Food poisoning is an experience we all dread and certainly don’t look forward to. From the moment it hits you – a wave of nausea, severe stomach pain and cramping, followed by bouts of vomiting – it can confine you to bed for days or even weeks. But why does this debilitating disease make us vomit in the first place? As nasty as it sounds, science actually has an answer for us. In this blog post, we will:
- Explain what food poisoning is.
- Discuss why our body reacts with vomiting when infected.
- Explore ways to reduce the risk of food poisoning at home.
- Reveal some natural remedies that help relieve symptoms quickly.
Whether you are sick or just caring about your loved ones, you will find something here that will help you better understand this terrible disease!
How do you define food poisoning?
Food poisoning is a broad term that encompasses any unpleasant illness caused by eating contaminated food or drink. It occurs when pathogens such as bacteria, viruses or parasites enter your body through ingestion and make you sick. Symptoms can vary widely depending on the causative pathogen. However, some of the most common signs are nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever.
According to science, why does our body react like this to food poisoning?
Under normal circumstances, when our body detects something that is not beneficial or healthy, it triggers a reaction in order to expel the unwanted substance. In the case of food poisoning, this reaction usually consists of vomiting to get rid of what has been ingested and which may be harmful.
When we eat something, this substance first passes through our mouth and then descends into the stomach via the esophagus. There it is mixed with enzymes and digestive acids which break it down into small molecules that can be absorbed by the body. Food poisoning occurs when these substances contain toxins or harmful microbes such as bacteria or viruses; they cannot be broken down and eventually enter our bloodstream and wreak havoc in our body. This is when we begin to experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and other uncomfortable symptoms, signs that our body is trying to fight off this foreign presence.
Vomiting then serves as a defense mechanism for our body; by expelling what has been ingested, they prevent us from being further poisoned by contaminants in food. This ejection process helps protect us from any further damage caused by these toxins or microbes by pushing these substances out before they have time to cause further internal damage. Additionally, studies have also shown that vomiting has a cleansing effect on our gastrointestinal system as it flushes out any potential toxins left behind after digestion. So that our body can start afresh with new, safely processed nutrients.
How to prevent food poisoning?
- Thoroughly clean all kitchen surfaces and utensils after handling raw meat or eggs to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
- Clean cutting boards and knives with hot soapy water and scrub thoroughly.
- Always cook foods at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time as recommended in recipes or package instructions.
- Store foods at safe temperatures to prevent bacteria growth: refrigerate perishable foods quickly, keep foods hot (above 60°C) and foods frozen (below -17°C). Avoid letting food sit between 7°C and 60°C for more than two hours, as this is a dangerous zone for bacteria growth.
- Use fresh ingredients when possible, avoiding ingredients that have passed their best before date.
- It is also essential to store all foodstuffs correctly, always checking the labels. Some items need to be refrigerated, while others need to be stored dry, in a pantry or cupboard.
- Separate raw meats, poultry and seafood from other ingredients before cooking to avoid cross-contamination.
- Practice good hygiene when preparing meals by washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw foods.
- Carefully inspect all food packaging for signs of contamination such as unusual colors/textures, soft spots, or bulging cans that could indicate spoilage.
- Keep the kitchen clean by regularly disinfecting surfaces with a mixture of water and bleach that has been shown to be effective against the most common forms of bacteria.
Here are these natural remedies that effectively fight against food poisoning.
- Consuming clear liquids, such as water, broth, or sports drinks.
- Ginger tea and peppermint tea can also help reduce nausea and vomiting.
- Eating bland foods like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach.
- Honey or lemon juice mixed with warm water with a pinch of salt or sugar can relieve abdominal cramps and bloating.
- Activated charcoal tablets are often recommended for food poisoning because they bind toxins in the gut, reducing the severity of symptoms.
- Probiotics are another option because they help restore healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, which can help improve digestion and reduce gut inflammation.
- Finally, it is important to get plenty of rest to give the body time to recover from the effects of food poisoning.