Sour Stomach Symptoms, Causes, and Remedies: 13 Foods to Ease Upset Stomach

Stomach Sour
credit:istock/Apple Cider Vinegar

We’ve all been there. A night of bad food or too much drink, or just something not agreeing with your stomach. A sour stomach can be a pain in the butt both literally and figuratively.

It can cause all sorts of discomfort and generally ruin a day. But that’s where we come in. We’ve collected some information for you that will help you identify if you have a sour stomach or not and the reasons you might be suffering.

We’ve also gathered a few sour stomach remedies that you can easily try at home to help relieve the symptoms and discomfort that come with a sour or upset stomach.

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What Are the Symptoms of Sour Stomach?

Sour stomach (aka upset stomach) has a number of easily recognizable symptoms. Excess gas and excessive belching are strong signs of sour stomach.

Acid reflux or heartburn is another sign that your tummy is probably not happy with you. Another significant sign is stomach distension and bloating.

The sour stomach can also cause a stomachache and abdominal pain, leave a bad taste in your mouth, and trigger gurgling noises in your stomach. Sometimes you may experience nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are usually a clear indicator that you have a sour stomach. Luckily there are more than a few foods that help relieve sour stomachs.


Causes of Sour Stomach

Typically, a sour stomach shows up in the form of either acid reflux or indigestion. There are several reasons for or causes of sour stomach, such as overeating, contaminated food or water, food allergies, bacterial infection, lack of exercise, lack of sound sleep, irregular eating patterns, sleeping immediately after a meal, excessive alcohol or aerated drinks, and more.

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You can get a sour stomach due to overeating once in a while. However, if it is due to lifestyle issues, such as lack of sleep, exercise, stress, excessive alcohol, and other factors, these need to be rectified in the first place before you move on to any home remedies.

There may be other underlying causes of an upset stomach, such as periods, pregnancy, anxiety, and so on. The hormonal changes that happen during periods bring about changes in bowel movements.

So, it is completely normal for some women to face this every month. Normally, you may get some relief from cramping if you sip lemon water or any fresh juice with vitamin C.

Many women get a sour stomach during the initial trimester of their pregnancy mainly due to newly developed sensitivities to certain foods, hormonal changes, and some supplements such as vitamins.

If you have an upset stomach due to generic reasons such as overeating or spicy food, we’ve listed a number of home remedies for you. However, do see a doctor if the symptoms don’t fade in a couple of days. Also, in case you have an upset stomach because of pregnancy or suspect irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), it is imperative you consult your doctor before trying any remedies or over-the-counter medicines.


13 Foods to Relieve Sour Stomach

When dealing with a sour stomach, the first thing to do is identify it as being the issue. Once a sour stomach has been identified, the questions then become “What helps an upset stomach?” and “What do you do for an upset stomach?” Luckily, there are many easy home remedies you can try to relieve an upset stomach.

In fact, there are some plain fruits and vegetables that may work as an upset stomach remedy with little to no preparation at all. The following are 10 foods that can help ease sour stomach and might even be usable as stomachache and diarrhea home remedies.

1. Ginger

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Ginger is one of the more popular upset stomach remedies. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that has been used for centuries across various cultures as a digestion aide.

Depending on how bad the upset stomach symptoms are, ginger can be used in a variety of forms, ranging from easy-to-take supplements to tea made from chopped up raw ginger to something as simple as ginger ale (all-natural works best). These are all simple sour stomach remedies that can be easily purchased or made at home.

2. Peppermint

Much like ginger, peppermint has long been used as a digestive aide. The plant contains menthol, so it can be used as a natural analgesic, or pain reliever.

It’s best if it’s as close to the natural source as possible, such as using the actual leaves to make a tea or even to chew on. That being said, using peppermint extract or even peppermint candies can help set aside nausea and other sour stomach symptoms.

3. Burnt Toast

Toast has long been used as a meal for those with upset stomachs or other stomach ailments. Toast is a great way to get food into your stomach but not upset the stomach. What many people may not realize is that burnt toast may be even better.

The char from the burnt toast can help absorb toxins and possibly absorb the cause of the stomach ailment itself. Many reading this may be put off by the idea, as burnt toast isn’t the tastiest food item in the world, but that’s okay.

Just add a bit of jelly to it to cover up the taste and you’re good to go. Find some ginger jelly and you’re doubling the healing effect!

4. Yogurt

Easy yogurt salad dressing

Yogurt is a good sour stomach remedy, because it is rather healthy and good for you to start with and, with its probiotic properties, this food can help get rid of whatever is causing the sour stomach in the first place. Make sure you select yogurt with live active cultures to get those essential probiotic properties.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

credit:istock/Apple Cider Vinegar

This one might be a little harder to take due to the taste, but hear us out. Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy for many ailments, such as a sore throat and even hiccups, but it can also be used for upset stomachs.

The theory is that apple cider vinegar can help with starch digestion and get it into your intestines quicker, thus helping to keep the bacteria in the stomach healthy.

If the idea of downing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar seems a little rough or you can’t manage the taste, you can dilute it a little by making the following concoction. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one cup of warm water, and one tablespoon of honey, and drink it down for stomach relief.

6. Caraway Seeds

Again, not the tastiest of treats, but caraway seeds are filled with nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are can combat bad stomach bacteria and help with digestion. A handful of caraway seeds after a meal may help prevent sour stomach.

7. Apricots, Pomegranates, and Bananas

4 Alternatives to Orange Juice_040613

Apricots and bananas are both excellent in aiding digestion. Many of us have been told since childhood that bananas are an excellent fruit to eat when dealing with stomach ailments, but did you know that apricots can be a remedy, too? Pomegranates have many health benefits and they help cure a sour stomach.

In fact, a decoction of pomegranate leaves in water is also good to cure diarrhea and intestinal issues. All of these fruits are very high in fiber, which you know is good for your digestive system.

A strong, healthy digestive system can help stave off sour stomach. Or if you’re already suffering, bananas, pomegranates, and apricots can help your system rid itself of the things causing you discomfort by promoting bowel movements.

8. Fennel

Fennel can help with the gas and cramping of a sour stomach. This leafy vegetable can be used in a similar manner as peppermint or ginger to help out with sour stomach issues. Boil it into a tea, chew on some fennel seeds, or maybe just eat a bit of the plant itself.

9. Applesauce

Like the previously mentioned bananas and apricots, applesauce contains a great deal of fiber that can aid in digestion and help eliminate sour stomach once you’re experiencing it.

10. Bitters and Soda

The last on our list and one of the more unlikely sour stomach remedies consists of a few drops of cocktail bitters mixed with club soda. Bitters tend to be made out of numerous ingredients that help with digestion like fennel, cinnamon, and mint. Take this remedy in moderation.

11. Celery Seeds

Chew some celery seeds if you have an upset stomach. If they are too spicy for you, you can swallow them with a glass of warm water. You can also grind them, mix the paste in water, and drink it.

These seeds help regulate bowel movements and reduce flatulence. Basically, celery seeds act as a diuretic and help in the digestion of proteins.

12. Asafetida

Asafetida is a spice derived from gum that comes from the root of a variety of giant fennel. It’s a common ingredient in Indian cooking. A pinch of asafetida along with warm water can relieve an upset stomach. This ingredient aids digestion and helps cure irritable bowel syndrome.

This ingredient is also used to reduce whooping cough and neurological disorders. Only use asafetida in very small amounts, as it is quite pungent.

13. Lemon Juice and Clarified Butter

Natural Ways to Flush Toxins

Mix one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and one tablespoon of cow ghee or clarified butter. Consume the mixture in one go. This can be an effective natural remedy for diarrhea.

This is a common home remedy in the Indian culture. This is mainly a word-of-mouth remedy and the exact reason how this works is not known.


You Don’t Have to Suffer From Sour Stomach

As you can see by the remedies above, a sour stomach is not permanent and there are several easy—and natural—ways to get rid of symptoms. In fact, these home remedies can be used not only to make your stomach feel better, but also as a preventative measure, because most of the above foods and remedies are good for your stomach to begin with.

However, consult your doctor if the symptoms of indigestion or acid reflux persist for more than a couple of days in spite of these remedies. A doctor will help you diagnose the exact reason for your upset stomach, rule out the possibilities of IBS, colitis, and other such gastrointestinal conditions, and possibly prescribe medication.


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Sources:
Jung, A., “Upset Stomach Home Remedies: 9 Natural Ideas,” Reader’s Digest, http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/9-natural-upset-stomach-remedies/, last accessed February 7, 2017.
Dr. Chris, “Sour Stomach Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Remedy and Treatment,” Health Hype, http://www.healthhype.com/sour-stomach-symptoms-causes-diet-remedy-and-treatment.html, last accessed February 7, 2017.
Schoffield, K., “Natural Remedies for Your Upset Stomach,” Health Line, September 22, 2016; http://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/natural-upset-stomach-remedies#1
http://stomachbloating.net/celery-seed-health-benefits-for-digestive-system/