When you have diarrhea, eating may be the last thing on your mind, but it can help. If you eat the right foods, it may help to fix the microbiome of your gut and make your waste more solid. It is important to eat the right foods though, as the wrong foods can actually make your stomach situation much worse.
Generally, you want to stay near bland foods and foods with a lot of liquid. So here are 18 foods to eat when you have diarrhea, even if you don’t feel like it.
18 Foods to Eat When You Have Diarrhea
The BRAT diet was designed to be used for sensitive digestive systems. This is usually an ideal diet to follow if you have diarrhea, an upset stomach, or other gut issues. It is meant to be used for a short time, and not as a long-term diet plan.
This is because the BRAT diet is focused on low fiber, protein, and fat. They are also usually much more bland foods, as spices can also harm the stomach and increase gastrointestinal issues.
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. While this isn’t all you can eat on the diet, it is a good example of what foods you may be looking at. Generally, it is something that is high in carbs and absorbs liquids well, but there are some exceptions.
You don’t get a lot of nutrients from this food, or a lot of liquid, so it is best to add liquid when you can via diluted juice, water, weak tea, or drinks full of electrolytes. And again, it is best to not stay on this diet long or you may end up making yourself sicker due to a lack of nutrients, proteins, fats, and fiber.
Foods that are acceptable for a BRAT diet are:
1. Cooked cereals (oatmeal, cream of wheat)
2. Soda crackers
3. Apple sauce
5. Plain white rice
9. Unsalted pretzels
10. Boiled potatoes
11. Baked potatoes
This one is a mixed bag. Probiotics can be helpful because they can aid in digestion and bring balance to the bacteria in the gut, both good and bad. However, most probiotics, unless you take a supplement, are in dairy items like yogurt and kefir.
Dairy is often something you should avoid when you have stomach problems like diarrhea because your body can struggle to digest the dairy. You can always give it a try, but be ready to stop it if it is causing you more problems. Also, try to stick to plain flavors, as the fruits and sugars in ones with added flavors can also contribute to making your stomach feel worse.
There are other foods high in probiotics like miso soup, kombucha, and kimchi. However, these foods can also be harsh on the stomach, so you will want to eat them a little at a time and in moderation.
13. Boiled Vegetables
Raw vegetables can be hard for your body to break down. However, you need nutrients to help your stomach feel better and to replace what you lost during your sickness.
One way around this is to include boiled vegetables in your diet. While boiling vegetables does eliminate some nutrients, it helps you get a little bit more of what you need while being softer and easier to digest.
Soups are another great opinion. Stick to mild soups without a lot of spices or flavor like chicken noodle soups. You want some soft vegetables, a lean source of protein, some carbs like pasta or rice, and broth.
Soup is a great meal to have any time you are sick because it helps you to get liquids into your system. Many people who are sick tend to go through at least a brief spell of dehydration, and it is a lot more common with diarrhea and vomiting than normal colds since you are expelling a lot of liquid throughout the day.
So soups provide you with more liquid while giving you filling and bland foods to help calm down your stomach as well.
15. Lean Meats
You shouldn’t eat a whole bunch of protein when you are sick anyway, as you want your waste to solidify and become tougher. Proteins will, generally, make it easier to expel waste, which is the opposite of what you want. However, if you are going to eat protein, make sure it is lean meat.
Chicken and turkey are best, as long as you make sure there is no skin on them. The skin is full of fat which will definitely make your stomach feel worse.
You want to avoid spices and salt as much as possible, as they can irritate your stomach more. However, if you can’t deal with plain foods, you can look at incorporating herbs. Stick to dry, milder herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. They add a good flavor without irritating the stomach.
Eggs are easy on the stomach and provide protein and carbs. Just make sure you make it in a way that doesn’t use a lot of dairy or spices, such as using butter to cook them with. Making scrambled eggs, which are softer and already broken down, may make eggs easier to digest than boiled eggs.
18. Frozen Popsicles
Frozen popsicles provide liquid and a few nutrients. Stick to popsicles that are made with real fruits and minimal sugars to get the most benefits. You can even make your own popsicles with water and some fruits to help with sore throats and add a little hydration when it’s hard to drink.
If you are adventurous, make a broth popsicle or popsicle out of electrolyte-heavy drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. Just remember to get the sugar-free ones.