If you’re of a genteel disposition you may want to stop reading and move along now. If not, and you want to know how to avoid the dreaded, sometimes joked about and often discussed Delhi Belly on your trip to India — then read on!
Last year we spent two months in India and the first question almost everyone asks us is “Did you get sick?” to which we can wholeheartedly reply “No.”
Oli had an episode which we can only describe as the “don’t chase TEN pints of IPA with a Domino’s incident” but on the whole, he was fine and I never got sick.
Yes, I ate meat and street food and train snacks but despite the occasional tummy grumble after too much curry (my eyes are a lot bigger than my belly) I was never ill. No diarrhoea, no cramps, no actual vomit. So how did I do it?
Brush Your Teeth With Tap Water
This one shocks some people, but to be honest it’s my foolproof method to avoid sickness in any country I visit.
Clearly I never swallow the tap water and I definitely don’t gargle with it but I do brush away and rinse without stressing. I’m pretty sure this has upped my tolerance to whatever can eventually make you sick sometimes.
If It’s Busy, Eat
At a cooking class in Udaipur with the amazing Shashi, she told us that the most important thing when picking somewhere to eat is seeing lots of hungry people chowing down.
Most curries are variations on one basic sauce so often a huge batch is prepared in advance. Likewise with rice (which is known to be incredibly dangerous if not heated/re-heated correctly).
So it follows that if a restaurant is quiet, there’s a distinct possibility that your food is, well, kinda old food.
If it’s busy, the food turnover is quicker which means no icky rice for you.
If It’s Hot, Eat
Use your head here, I’m not suggesting you avoid ice cream because it’s cold but as a rule, heat kills most things (nutrition included!)
So when you are in a new place and want to experiment, make sure whatever you eat is piping hot.
So for me and Oli, street food was a winner and we regularly indulged in kebabs and grilled meat from street vendors.
Don’t Eat Food From Dirty Places
Ok this is pretty bloody obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people (us included) who were happy to eat at a train station with rats running around the cooking area.
And believe me, these rats ain’t nothing like the baby tube mice you see in London, these babies were BIG.
Drink LOADS Of Water
I’m a pretty firm believer in the old two litres a day rule and I think that it’s even more important when you’re hot, tired, and eating unfamiliar food.
Dehydration will make you sick, so do yourself a favour and make sure you rule that one out so you can focus on the other rules for avoiding Delhi belly!
I also always pack a stack of rehydration sachets to mix with water for an extra boost if I fall ill too. You can pick them up wherever you travel, usually for a lot cheaper than in England too.
Was this at all helpful? What are your top tips to avoid getting sick when you travel?
Pin this for later:
Do you want to hear more musings from me?
If you pop your email address in the form below I will send you a weekly email with everything I’ve written that week, never more, never less.
No spam, just love!