How to Avoid Getting "Delhi Belly" in India

India is a land of adventure, full of beauty, culture and exotic mysticism. Each year millions of travellers visit the expansive nation to experience all it has to offer. For many, it is a journey to remember for all the right reasons. However, for those less fortunate, their trip can be plagued by so-called 'Delhi Belly'.

'Delhi Belly' is the unfortunate outcome of consuming contaminated food and water, something that is often not realised until it is too late. Its effects include vomiting, diarrhoea and nausea and, with the potential to be a long lasting stomach irritation, it is enough to ruin any holiday.

Unfortunately for too many tourists to India, a holiday can end up in the hospital with “Delhi belly”.

However, it is possible to travel throughout the Indian nation and still eat renowned Indian dishes without catching a case of the dreaded 'Delhi Belly'! Careful travellers just need to follow a few basic tips and they will find themselves enjoying their holiday to the fullest. 

Be Wary Of Tap Water

Top of the list of causes is local tap water. Wherever you travel, if you are not used to the water system and the bacteria it carries with it, it is best to stick to bottled water in which all impurities have been removed. 

It is also important to remember that tap water is also used in ice cubes and in washing fruit and vegetables, so it is advisable to avoid ice cubes and even dishes such as cold salad if you are especially sensitive. In addition, watch out for shower water as just one small mouthful could cause a world of discomfort.

Get Picky With Street Vendors

In no way do you have to avoid street food. In fact, some of the best food you may taste and some of the most famed local delicacies are found in the form of food pedalled on street corners. You simply have to be cautious when making your choice. Avoid food that looks as if it has been there for a while and any food that has flies on or around it. The best advice is to follow the crowds; not only does this ensure that you will get the freshly prepared food due to fast turnover, but also that you are in for a real treat! 

Take the Vegetarian Route

India is one of the few countries in the world where the vegetarian cuisine outshines its meat laden counterpart, so even the most dedicated of carnivores should be willing to give it a go. As well as an experience that your taste buds will revel at, vegetarian food is not susceptible to the same bacterial issues that meat is, meaning it is overall a safe (and certainly tasty) option.

An example of a Red Hot Thai Curry Vegetarian dish in Delhi, India.

Eat At Indoor Restaurants

For those especially unwilling to take risks with their digestive system, indoor restaurants are often a wise choice. Although caution is still required, on the whole, established restaurants have higher hygiene standards and, in turn, food that is both safe and delicious. Your hotel is sure to have a list of the best local restaurants, so don't hesitate to ask for recommendations from staff who really know the area! 

The fear of contracting a case of the dreaded 'Delhi Belly' whilst travelling in India can lead many to abstain from a marker of Indian culture, its food. However, travellers by no means have to pass on the experience. By following a few basic tips, visitors can make adventurous culinary choices and live to tell the tale!

Post by Tony, a British travel blogger writing for Cheapflights, where you can find cheap flights to India.


Image Credits: nicocrisafilli and artist in doing nothing.


Be diligent with your drinking water

Very useful tips once again and especially in Asian countries, one must be more diligent in choosing the drinking water, as contaminated water is not so uncommon.