In this article, we are going to discuss what foods to eat when you have diarrhea. There are a variety of foods to eat when you have diarrhea. Whether due to bacterial infection, a wrong meal, stomach flu or anything that doesn’t suit your stomach; diarrhea can be caused through any of these reasons. Sometimes, after having a nice dinner outside, you end up with frequent bowel movements, loose stools, cramps, gas and bloating. It also can happen if you are under some stress. You may feel that your stomach is getting rumbled up and cramped. For some people, it lasts only for two-three days. It leads to a loss of body fluids and often causes unhealthy weight loss which in turn causes weakness. However, you can improve the symptoms by making some changes to your diet. You should take care of what you are eating and drinking along with the medications if recommended by the physician.
Foods that should be avoided during diarrhea:
- Fatty foods: Fried foods, chips, bakery products which are fatty in nature.
- Alcohols: Alcoholic beverages such as beer, rum, whiskey and wine.
- Caffeine drinks: Caffeine-containing drinks such as tea and coffee.
- Nuts and nut butter.
- Ice-creams and dried fruits.
- Foods that cause gas: Cabbage, cauliflower, radish, broccoli and beans are some fat causing vegetables.
- Artificial sweeteners and Sorbitol: Artificial sweeteners can cause a laxative effect to your digestive system. Avoid intake of sugarless products.
- Preserved and Stored foods: Canned foods should be avoided. Foods that come right from the refrigerator can worsen the symptoms of diarrhea.
- Supplements: Flaxseed oil, DHA, activated charcoal, bee pollen, etc. these supplements can worsen existing diarrhea.
Foods to Eat When You Have Diarrhea:
While suffering from diarrhea, you may have been advised to switch to BRAT Diet. BRAT stands for- Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. But following only BRAT diet during diarrhea cannot be much helpful as it is nutritionally inadequate. For the first 24 hours, try to eat simple foods. It is better to eat thicker bland and low-fiber foods which can help in making stool firmer.
Foods such as oatmeal, barley, rye, saltines, pretzels, boiled potatoes without skin, toast, boiled chicken without any skin or fat and boiled eggs can be consumed during if you have diarrhea. You can have low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt. Drink electrolyte solutions, water and sports drink (sodium and potassium).
These foods should be taken in small portions throughout the day. Increase fluid intake in your diet to prevent dehydration but do not mix drinks with food. Keep some gap between their intakes.
The following foods are consumed generally to help with the symptoms of diarrhea:
1.) Bananas to Cure Diarrhea
Banana is one of the best foods to eat when you have diarrhea. High level of potassium found in a banana can help in replenishing the electrolyte lost during diarrhea. Banana is easy to digest and bland in nature. It can settle the upset stomach very effectively. Bananas also contain pectin which is a soluble fiber. Pectin can absorb the excess water content of intestine and results in smooth passage of stool. Bananas have one another soluble fiber called inulin. Being prebiotic, it supports the increase in the count of the good bacteria (probiotic) in the intestine.
2.) Rice and Potatoes to Treat Diarrhea
Rice and potatoes are easily digestible carbohydrates. Starch content in these two are much complex and get digested in GI tract. In order to restrict frequent bowel movements, you need to eat rice and potatoes in their simplest form i.e., boiled. Do not add butter or any spices into it. Keep it plain. Butter and spices can be irritating to your intestine. You can add salt to it. Rice and potatoes are one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
3.) Yogurt to Get Rid of Diarrhea
Dairy products are banned for you during diarrhea. But yogurt is an exception for it. You can add an ample amount of yogurt in your diet. It contains healthy bacteria like lactobacillus acidophilus. Cultures of these bacteria are useful probiotic. These bacteria help in balancing and regulating a number of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract by adding or replacing them. Yogurt is one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea. Take care of the sugar content in the yogurt as excessive sugar may worsen the situation.
4.) Applesauce for Diarrhea Treatment
Apple contains a good amount of pectins in it like the banana. But fiber content is much higher in apple comparatively. So, it is better to have cooked apple instead of having it raw. Cooked apple becomes more digestible and put less strain on your intestine. As a result, you get all the benefits of pectin, sugar and nutrients present in apple through applesauce. Applesauce is one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
5.) Steamed Chicken to Avoid Diarrhea
Properly steamed white meat chicken without skin can be a good source of protein. Moreover, it is bland in nature so goes well with the upset stomach. Some nutrients will get inside your body through steamed chicken. You can boil it too and have it as a soup. But try to avoid adding butter or oil to it because these are very hard on the digestive system and can increase further complications. Steamed chicken is one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
6.) Peppermint Tea to Prevent Diarrhea
Peppermint helps in releasing out the excessive gas present inside the intestines. Peppermint can provide the soothing effect to the digestive system. Furthermore, it can ease out the cramps and relaxes the intestinal muscles. Apart from this, sipping out a warm cup of tea will provide mental relaxation too in this stressful phase. Peppermint tea is one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
7.) Electrolytes and Sugar-Salt Solutions to Treat Diarrhea
Prolonged diarrhea can cause dehydration (loss of water and nutrients from the body). It is advised to take electrolyte solutions which are rich in potassium and sodium if you have diarrhea. Sugar-salt solution is equally beneficial in this case. Salt can restrict the fluid loss from your body and sugar helps your body in absorbing the salt. These solutions are one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
8.) Blueberries to Cure Diarrhea
Blueberries contain tannins which are having astringent properties. Tannins can contract muscles, improve inflammation and control secretion of fluids and mucus. Soluble fiber, pectin is also found in blueberries like apple and banana. Blueberries have antibacterial properties too. You can chew dried blueberries or can sip it as a tea by boiling dried blueberries for a few minutes. It is going to help with the symptoms of diarrhea. Blueberries are one of the foods to eat when you have diarrhea.
In addition to these, you can have nectars which are rich in potassium. Soda can be consumed as a drink.
You can also read the article how to get rid of diarrhea fast & overnight?