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6 Foods That Can Help With Diarrhea

Do you experience diarrhea often? Diarrhea can occur from many underlying causes, but one major contributor is the food you eat every day.

Some contributing factors for diarrhea include medication symptoms, illnesses like food poisoning, and much more. Many who suffer from IBS or irritable bowel syndrome get diarrhea because of the condition.

It is crucial to choose foods that are low in insoluble fiber because diarrhea does not allow you to digest high-fiber foods well. Many foods still provide nutrition with little fiber while you get back to your usual self.

That does not mean you need to eat these foods all the time. These are most helpful just until you can eat more solid and flavorful food after your digestive distress is over.

Remember that everyone’s body processes food differently. Just because these foods work for many, it does not mean they will be the ideal choice for you. Make sure you try to get to the root cause of your diarrhea if you experience it regularly.

Foods that Help with Diarrhea

If you suffer from diarrhea on a rare basis, it is likely normal. It could solely be from foods that did not process right, excess alcohol, dehydration, or side effects of medications. Check out the list below to see what foods can help to soothe diarrhea symptoms and get you back on track fast.

1. Bananas

Bananas are high in potassium and low in fiber, making them the go-to fruit of choice for those who have or may suffer from frequent bouts of diarrhea.

Long known for their soothing properties, bananas, especially green bananas, is a favorite and easy choice to help the process of reversing diarrhea. Bananas also contain pectin, a substance that can help with easing digestive distress symptoms as well.

In one study, green bananas or pectin shows to be highly effective and therapeutic at reducing persistent diarrhea in children. This natural alternative can be great for those who want to treat diarrhea at home. (1) Sometimes food can be the best remedy to settle your stomach.

While it is best to stick to bland foods when you have diarrhea, bananas at least have more of a flavor you can combine with other foods on this list to satisfy your palate more.

 

Do not be afraid to add some bananas to your routine as well. They are a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, and even as a snack all by itself.

2. White Toast and Plain Crackers

Toast and plain crackers, such as saltines, are other long-standing food to battle symptoms of diarrhea. That is because they are easy-to-digest.

They are easy to digest because they are bland food. White toast is in the category of simple carbohydrates, so it breaks down in the digestive tract faster than complex carbohydrates.

Although, for your overall health, complex carbohydrates should be your choice regularly. White bread breaks down as glucose in the body so it can add to weight gain over time. (2)

But if you are suffering from diarrhea, skip the whole grains, whole wheat, rye, and any others, and reach for the white toast. That way, you will be able to digest it fully, recover, and then you can go back to your original healthier toast.

Saltines are plain but also high in calories and refined grains, like white bread. So, it is better to just snack on saltines when you have an upset stomach or if you have diarrhea. They are not a healthy option if you are feeling well. When you settle your stomach, aim for grain-free, lower-calorie crackers regularly.

3. Applesauce

Applesauce is a part of the BRAT diet (Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). The BRAT diet is a diet specifically for those who suffer from diarrhea. Remember this easy acronym the next time you have a bout of diarrhea.

Just make sure to remember that it is not any rice or toast. Stick with the white varieties for diarrhea.

Applesauce is great for diarrhea because it is bland and lacks the fiber that a typical uncooked apple has. The cooking process removes a lot of the fiber in applesauce, making it an excellent choice to ease digestion and improve any stomach upset. (3)

It also helps that applesauce is almost purely liquid for easy consumption and smoother digestion. Someone with persistent gastrointestinal issues or disease does best on a bland diet, low in fat, fiber, and high in BRAT foods.

That is because high-fat, spicy, and fiber-rich foods take more time to digest, and they can be too harsh on someone with loose stools. If you have a digestive disorder, your doctor may tell you to follow a bland diet for life.

Often, diarrhea can be a result of an overlooked underlying common infection, such as H. Pylori, in the gut. (4) Be sure to reach out to more healthcare professionals, too. Find the root cause of persistent diarrhea, and start eating more flavorful foods again.

4. White Rice

White rice is the “R” in the BRAT diet recommended for those who suffer from acute or chronic diarrhea. Like white bread, white rice is a refined grain, so it is easier to digest.

Similar to white bread, white rice is not typically the healthiest rice to eat regularly. That is because complex carbohydrates from brown or wild rice are much healthier for a long-term diet.

Too much white rice can make you gain weight if you eat it frequently. If you eat white rice here and there when you suffer from diarrhea or stomach upset, you will be fine.

Moderation is a crucial concept to remember with any food, healthy or not. You can enjoy white rice on occasion, but remember that the healthiest options are beyond the white varieties.

Just as eating the right foods to avoid further aggravating your stomach, it is crucial to remember to limit your intake of high fat, processed, or greasy foods to avoid initial digestive distress symptoms in the first place. These can include diarrhea, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

5. Hot Cereals

Hot cereal such as oatmeal, cream of wheat, and more are great options for those with diarrhea as well. That is because all of these are naturally bland, making them easier on the digestive tract.

Although oatmeal is high in fiber, it is soluble fiber, which can help to bind stool instead of loosening it like insoluble fiber. (5)

You want to avoid foods that are high in insoluble fiber for that reason. Those foods include many nuts, beans, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables, to name a few. These can irritate the gut and create more digestive issues if you have diarrhea.

Hot cereal can be soothing to eat as they are bland, low insoluble fiber, and can help to enjoy a hot meal while you are recovering from diarrhea.

6. White Potatoes

Are you noticing a pattern of how white foods can be an excellent choice for those who suffer from either acute or persistent diarrhea? White potatoes are in that category as well.

The combination of pectin and potassium is why white potatoes can be helpful for those with bouts of diarrhea.

Potassium is an essential binding mineral, so it can help to ease symptoms of diarrhea and digestive distress as well. These can include bloating, stomach cramping, belching, and more.

Aim to eat your white potato with no toppings and baked. Fried foods irritate the digestive tract, which will only make room for more harm than good. Baking is the safest and healthiest cooking method.

Conclusion

Digestive distress occurs in the body for many reasons, but food can be a reason why your gut acts up. Chronic diarrhea is a serious health concern because, over time, you can start to lose nutrients.

There are a few foods that can help to soothe symptoms of diarrhea, such as white bread, white rice, white potatoes, applesauce, and more.

Try to eat a healthy balanced diet, free from high-fat foods, refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and processed foods to avoid diarrhea in the future.

If you suffer from frequent or chronic diarrhea, be sure to look at your everyday diet and see if any foods are triggering it. A healthy lifestyle free from unhealthy habits is much easier to attain when you can get to the root cause of digestive distress.

Seek out a medical professional if you are still experiencing diarrhea after a diet change.

HealthNormal

Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, and written, fact-checked & medically reviewed by health experts.

Throughout this article, you’ll find scientific references (highly trusted peer-reviewed scientific papers, links denoted by the numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3)).