The 10 best ways how to avoid Delhi belly
How to avoid Delhi belly is a very important question for any traveller to India as it is overwhelmingly likely the most likely health issue you will encounter. Here you will find everything you need to know about how to minimalise this problem.
Your personal hygiene is the most effective tool against the war on getting a dodgy belly. Outside of that, you can do what you can to assess the hygiene of where it is you will be dining. I know that is not always possible, but we have to do what we can.
While New Delhi has this unfortunate condition named after it, I can assure you it is not unique to just this city, and you can certainly trust me on that. In this post, we will look closely at what I think are the 10 best ways to avoid Dehli belly. I am sure this will prove to be a beneficial post for you to dedicate a little of your time and attention to as this really will be a continuous issue on your travels here, so without further ado, let’s jump in, shall we?
1. Do not drink water from the tap.
Do not drink water from the tap! Don’t even think about it. Locals will only do this in a few parts of the country, but the vast majority are reluctant to do it themselves. India is home to many of the most polluted rivers on the planet, and there is only a very barebone water treatment system. Sometimes in the more remote parts of the country, there is little choice and it is up to you how you treat it but I recommend a carbon filter to be safe.
2. Check the source of water you do drink.
Always check the seals of bottled water and check the date. The water that people offer in their homes is well treated, as obviously buying gallons of Evian is out of the question. The water that is offered in restaurants tends to be treated with reverse osmosis so it is safe.
3. Go easy on the spice.
Believe me when I say it is wise to go easy on the spice. As delicious as the food is, you can be sure it will wreak havoc with your belly. Break yourself in slowly and do not indulge in too much rich food too soon, or you will need time off from your travels.
4. Wash your hands.
Always wash your hands before and after eating. It is a simple step but one that is sure to be an important one for you. The local people never forget and you often see huge queues of customers lathering their hands up in preparation for dinner. I would suggest you do the same.
5. Carry hand sanitiser
Always carry hand sanitiser and plenty of it. You will get through buckets when you travel in India as your hands get covered in filth, especially on public transport. When you are about to sit down to eat after using the toilet on a sleeper class train, you just know the cold water and a bar of shrivelled up soap is just not going to cut it.
6. Go for the veggie option.
I am mostly vegetarian in India as it is just safer. Eating tomatoes that have been sat out in the sun all day is far safer than prawns, and yes, I have seen prawns stacked up on slow bake in the baking sunshine. As a rule, if I am going to eat meat, I will pay out a little extra and eat in a nicer place in the hope it is a little cleaner.
7. Eat at Busy restaurants.
Always try and eat at busy restaurants as it means there is a high turnover of products. It also indicates that the food is tasty and of good value. After all, we all love a bargain, right? Vast numbers of hungry locals seem to flock to just a few restaurants. My advice is to follow the crowds. I think it’s fair to say that the local people know best.
8. Beware of tourist restaurants.
Restaurants like this may look scary, but the fact is that all the most serious cases of food poisoning I have ever had are from tourist restaurants. The products cost a lot more than local products, and the owners tend to be reluctant to throw them away. A restaurant like the one in this picture is likely to only sell a couple of dishes and they are very likely to be fresh every day.
9. Check the reviews for restaurants.
It is always good to check the reviews for restaurants online. For all of the nonsense that comes with living in the digital age, checking what previous customers thought of a service or product at the drop of a hat is a definite plus point. People also tend to report feeling sick so it deserves a place in my blog.
10. Peel your fruit.
If you can peel your fruit, then do as yes, it’s awesome, but it is often sold on the side of a dusty street. Understandably the fruit is very likely to get covered in kinds of crap and you probably do not want to put that in your belly. To add insult to injury and despite the meticulous displays, it is often sprinkled with water. It makes it look all the more tempting on a hot day, but there is no way to know where it comes from. I have seen vendors literally grab a cup of river water and sprinkle it over the displays.
In summary on How to avoid Delhi belly.
I hope you enjoyed my blog and I am quite sure you will find the information of value. These tips took a whole lifetime of experience to accrue and you can learn them in a couple of minutes. God bless the internet.
If you appreciated this post, I have another one on staying healthy in India and yet another on what to pack into your first aid kits. Of course, I am no doctor, but after years on the road and many, many, many visits to the hospital, I believe I am in the position to hand out some useful advice on what has worked for me in the past.
Whatever happens, don’t let the prospect of getting an upset belly turn you off all the awesome food. Travelling your tastebuds must surely be one of the greatest pleasures of visiting a new land in the first place. Again I have a whole blog on where to get the best food in India. I know it’s not written in stone what’s best or not but this is in my experience and I am sure you will not be disappointed with my suggestions.
Would you please not neglect to take travel insurance and checkout your government travel advisory website for all the most up to date info? This is unlikely to help with your Delhi belly. Still, you want to make sure you are not breaking any of your government’s suggestions, or your insurance premium will be invalid and a massive waste of your money in the event you need to use it. With that said, I would say that’s enough on this matter, so I will see you in the next post.Follow me on social media 🙂