Is Pho Good For an Upset Stomach?

When an upset stomach strikes, we all crave something soothing and comforting. Most people reach for the tried-and-true staples like plain rice and toast, but there’s another contender in town – the steaming, aromatic bowl of pho. Pho, a beloved Vietnamese noodle soup, isn’t just renowned for its mouthwatering flavors and potential to ease digestive discomfort. In this in-depth exploration, we’ll take a closer look at pho, its ingredients, the potential benefits it may offer to those grappling with an upset stomach, and how you can seamlessly incorporate it into your diet for maximum relief. So let’s go is pho good for an upset stomach!

What Is Pho?

Before we delve into whether pho is a secret weapon for calming an upset stomach, let’s unravel the essence of this delectable dish. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup composed of three key components:

The Broth

The heart and soul of pho, the broth undergoes a slow and meticulous simmering process, often lasting for hours, if not days. It’s typically crafted from beef or chicken bones and infused with aromatic spices, such as star anise, cinnamon, and cloves. These spices not only impart an exquisite depth of flavor but also harbor the potential to provide relief from digestive discomfort.


Pho boasts slender, flat rice noodles that are remarkably easy to digest. These noodles add a soothing element to the soup that can help ease the digestive system’s burden.

Toppings Galore

Pho’s charm lies in its customizability, with various toppings, including thinly sliced meats (usually beef or chicken), fresh herbs, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili. These toppings not only elevate the taste but also contribute nutrition and potential digestive benefits to the dish.

The Potential Benefits of Pho for an Upset Stomach

Now that we’ve laid the foundation for our journey let’s explore the potential advantages that pho can offer to those wrestling with digestive discomfort:

Hydration Helper

When an upset stomach visits you, maintaining adequate hydration is pivotal. The warm, comforting broth in pho can be a valuable asset, particularly if you’re experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. It effectively helps to replenish lost fluids.

Gentle Digestion

Pho’s simplicity, with ingredients like rice noodles and lean meats, ensures ease of digestion. This gentle quality ensures your stomach finds respite without grappling with complex, heavy foods.

Aromatic Spices’ Magic

The spices utilized in pho, like star anise and cinnamon, harbor potential digestive benefits. These spices have been cherished in traditional medicine for their ability to alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating.

Protein Power

The lean protein derived from the meat in pho aids in tissue repair and regeneration, a crucial function, especially if you’ve been dealing with bouts of vomiting or diarrhea.

The Ginger Touch

Many pho recipes include generous portions of fresh ginger as a topping. Ginger is celebrated for its knack for alleviating nausea and soothing digestive unease.

Balanced Nutrition

Pho doesn’t just taste good; it also delivers essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can significantly support the body’s healing process.

How to Incorporate Pho into Your Upset Stomach Diet?

With the potential benefits of pho in mind, you might wonder how to make the most of this delightful dish when your stomach is in turmoil:

Pick Lean Proteins

When ordering or whipping up pho, opt for lean meats such as chicken or the leanest cuts of beef. This keeps the fat content low, ensuring your digestive system doesn’t have to work overtime.

Topping Savvy

Be discerning with your choice of toppings. Skip the fiery condiments or rich sauces that might irk your stomach. Instead, focus on milder options like bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and a spritz of lime.

Ginger and Fresh Herbs

These aren’t just there for flavor; they bring potential digestive benefits. Don’t hold back on the ginger and herbs – they can work wonders.

Small, Frequent Meals

If the thought of a full meal seems daunting with your upset stomach, consider consuming smaller servings of pho more frequently throughout the day. This approach ensures you get the necessary nutrients without overwhelming your stomach.

Savor the Warm Broth

There’s a certain comfort in sipping on a warm bowl of pho. Sip the broth slowly; it can help alleviate nausea and general discomfort.

When to Avoid Pho?

While pho holds the potential to be your go-to remedy for an upset stomach, it’s essential to acknowledge that not everyone will find relief in this tantalizing bowl of goodness. Some scenarios warrant avoidance or moderation:

Food Allergies

If you have allergies to any ingredients commonly found in pho, such as rice or particular spices, it’s best to steer clear.

Spice Sensitivity

Some individuals have delicate digestive systems that may not tolerate the spices frequently used in pho. If you know this sensitivity, opting for a milder option might be wise.

Underlying Conditions

If you have an ongoing digestive issue, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), seeking guidance from a healthcare professional before incorporating pho into your diet is prudent.

Personal Taste

Not everyone’s palate aligns with the flavors and textures of pho. Forcing yourself to consume something you don’t enjoy might not yield the desired results.

Other Upset Stomach Remedies

While pho can be a valuable addition to your upset stomach toolkit, it’s crucial to remember that there are numerous other remedies and strategies at your disposal. Here are a few alternative options to consider:

The Magic of Rice

Plain, white rice is renowned for its gentle impact on the stomach and ability to absorb excess stomach acid.

Banana Bliss

Bananas are easy to digest and provide essential nutrients, including potassium, which can be depleted during digestive distress.

Bland Carbohydrates

Plain toast or crackers are often relied upon to soothe an upset stomach and offer swift relief.

Mint Tea Marvel

Mint tea is celebrated for its potential to ease indigestion and alleviate nausea.

Probiotic Prowess

Probiotic supplements or yoghurt with live cultures can be pivotal in supporting gut health.

Final Words

Pho, with its warm and flavorful broth, rice noodles, and customizable toppings, holds the potential to be a comforting and beneficial choice for those dealing with an upset stomach. Its ability to provide hydration, easy digestibility, and the inclusion of ingredients like ginger and aromatic spices make it a standout contender. However, individual preferences, allergies, and sensitivities should guide your choice.

While pho is a valuable addition to your repertoire of remedies, remember that there are various other options available. Your decision should be rooted in what suits your body and your tastes. If your upset stomach persists or worsens, it’s essential to seek advice from a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized guidance on managing your digestive discomfort.

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