How To Restore Gut Health After Stomach Flu | Expert Tips

Restore gut health after stomach flu with expert tips on hydration, bland diet, probiotics, and gut-healing foods like ginger tea, bone broth, and fermented foods.

Restoring gut health after stomach flu is very important. The flu is often called viral gastroenteritis and is caused by viruses. These include norovirus or rotavirus.1 It changes the balance in our gut, causing problems like inflammation and less absorption of nutrients.1 But, with expert advice on staying hydrated, eating probiotics, and having a healthy diet, we can get better faster and improve our gut health.

Key Takeaways

  • Stomach flu can disrupt the gut microbiome, leading to inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.
  • Prioritizing hydration, probiotics, and a nourishing diet are key to restoring gut health.
  • Gut-healing foods like ginger tea, bone broth, and fermented foods can support the recovery process.
  • Stress management, adequate sleep, and Ayurvedic remedies can also aid in gut restoration.
  • Gradual reintroduction of solid foods and seeking professional guidance are important steps.

Understanding Stomach Flu

Stomach flu, or viral gastroenteritis, is a common illness that hits the stomach and intestines.2 It’s often caused by viruses like norovirus and rotavirus. You can get it from food, water, or being close to someone who’s sick.2

What Is Stomach Flu?

Stomach flu is a nasty bug that spreads easily.3 It makes you feel really sick with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Plus, it can cause a sore belly and sometimes a fever.2

Causes and Symptoms of Stomach Flu

Viruses like norovirus and rotavirus are to blame for most cases.2 You can pick them up from food, water, or being around someone infected.3 Symptoms include feeling sick, not wanting to eat, and diarrhea. Fever, chills, and body aches might also show up.2

Stomach flu is very catchy, especially early in the sickness and up to two weeks after getting better.3 Often, it only lasts a short time, but in some people, it might stick around longer, especially if their immune systems aren’t strong.3

Common Causes of Stomach FluAffected Age GroupsKey Statistics
NorovirusMainly affects adultsAccounts for 50% of stomach flu cases worldwide in adults3
RotavirusPrimarily affects children under 3 years oldThe leading cause of stomach flu in children globally3
AstrovirusPredominantly affects children under 3 years oldOften spread through daycare centers3
AdenovirusCan affect individuals of all agesCan cause gastrointestinal infections if ingested3

Impact of Stomach Flu on Gut Health

Stomach flu changes the way your gut works. A big part of your gut is the microbiome. It’s full of tiny organisms that help in digestion.1 When the flu hits, this balance can go wrong. This can cause swelling and let bad things into your blood. It also lowers good bacteria and weakens the immune system, making you vulnerable to more sickness.1 Stomach flu doesn’t stop there. It also slows down how well your body absorbs food. This can lead to not getting enough nutrients, which is bad for your health.1

Disruption of the Gut Microbiome

Your gut’s little world is super important for your health. But, stomach flu can mess up this world.1 When this happens, you’re at risk for diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmunity, and even obesity.1

Inflammation and Nutrient Malabsorption

Stomach flu can make your gut inflamed. This makes it easier for bad stuff to get in your blood.1 Such problems can mess up digestion and the way your body absorbs food. This might lead to lacking essential nutrients, causing even more health issues.1 Plus, missing the good gut bacteria makes absorbing nutrients even harder. That just adds to the trouble.1

Importance of Gut Health

Keeping your gut healthy is vital for your whole body’s well-being. It is home to many bacteria and tiny organisms. This community does more than help digest food. It also absorbs nutrients, boosts the immune system, and even affects our mood. These helpful bugs break down carbs, make vitamins, and control swelling, which keeps us healthy.4

Role of Gut Health in Overall Well-being

The intestines play a big part in about 80% of our body’s immune reactions. Probiotic foods, like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut, help the good bacteria in our guts.4 Foods such as whole grains, fruits, nuts, and lactic acid fermented items also help. They make a nice environment for beneficial bacteria to grow. This includes key players like Bifidus and lactic acid bacteria, which make our guts stronger and help us absorb nutrients.4

Gut-Brain Connection

Our gut and brain are in constant communication. The creatures living in our gut affect our feelings, actions, and brain health.1 They also help keep our heart, immune system, and brain in top shape. Plus, they fight the inflammation linked to serious illnesses like diabetes and cancer. A happy gut means a happier mind, but issues with gut health can lead to problems like depression, anxiety, and autism.1

gut health

Hydration: The First Step to Recovery

The first step to fix your gut after the stomach flu is to drink lots of fluids. This sickness makes you lose lots of water and electrolytes through vomiting and diarrhea. So, keeping yourself hydrated is key.5

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You should drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and clear broths. They help you get back what you’ve lost. Also, drinks with electrolytes can balance your body and speed up recovery.5

Our bodies are mostly water, with adults being 60 to 65 percent and young ones even more. When someone, especially the elderly, has the flu, dehydration is a big risk. So, Pedialyte is a good choice. It has the right amount of sugar and electrolytes to help.6

Probiotics: Restoring the Gut Flora

After a stomach flu, it’s vital to restore gut health. Probiotics are good bacteria that can balance the gut’s microorganisms. They help with digestion and improve overall health.4 These healthy bacteria can protect the intestines, fight off bad bacteria, and help the body absorb nutrients.4 You can get probiotics from foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.4 Taking probiotic supplements might also help, but you should talk to a doctor first.

Benefits of Probiotics

4 The gut’s bacteria greatly affect our immune system, controlling 80% of it.4 Probiotics like Bifidus and lactic acid bacteria can make the gut stronger. They stop harmful bacteria and help the body use nutrients better.4 Eating a diet that’s full of vitamins and fiber is good after a stomach bug. This diet helps good bacteria grow in your gut again.4 Mixing prebiotic and probiotic foods is key to renewing your gut after illness.

Probiotic-Rich Foods and Supplements

4 Some foods, like artichokes and chicory, help good intestinal bacteria grow.4 Research shows that probiotics are very effective in treating stomach and intestinal issues.4 By eating fiber and prebiotic foods, you can positively change the gut’s bacteria. This helps your health in many ways.

Nourishing Diet for Gut Healing

After you’ve had stomach flu, it’s key to eat a nourishing diet that helps heal your gut. This flu is very common, spread easily, and affects your digestion.1 Stick to foods that are easy on your stomach at first, like broths, soups, and soft-cooked veggies.1 Once you start feeling better, you can add foods with fiber, such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These foods are good for your gut’s health. Stay away from spicy, fried, and heavy foods as they could upset your stomach more.

Easily Digestible Foods

At the start of your recovery, focus on foods that your stomach can handle easily. Think of broths, soups, and veggies that are cooked until soft.1 The symptoms of stomach flu can stick around for a while, making it vital to eat foods that soothe and nourish your gut as it heals.

Fiber-Rich Foods

Once your gut is getting better, add more fiber to your diet. This means eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains.1 Stomach flu can shake up the balance of germs in your gut, possibly causing problems like inflammatory bowel disease. Including these fiber-filled foods can help keep your gut’s good germs happy and your digestion in check.

Herbal Teas for Soothing the Digestive System

Including herbal teas in your diet is great for calming the digestive system. They help in the healing process, especially after a stomach flu. Ginger tea eases nausea and calms your stomach because of its healing properties. On the other hand, peppermint tea calms the digestive tract, and chamomile tea soothes and prevents cramps7. These teas are perfect for a gentle gut support while you recover.

Ginger Tea

Ginger is famous for its digestive remedies. It has proven to reduce diarrhea and shorten children’s hospital stays due to stomach viruses7. Its properties that fight inflammation and soothe, make it an excellent choice for those healing from stomach flu.

Peppermint Tea

Another helpful tea is peppermint. Research shows that peppermint oil lessens stomach pain in children by reducing its frequency and intensity7. It’s a great calming treatment for your digestive system or anyone recovering from gut issues.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea stands out for its soothing benefits. It reduces vomiting from chemo and helps anyone with stomach flu by calming stomach spasms7. There’s a lot of potential for it to alleviate various digestive issues.

These herbal teas are not just comforting; they speed up your recovery by gently supporting your gut. They play a big role in calming your system and promoting healing overall.

Bone Broth: A Gut-Healing Powerhouse

Bone broth stands out as a top gut aid, perfect for recovering from the stomach flu.8 It’s packed with collagen, amino acids, and minerals. This mix helps calm your gut, fights inflammation, and heals the gut’s lining.8 Adding bone broth to your meals, whether alone or in soups, makes for beneficial eating. It helps your gut health recover.9

Benefits of Bone Broth

8 You can make bone broth using many animal bones like chicken, pork, and fish.8 It needs to cook for 12 to 48 hours to get all the goodness out. This includes collagen and important minerals.8 Such as zinc and magnesium which help your immune system.8 The zinc in it works on your immune system. It could help make those colds less bad.8 Also, the glycine in bone broth can help you sleep better.8 It’s got lots of protein that can make you feel full. It could also help you lose some weight.8 Plus, drinking it often can help your liver clean out bad stuff from your body.

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Incorporating Bone Broth into Your Diet

8 Drinking a cup of bone broth daily is good for some people.9 Others prefer using it in their weekly meals.9 After the stomach flu, soft foods like bananas and applesauce are gentle on your tummy.9 Bone broth and fermented foods with low sugar are great for your gut. They’re better than alcohol, which can make gut inflammation worse.9

Stress Management for Gut Health

Stress affects our gut health greatly. It’s key to manage stress to help the gut recover from sickness.10 Too much stress can lower the good bacteria in the gut and allow bad bacteria to grow.10 Practices like meditation can lessen inflammation and improve the gut’s link to the brain.10 Also, deep breathing helps calm the body, aiding in better gut function. So, adding activities that reduce stress is important for your gut’s health.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, are vital for gut health recovery.10 They reduce inflammation and bolster the gut-brain connection. This connection is key for good digestive health.

Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing should be part of your daily activities.10 It calms the nervous system and aids in relaxation, which is good for your gut.10 Not getting enough sleep can change the gut’s bacteria. But, deep breathing helps manage stress, promoting a healthy gut.

Adequate Sleep for Gut Restoration

Getting enough sleep is key for fixing your gut health after stomach flu.1 When you’re asleep, your body gets a chance to heal and recharge. It’s important to aim for 7-9 hours every night. This supports your body’s efforts to get your gut back in shape.11

The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of tiny organisms. They help with digestion, keep us healthy, and fight off sickness.1 But sometimes, this delicate balance is disturbed, causing problems like inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune disorders, and obesity.1 Fixing this balance between your gut organisms is crucial for better sleep and gut health.

Believe it or not, your gut bugs love a good sleep schedule too.11 Keeping to a regular bedtime can improve your gut’s ecosystem. This leads to better gut restoration and health.

By making sure to sleep well, you give your body a chance to heal itself. This is especially true after a bout of stomach flu.1 With this and some other health tips, you can get your digestion and wellness back on track.

How to Restore Gut Health After Stomach Flu

After stomach flu, ease back into eating solid food.1 Start with simple, easy-to-digest foods like rice, bananas, and soft-cooked veggies. See how your body handles them.12 Slowly add more foods to your diet. But watch out for any that make you feel bad.1 If you’re still having trouble or you’re worried, talk to a doctor or a diet expert. They can give you advice that fits your situation.

Gradual Food Reintroduction

It’s key to give your stomach and intestines a break. Start by sipping clear liquids only.12 As you get better, bring in easy, plain foods.1 This step-by-step method can prevent tummy trouble and aid in healing your gut.

Seeking Professional Guidance

If your gut health issues linger or you’re unsure how to get better, turn to a pro.1 A healthcare expert or dietitian can tailor advice for you. They can guide you through the gut recovery process.2 Getting expert help ensures a smooth and safe healing journey, especially if your symptoms are severe or last a long time.

Enzyme Supplements: Aiding Digestion

Enzyme supplements are key for better digestion and gut health after the stomach flu. They include proteases, lipases, and amylases that break down foods. This makes absorbing nutrients easier.13 They also help maintain good gut bacteria and lower gut inflammation.14

Role of Enzymes in Gut Health Recovery

Stomach flu reduces our ability to make digestive enzymes, affecting nutrient absorption and leading to possible deficiencies.13 But, taking enzyme supplements can balance this out. They’re crucial for digesting and using major nutrients. This is vital for fixing the gut lining and bringing digestion back to normal.14

Choosing the Right Enzyme Supplements

Picking high-quality enzyme supplements is a must. Always talk to a healthcare professional to get the right dose.14 You can find OTC enzyme supplements in different types, like capsules or powders, which support gut recovery.14 Yet, if you have a condition such as EPI, you might need prescription enzymes like Creon or Zenpep.13

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The FDA doesn’t check supplement safety or how well they work, so do your homework and get health pro advice.14 Look for approvals from testers like the Natural Products Association or USP Quality Supplements. They validate good enzyme products.14

Using enzyme supplements can boost the absorption of important nutrients. They also help rebuild your gut’s good bacteria, aiding in healing after the stomach flu.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Gut Healing

Ayurvedic medicine looks at the whole picture to fix gut issues after the stomach flu. It focuses on Agni, which means digestive fire. This is key to keeping digestion in top shape and feeling well.15 Ayurveda started in India more than 5000 years back15. It aims for balance in body, mind, and spirit for good health.15

Igniting Agni (Digestive Fire)

Sipping a spoonful of warm ghee or using Triphala can ramp up your Agni. This boosts your body’s healing naturally.15 In Ayurveda, Agni impacts how we feel overall.15 An everyday schedule is helpful, like getting up around the same time daily, ideally before 6 a.m. Also, sleeping at a regular time, ideally by 10 p.m., can get your Agni ready to take in food at the right times. This aids in better digestion.16

Herbal Formulations for Gut Support

Ayurvedic herbs, including cumin, coriander, and mint, can calm and heal your gut.15 Mixing in foods and spices like ginger, black pepper, and more can also help your tummy work better.15 It’s wise to talk to an Ayurvedic pro for personalized help in getting your gut health back on track.


Recovering from the stomach flu and fixing your gut health takes a lot of steps. You need to drink lots of water, eat foods with good bacteria, and have a balanced diet. Also, eating foods that are good for your gut helps a lot. This includes supplements that help your stomach function better5.

Reducing stress and sleeping well also help your body get better1. It’s important to remember that everyone gets better in their own way. Listen to your body and get help from a doctor if you need it. Being patient and sticking to good habits is key to getting your gut healthy again after being sick5.

By following a health-based, whole-body approach, healing your gut and recovering from the flu is possible. You should use strategies that are proven to work, and always remember what your body needs. Doing this will bring you to the end of this journey with better digestion and health. It’s all about knowing the most important steps needed to get there gut health restoration and post-stomach flu recovery.


What is stomach flu and what are its causes and symptoms?

Stomach flu, known as viral gastroenteritis, is a common illness. It impacts the digestive system. It spreads through contaminated food or by touching a sick person. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

How does stomach flu impact gut health?

Stomach flu can upset gut health significantly. The viral infection leads to gut microbiome imbalance. This causes inflammation and weakens the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight off other illnesses.

Why is maintaining a healthy gut important?

Keeping your gut healthy is key for your overall health. It houses trillions of bacteria and microorganisms. This community in your gut helps with digestion, immune function, and even mental well-being.

What are the first steps to restoring gut health after stomach flu?

The initial step is to focus on hydration after stomach flu. You should drink a lot of water, herbal teas, and clear broths to get back lost fluids and electrolytes. Adding probiotics to your diet is also essential for balancing your gut.

What type of diet should be followed to support gut healing?

After the flu, you should eat foods that help your stomach heal. Start with easy-to-digest foods like broths, soups, and cooked vegetables. Later, slowly add foods that are rich in fiber and good for the gut, such as fruits and whole grains.

How can herbal teas and bone broth support gut healing?

Herbal teas like ginger and peppermint soothe your gut. They promote healing. Bone broth is also helpful. It contains collagen and amino acids that reduce inflammation and heal the gut lining.

What other factors are important for restoring gut health?

Reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and exploring Ayurvedic treatments can help heal your gut. Taking enzyme supplements supports digestion. They also help bring back a balanced gut system.

When should I seek professional guidance for gut health restoration?

If gut issues persist or you’re worried, seeing a healthcare pro or dietitian is wise. They can offer advice tailored to your needs, helping you recover fully.

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