Eating is necessary to live an active, good life. What is more, eating can be fun, not to mention delicious and interesting. But what also happens, eating can be the cause of pain. Whether it’s because of digestive problems or stress-related issues, a lot of people suffer from upset stomach on a regular basis, and it’s not just those who have ulcers or reflux, but also those who seem to be in good health overall, until the occasional cramps, burning, nausea hits. For chronic conditions there is medication and doctor’s supervision. For everybody else there is smart eating that can alleviate the pain and also keep it away for the most part.

When you have an upset stomach, the last thing you want to do is eat anything. It’s actually not a bad idea to take tings easy for awhile and just treat your stomach with some pain relieving liquids. Mint or fennel tea can do wonders to get you back in shape, but remember to avoid sweetening your tea and to drink it warm, not hot, for best results. Some people advise drinking milk for upset stomach, but since most adults have problems digesting lactose, it might actually make the pain worse, so it’s beast to stay away from milk when you’re not feeling well, and when you’re fine, it’s best to reach for low-fat or skim milk. And don’t worry, regardless of its fat content milk will still provide you with calcium, and if fortified with vitamin D will give you all the benefits without causing harm.

Often stomach problems are caused by increased levels of stomach acids, and when that is the case, having an empty stomach may actually make things worse, so you need to figure out some snacks that give the acids something to digest and at the same time make you feel better. Saltine crackers seem to be the most popular remedy when it comes to nausea and upset stomach, greatly because of them being mentioned in most movies featuring pregnant women. That is no fable, though, and crackers really do help calm your stomach, so just make sure you reach for plain, salt and spice free variety and nibble gently, and you’ll notice improvement in no time.

Another great food for those with sensitive stomachs is rice. However, it’s not just any rice-based dish that will help you keep your stomach under control. Any fried rice, risotto or rice mixed with vegetables or sauce is just going to keep you sick, so stick to plain rice, best if well cooked, and eat small portions to get better. And if the thought of plain rice makes you uneasy, try cooking it in chicken broth for a more savory flavor, or better yet, mix it with some mashed banana, which will replenish the potassium that is easily lost when you’re sick, and is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 or niacin.

An upset stomach can influence your whole day, as you can’t get much done when you’re nauseous or twisted in pain. There is a wide range of prescription and over the counter medications that alleviate stomach pain, but medication on its own won’t take care of your problem. Eating smart, avoiding heavy, spicy, difficult to digest foods, making sure your body is provided vitamins and nutrients from vitamin A to niacin, calcium to zinc, is imperative. You also need to learn to observe your body so you can exclude any foods or drinks that aggravate your condition, and to relax, as stress makes stomach pain worse.