Secrets To Avoiding 'Dehli Belly'

4-star hotel with pool, a short walk from Plaza España

Too many people have fallen victim to the dreaded Delhi Belly whilst on holiday in India, so be sure to follow these handy tips to reduce the risk whilst you’re there.

1.    Avoid ice. Even if you’re at the swankiest of hotels or the most expensive cocktail bar, unfortunately many establishments in India continue to make ice using tap water. Tap water in India is not fit for consumption, but many tourists still get caught out when they order bottled water and a glass of ice made with unsanitary tap water.

2.    Use hand sanitizer. Keep a bottle of hand sanitising gel in your bag to use before meals and after you’ve handled money. Money is one of the worst culprits of passing on germs, so take extra care!

3.    Avoid meat. This might sound extreme, but if you’re really set on avoiding Delhi Belly this is the best thing you can do. Sticking to a vegetarian diet whilst you’re away will avoid you coming into contact with meat that’s been hanging about in the heat for days and possibly exposed to flies and insects. Eating gone off meat will certainly leave you bed bound for a few days so it’s probably not worth the risk!

4.    Wear a sunhat.

Temperatures in India have been recorded as high as 50 °C (122 °F)

Temperatures in India have been recorded as high as 50 °C (122 °F)

Many people who claim to be a victim of Delhi Belly are actually suffering from a classic case of sunstroke. Make sure you protect your head from the sun, wear plenty of suncream and cool off in the shade regularly.

5.    Peel your fruit. Fresh delicious fruit in India is abundant, but that fruit will have been handled and sat out long enough to pick up germs. You could wash it with bottled water but the safest thing to do is peel it. Then you can enjoy it without the worry. Salad should also be avoided, as this is often washed in restaurants using tap water. As a rule, hot options are the safest as the germs should be killed through the cooking process.

6.    Eat the street food.

Street food is cooked fresh in front of you, minimising the risk of sitting around and becoming contaminated

Street food is cooked fresh in front of you, minimising the risk of sitting around and becoming contaminated

Contrary to belief, the street food in India is some of the most sanitary food you can eat, and it’s dirt cheap too! Street vendors have nowhere to store their food and so everything is cooked fresh in front of you. If you stick to the veggie options, you really can’t go wrong!

Of course, you can take all the precautions in the world and still get sick, so don’t let the fear of Delhi Belly worry you too much. If you do end up getting sick, stick to plain foods like rice or bread and drink plenty of bottled water to flush it out.

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