Diet for diarrhea


BRAT diet for diarrhea

For some time, doctors and nurses have advised diarrhea patients to follow a BRAT diet.
BRAT is an acronym for banana, rice, applesauce and toast; often these foods cause the liquid stool to become more “compact”.
In addition, other foods can also help with diarrhea.
Knowing the right foods and which ones to avoid will help you better manage the symptoms.
With severe diarrhea, this type of diet is recommended without other foods.

Bananas can help relieve diarrhea and associated symptoms. Bananas have an astringent effect and are “firming” foods. Therefore, they help to improve the shape of the stool so that it travels more slowly through the intestines. Bananas contain a lot of potassium, a vital nutrient that is often depleted during diarrhea attacks and vomiting.
This food is particularly suitable for breakfast.

Whole grain rice and mashed
Thanks to the low fiber content, these starches are easily digestible for the gastrointestinal tract. Rice and potatoes should be eaten pure; Butter has an increased fat content and can irritate the digestive system and cause intestinal spasms.

Apple sauce
The pectin contained in applesauce helps solidify the stool and could help relieve diarrhea symptoms. The natural sugar of applesauce helps to recover the energy lost during the disease. This food is suitable because it is gentle and well tolerated by the organism.

Toasted bread can relieve diarrhea by adding mass to the stool. Eaten pure, it is a light dish that contains carbohydrates that support the energy balance.

According to reports, it is said to help chew dried blueberries or brew a tea from crushed dried blueberries and let it steep for about 10 minutes.
The usefulness of blueberries in diarrhea seems to be due to the fact that they contain tannins that have an astringent effect on the tissues and reduce the inflammation and secretion of mucus and fluids. Blueberries also contain so-called anthocyanins, which have antibacterial properties, and are a rich source of antioxidants. In addition, blueberries are another source of the soluble fiber pectin.

Peppermint tea
Peppermint has a calming effect on the gastrointestinal tract. It is believed to calm and relax muscles along the intestine, thus relieving cramps. Peppermint also appears to be very effective for reducing intestinal gases.

The Dukan diet is rich in protein and contains a lot of meat and fish, which are beneficial against diarrhea.

About 24 to 48 hours after symptoms subside, you should start a standard diet of fruits and vegetables. For a week you should avoid the following foods:

  • Raw vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Coffee
  • Milk (Saunders et al. – 2014)
  • Fried or fatty foods

People who prefer a vegetarian diet should eat food cooked and not raw.
Some raw fruits and vegetables can worsen diarrhea.


Many people think that drinking fluids can make diarrhea worse. However, this is not true.
On the contrary, you should drink plenty of fluids to replace the lost electrolytes.
But drinking water is not enough, you should also take other liquids, such as:

  • Soups
  • Vegetable and fruit juices
  • Tea with lemon
  • Rice or soy milk

You should try soups with boiled asparagus tips, beets, carrots, peeled zucchini, mushrooms or celery; tomato sauce or baked potatoes without peel are also suitable.

With mild diarrhea, there is no risk of dehydration, but still you should drink a lot.
If you consume the right fluids, you can easily restore the right electrolyte level.
Some methods of fluid replacement for dehydration include drinking rice milk or a mixture of sugar and salt in a cup of water.
Herbal teas are one of the best types of hydration for the intestines.
A person suffering from diarrhea should drink 8-10 glasses of the above liquids.
Children and the elderly are more prone to dehydration because they generally drink less.

Foods to avoid in case of diarrhea

We have already talked about what foods to use for diarrhea. However, it is equally important to know which foods cause diarrhea.

  • Except for yogurt, dairy products should be avoided.
    This is because diarrhea depletes the supply of the enzyme lactase in the body, which helps digest lactose.
    Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks should be avoided. In a healthy person, they do not cause diarrhea, but if someone suffers from diarrhea, irritate the stomach.
  • Spicy foods, fried eggs or other fried foods and foods high in sugar can also stimulate bowel movements.
  • High-fiber foods that can worsen diarrhea include: dried beans, corn, certain vegetables (for example, lettuce and tomatoes), seeds, dried fruits, whole grains, and garden vegetables.
  • Fruits and fruit juices contain fructose, which can make diarrhea worse.
  • Jam contains fruits and sugar.
  • Caffeinated Drinks (such as coffee and tea) can have a laxative effect.
  • Alcoholic beverages (such as beer, wine, and liquor) can make diarrhea worse.
  • Fatty meats (such as belly bacon and mortadella) can make diarrhea worse.
  • Monosodium glutamate (a flavor enhancer) can worsen diarrhea.
  • Large amounts of nuts or nut butters can increase symptoms.
  • Concentrated desserts can increase symptoms.
  • Dried fruits such as figs, dates, raisins and prunes can have a laxative effect.
  • Prune juice can have a laxative effect.
  • Peppermints and chewing gum without sugar contain sweeteners such as: sorbitol, mannitol and/or xylitol, which can have laxative effects.
  • Pizza should be avoided as it contains tomatoes and mozzarella.
  • The real black licorice (not the liquorice) can have a laxative effect.

In addition to choosing foods that can be irritating, there are many supplements that can cause more frequent bowel movements and thus aggravate diarrhea.

Supplements that help against diarrhea
Psyllium (Eherer et al. – 1993)
Abrasion of blackberry roots (used as tea) (Verma et al. – 2014)
Probiotics (Narayan et al. – 2010)
Pectin (Xu et al. – 2015)
Activated carbon
Bovine colostrum (Saad ET AL. – 2016)
Linseed oil
Supplements that can make symptoms worse
Bee pollen
Borage oil
(Takwale ET AL. – 2003)
Cayenne pepper
(Huskisson – 2008
(Sirico et al. – 2018)



Probiotics contain live bacteria that resemble the healthy bacteria normally found in the digestive tract. Probiotics can increase the number of healthy bacteria present to fight germs in the digestive tract. There are some probiotic supplements. The beneficial bacteria are also present in yogurt.

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