The Turks are very paranoid about upset stomachs and have a number of natural remedies to prevent them. As I child was given old advice on preventing a bad stomach which (apparently) can cause a wide number of ailments, including bad sperm and headaches – or throw your plans off on a vacation.

Only some of these are backed by science, and the others may just be old wives tales but won’t hurt to try especially if you’ve got a sensitive stomach.

Keep Your Feet Warm

Don’t walk on cold surfaces, tile, or bare floors without putting something on your feet to keep them warm. The standard recommendation is slippers although shoes or socks will do, they are sub par. Apparently cold feet can cause an upset stomach (and bad sperm) so make sure to bundle up on flights as well. I couldn’t find any scientific data to back up this claim, but you’ve got my mom’s word for it.


Eat Yogurt

Although the jury is out on cold feet and stomach aches there is a lot of evidence to support the health and tummy benefits of yogurt. Eating yogurt regularly replenishes the beneficial bacteria that lives in your stomach and intestines. A good way to stay regular, avoid traveler’s constipation, and reduce the effects of lactose intolerance.

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Don’t Mix Hot and Cold Food Or Drinks

There is some anecdotal evidence to support this advice but many more questions. The old saying goes that it’s hard on the stomach to drink very hot or cold liquids right after each other. Like having some ice cream immediately after a hot bowl of soup. It’s probably a good idea not to eat or drink very cold things too fast since it can cause the “ice cream effect” otherwise known as a headache; but there’s no scientific evidence that shows mixing hot and cold causes stomach aches.

hot and cold

No Yogurt With Your Fish

Having any dairy products, even the stomach friendly yogurt while eating fish is going to give you a bad stomach…supposedly. This combination may even poison you, although I’ve done it on many occasions and haven’t had any ill effects. Meat and dairy is also not kosher, and the taboo may have originated when it was difficult to keep meats, fish, and dairy from spoiling (and actually poisoning you).

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Although the line between fact and fuzzy logic here isn’t all too clear, it is important to be aware of your digestive balance, especially when you’re away from home or in isolated places. An upset stomach can set you back on your plans and adversely affect your health. I’m sure there are local remedies for an upset stomach you grew up with as a child and I’d really like to hear about them in the comments.

[photos by: jasonloo, Dalboz17, ex.libris, sean dreilinger]