate or cut raw papaya into small cubes. Add the papaya to one to two glasses of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and then drink the blend two to three times per day.
h) Herbal Teas:
Sip on herbal tea to treat food poisoning symptoms. Suitable selections include mint, raspberry, chamomile and blackberry.
i) Sports Drinks:
A case of food poisoning robs the body of much-needed elements, such as potassium and sodium (known as electrolytes). Sports drinks, like Gatorade and Powerade, can replenish electrolytes lost through vomiting and diarrhea.