When diarrhoea strikes, you want to do everything you can to get rid of it ASAP — and keep it from coming back.
While you may be tempted to swear off food for a while for fear it’ll cause a situation again, you have to eat at some point. And it turns out, there are certain foods that can actually help soothe your stomach and stave off any unpleasant flareups.
In general, you want to avoid dairy, high-fat foods, and sugar-free foods, which can contribute to spasms in your gut and make you have even more diarrhoea, says Beth Warren, R.D.N., founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Living A Real Life With Real Food.
Be sure to drink lots of water—frequent diarrhoea can lead to dehydration. And of course, if your diarrhoea lasts more than a few days, or comes with a fever or severe pain, visit your doctor to rule out a more serious health issue.
These foods should be in heavy rotation in your diet until you start to feel better. Load up on these to help kick it to the curb.
Bananas contain easily digestible carbohydrates, which are gentle on your gut. They’re also loaded with potassium, an electrolyte that’s often lost when you have diarrhoea, Warren says. Not only that, bananas have pectin, which helps absorb liquid in your intestine and allows poop to move along more smoothly, she says.
Rice is binding, and that can help your poop become more firm before it exits the premises, Warren says.
It’s probably best to take a pass on a massive Western omelette, but having basic, well-cooked eggs without any butter or oil can help, the Mayo Clinic says.
This has no fiber, which makes it easier for you to digest when you have diarrhoea, Warren says.
Diarrhoea can quickly lead to dehydration, the Mayo Clinic points out, which is why it’s so important to replace fluids when you can. Sipping on broth will help you do that, and add in some extra nutrients that water can’t.
Butter and milk aren’t great for you when you’re battling diarrhoea, but you can get the general feel of mashed potatoes by steaming a potato and smashing it up with a fork. Potatoes are high in the electrolyte potassium, Warren says, and they’re easily digested, making them a good choice.
Low-fiber foods are great when you’re struggling with diarrhoea, which is why the Mayo Clinic recommends nibbling on these crackers.
By Korin Miller