When it comes to fighting diarrhea, we usually go to the medicine store for help, but did you know that your kitchen could put an end to that frequent trip to the loo? Yes, there are foods that help with diarrhea and this guide will go over 20 of them.
Almost everyone experiences diarrhea and stomach pain from time to time. Usual symptoms include bloating, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, or constipation.
There are many reasons for stomach pain or upset, and treatment depends on the underlying cause. Fortunately, certain foods can soothe stomach upset or pain and give you relief fast.
Foods That Help With Diarrhea and Stomach Pain
When you are having an episode of diarrhea or stomach pain, turn to these 20 foods that help with diarrhea.
1. White Rice
When experiencing stomach pain or diarrhea, refined grains such as white rice are better than whole grains since they are low in fiber and gentle on your digestive tract, which allows it to recover faster.
Also, white rice can help make your poop firm, which is a plus when fighting diarrhea.
While brown, wild, or black rice is healthy and advised when you are well, they are harder to digest, particularly when experiencing stomach upset.
Bananas contain potassium. Stomach upset symptoms such as vomiting and nausea can make you lose electrolytes and fluids like sodium and potassium.
Since your body needs electrolytes to carry out normal cellular function, it’s crucial to ensure you choose electrolyte-laden foods when sick.
Bananas also make up the BRAT diet, which means bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. These foods are easy to digest and help your stomach retain food when upset.
They are also part of the bland diet, which includes foods with little fiber and fat and are easy to chew.
Applesauce, another dish in the BRAT diet, is digested more easily than raw apples because the apples are cooked and the skins are peeled.
Applesauce has less fiber than raw apples, so it’s gentle on your stomach and helps fight diarrhea.
An unpeeled, medium fresh apple has 4.37g of fiber as against 1.24g of fiber in an unsweetened applesauce tack-sized cup.
Toast, another BRAT diet food, could be a safe choice when down with stomach upset.
When bread is toasted, it turns brown because of a process called the Maillard reaction, which boosts the taste, aroma, and texture of the toast. This can make toast appealing, particularly if you are not feeling well.8
Eat plain toast as whole grain bread contains fiber. You can also try bland toppings to prevent digestive upset.
5. Creamy Peanut Butter
Talking of toast, go for a bland topping like creamy peanut butter. It’s another rich source of potassium.
Only limit it to a tablespoon, as peanut butter fiber content can be high.
Just like toast, crackers are a salty source of carbohydrates that can ease stomach upset.
Crackers prepared with refined white flour or other ingredients with low-fiber content are bland and easy for the stomach to digest, making them a preferred choice when experiencing stomach discomfort.
Also, taking salted crackers can replenish sodium lost through vomiting, sweating, or diarrhea.
People usually crave broth when they are not well and there is a reason. Broths such as bone broth and chicken stock are filled with electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and calcium.
Broth helps replenish minerals and fluids lost when vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.
Try adding fresh, minced ginger to plain water and tea, and even chopped ginger to make soothing and refreshing ice cubes.
Ginger variations, like concentrated ginger supplements and ginger tea, are usually used to fix pregnancy-related nausea.
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9. Coconut Water
Coconut water is another effective way to replenish fluids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium lost to vomiting or diarrhea.
For children with diarrhea caused by cholera and gastroenteritis, coconut water is used as a rehydration solution.
Teas is another great option to calm your stomach. It is also an option for clear and bland diets.
The clear diet is made of clear liquids at room temperature and dishes you can eat when have an upset stomach
11. Certain Lean Proteins
Certain protein options make up the bland diet. You should choose lean choices like whitefish, chicken, and shellfish.
You could eat them grilled, baked, or steamed, but keep it plain.
12. Pudding or Gelatin
Another great food for stomach upset is potatoes. Like bananas, potatoes are also on the bland diet. They also have a lot of potassium.
A small white potato, of about 92g, has 374mg of potassium.
If you want potatoes to help soothe your stomach, eat them plain without any toppings
14. Hot Cereals
Hot cereal is another food that is easy on the stomach. However, limit the frequency and the quantity you eat.
If you’re searching for something you can eat and drink when down with an upset stomach, try popsicles or ice pops. Studies have revealed that popsicles can reduce patients’ nausea and vomiting after surgery.
Popsicles are also part of the bland and clear liquid diets. When brooding on which of these frozen treats to eat, choose ones with no fruit or fruit pulp and yogurt.
16. Bland Vegetables
Certain vegetables can soothe stomach upset – such as carrots, beets, and spinach.
If you eat these vegetables, ensure you take them cooked and not raw as cooked foods are usually easier to digest.
Although you may enjoy sipping ginger ale when you’re feeling sick, kombucha is a better option as it has less sugar, says dietitian Valerie Goldberg.
Many kombuchas taste like ginger ale and have probiotics that can add to a healthy gut microbiome, and so help reduce inflammation.
18. Greek yogurt
If you have no dairy issues, Greek yogurt can be really soothing for your stomach. Like kombucha, yogurt has probiotics, which support a healthy gut. (No wonder people taking antibiotics choose it)
Since simple, plain foods help more when experiencing stomach upset, eat Greek yogurt straight without any crazy additions, says Goldberg.
If you need a simple protein source while battling stomach upset, go with eggs. “Eggs have all of the necessary amino acids absorbed by our muscles,” says Goldberg. Also, the yolks contain healthy fats that fast-track healing.
Goldberg advises cooking your eggs in whichever way appeals to you. But because your immune system may not be at its optimal level, cook your yolks as an extra precaution.
20. Miso soup
“Miso is a classic Japanese food prepared with fermented soybeans. Miso, a fermented food, is a source of probiotics which have many immune and digestive benefits,” says Connell.
“Miso is also filled with minerals and vitamins such as vitamin K and zinc.”
While there are foods that help with diarrhea and stomach pain, others can have the opposite effect, exacerbating the symptoms.
So when you are down with stomach upset, watch what you eat. But if you are short of ideas, try any of these 20 foods that help with diarrhea.