What to Eat When You Have Diarrhoea
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Published by TOP4 Team
Whether the cause of your discomfort is yesterday’s lunch special or a viral infection, diarrhoea can be mostly unpleasant. But food is also extremely effective at expelling whatever it is that ails you. Rather than trying to halt the condition immediately, it’s now considered better to allow it to run its course. Start eating – plain food, little and often – when your appetite returns.
Slowly introduce a bland diet.
When diarrhoea subsides, gradually return to a normal diet. Start with low-fibre foods such as cracker, toast, rice, boiled potatoes and chicken. Doctors will often recommend a diet of bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast, also known as the BRAT diet. These binding foods are suggested as the first to try after an episode of diarrhoea.
Bananas are easily digested and contain high levels of potassium, which helps replace the electrolytes you lose when you have diarrhoea. Apple sauce contains pectin and other nutrients your body needs. Because the apples are cooked, they are easier to digest. You can also treat yourself to a clear vegetable broth or a potato and carrot soup (see the recipe below) and dry toast.
- Try some cooked carrots, which are also high in pectin -- just cook and purée.
- Gradually broaden your menu with a little fat and easily digestible protein.
- Avoid milk and dairy products until symptoms stop. Some of the organisms that cause diarrhoea can temporarily impair the ability to digest milk.
- During this time, also avoid coffee and alcohol. Instead, treat yourself to a cup of peppermint tea, which can help soothe the intestines.
Potato and Carrot Soup
This soup delivers fluid and minerals without further irritating the intestinal mucous membrane.
1 cup (250ml) water
2 medium potatoes
1 pinch salt
Bring the water to boil. Add the peeled and chopped vegetables. Cook over a low heat until tender, then purée and season with salt.
This traditional remedy can ease the unpleasant stomach cramps that often accompany diarrhoea.
2g dried common thyme
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
Infuse the dried plant for 5 minutes and then strain. Drink three cups a day.
For more tips on the appropriate diet for your health condition, consult a medical expert whom you can trust.