What to Eat for Diarrhea: 9 Best Foods (and What to Avoid)

During diarrhea, it is important to prioritize easily digestible foods, such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, lean meats, such as chicken and fish, and peeled fruits, which will help with digestion, control the volume of bowel movements and relieve stomach pain.

To avoid pain and episodes of diarrhea, it is advisable to avoid processed and very fatty foods, such as ready-made sauces, fried foods and sausages, as well as foods that can cause gas production, such as beans, chickpeas, broccoli and carbonated drinks. See foods that cause gas .

Likewise, it is also important to increase your intake of water, teas, oral rehydration salts and soups to replenish minerals and avoid dehydration.

9 Best Foods for Diarrhea

The 9 foods that can be consumed in case of diarrhea are:

1. Apple without skin

Apples without the skin, whether raw or cooked, are a good option to include in your diet during diarrhea, because they contain little insoluble fiber, a type of fiber that speeds up bowel movements, making food pass through the intestine more easily.

It is important to always consume fruits without the skin, seeds or pulp, as these are the areas where the largest amounts of insoluble fiber are found, which is not good for diarrhea.

2. Potato

Potatoes are a tuber with low fiber content and are easy to digest, helping to prevent diarrhea. It is important to eat potatoes without the skin and in low-fat preparations, such as mashed, baked or boiled.

3. Green banana

Green bananas have a great amount of soluble fiber, a type of fiber that helps control involuntary bowel movements and balances the health of intestinal flora, helping to control diarrhea. Green bananas can be eaten raw or cooked.

4. Fish

Fish, especially those with white meat, such as sole, hake, cod or sea bass, are low in fat and therefore help to prevent diarrhea.

Additionally, fish and other lean proteins such as chicken, eggs, tofu, white cheese and lean cuts of beef are also essential for strengthening the immune system and preventing muscle loss.

5. Peeled guava

Guava without the peel can be consumed during diarrhea, because it has low amounts of insoluble fiber, helping to control bowel movements.

Other fruits that can also be eaten without the skin are guava, cashew, passion fruit, peach and lemon.

6. White rice

Because it has a low fiber content, white rice is a recommended food to include in your diet during diarrhea.

In addition to white rice, other cereals that also have little fiber and can be consumed are cornmeal, white bread, white pasta, toast and crackers.

7. Cooked carrots

Cooked carrots without the skin can be eaten during diarrhea, because they have a lower fiber content than the raw version with the skin. In addition, carrots also contain pectin, a type of fiber that helps prolong digestion time, reducing bowel movements.

Other vegetables that can also be consumed are zucchini, chayote, potato, yam, carrot, pumpkin, eggplant and green beans.

8. Coconut water

Coconut water is recommended to help treat diarrhea, because it helps to replace potassium and sodium, which are essential nutrients for maintaining the body’s functions and which are eliminated in large quantities during diarrhea attacks.

9. Pear without skin

Peeled pears, which can be eaten raw or cooked, help treat diarrhea because they are high in soluble fiber, which slows down intestinal transit and regulates stool volume. In addition, pears are rich in water, helping to hydrate the body.

How to start the diet

The ideal is to start eating a liquid diet, which includes homemade broths or soups, liquefied and strained apple, pear or peach juices, gelatin, chamomile, bay or guava teas, or rice water, for example.

Once the liquid diet is tolerated, it is possible to progress the diet by including easily digestible foods, such as white rice, rice noodles, pasta, polenta, skinless or mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, chayote or zucchini, for example, preferably fresh and cooked and still warm to promote digestion. These carbohydrates can be served with eggs, skinless chicken or shredded fish.

It is also possible to consume white bread, rice or corn crackers, cream crackers, green bananas, apples, pears, peaches and peeled guavas, as well as low-fat white cheeses, such as ricotta or cream cheese, for example.

Then, depending on tolerance, it is possible to gradually include your usual foods in your diet.

Watch the video below for some suggestions on what to eat during diarrhea:

Foods to avoid

It is important to avoid certain foods that can make diarrhea worse, including:

  • Foods with a lot of fat, such as fried foods, nuggets, pizzas and fast food ;
  • Dairy products,such as milk, yellow cheeses, butter and cream;
  • Laxative fruits,such as orange, papaya, avocado, kiwi, fig and ripe banana;
  • Oilseeds,such as walnuts, chestnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts;
  • Whole grains,such as brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat bread, and oatmeal;
  • Leafy vegetables,such as lettuce, arugula, kale, spinach, chard, Swiss chard and watercress;
  • Foods that cause gas,such as beans, radishes, chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lentils, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts;
  • Fatty meats,such as bacon, lamb, pork, rump steak, sirloin and flank steak;
  • Processed foods,such as ketchup, mayonnaise, ice cream and instant noodles;
  • Seasonings,such as pepper, curry, garlic and onion
  • Processed meats,such as sausage, ham, salami, pork shoulder and mortadella;
  • Foods rich in sugar,such as table sugar, jams, chocolates, cakes, pasteurized fruit juices, dried fruits and fruits in syrup;
  • Carbonated drinks,such as sparkling wines, soft drinks and sodas;
  • Caffeinated drinks,such as coffee, green tea, mate and black tea.

Additionally, sports drinks such as Gatorade should also be avoided as they contain sugars that can worsen diarrhea, as do alcoholic beverages.

3-day menu for diarrhea crisis

The following table provides an example of a menu to follow when you have diarrhea:

Snack 1st day 2nd Day 3rd Day
Breakfast 1 cup of chamomile tea without sugar + 1 glass of strained apple juice without sugar 1 cup of rosemary without sugar + 1 corn cracker with 1 slice of ricotta 1 glass of rice milk + 1 cracker with 2 scrambled eggs + 1 peeled pear
Morning snack 1 glass of strained, unsweetened pear juice 2 peaches, peeled 1 green banana
Lunch 1 serving of chicken soup or chicken soup with carrots, chayote and potatoes Chicken soup with vegetables, such as potatoes, zucchini, carrots and coriander, with 1 teaspoon of raw olive oil Grilled turkey breast in strips, accompanied by rice noodles and cooked vegetables such as zucchini and carrots + cooked apple without skin
Afternoon snack 1 glass of strained guava juice without peel 1 cup of unsweetened lemon balm tea + 1 white bread with 1 scrambled egg 1 cup of sugar-free gelatin
To have lunch 1 bowl of carrot and potato soup with chicken Carrot puree with boiled potatoes + 1 grilled chicken fillet Grilled fish with white rice, accompanied by a cooked eggplant and carrot salad, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of raw olive oil

In addition, you should drink plenty of liquids, such as water and herbal teas, to stay hydrated. You can also prepare homemade serum, which replenishes some nutrients, preventing dehydration and helping to control diarrhea. See how to prepare homemade serum .

Home remedies to treat diarrhea

Some home remedies for diarrhea, such as chamomile tea, guava leaf tea or rice water, can be used along with your diet to alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea.

These home remedies help keep your body hydrated and fight diarrhea. Learn how to prepare home remedies for diarrhea .

When is it necessary to take medicine?

The use of medicines to treat diarrhea should only be done with medical advice, because taking medicines to stop diarrhea in the case of an intestinal infection prevents the body from eliminating the microorganisms responsible for diarrhea.

When diarrhea is not caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses, your doctor may prescribe antidiarrheal medications, such as loperamide and racecadotril, which will reduce intestinal contractions, reducing episodes of diarrhea.

In addition, the doctor may also recommend the use of probiotic supplements, such as Lactobacillus reuteri , Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus casei , which are live microorganisms that balance the intestinal flora, helping to combat diarrhea.

When to see a doctor

It is important to see a gastroenterologist if one or more of the following factors arise:

  • When diarrhea lasts more than a week;
  • When showing signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth and skin, little urine, weakness and malaise;
  • Severe and persistent abdominal pain;
  • Dark stools, with blood or mucus;
  • High fever.

It is important to remember that diarrhea is usually more severe in children and the elderly, and therefore greater care should be taken in these cases, seeking medical help if diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days even with changes in diet.

 

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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