What Are the Best Foods to Eat When You Have Diarrhea?

What Are the Best Foods to Eat When You Have Diarrhea?

Whole grains, such as oats, brown rice and barley, beans and peas, dried fruits, apples and oranges without the skin, and carrots are high in soluble fiber and will add bulk to the colon, often relieving diarrhea, according to WebMD. Four or five small meals should be eaten each day.

Experts recommend that people with diarrhea eat bananas as they have a lot of potassium to replace the electrolytes lost due to bouts of diarrhea, explains About.com. Bananas also have pectin, which helps the intestines to absorb liquid. Mashed potatoes and rice, without butter, are also good for those with diarrhea as they are easily digested. Applesauce is another excellent choice as, like bananas, it has a lot of nutrients and are easy to digest.

Soluble fiber remains in the intestines longer than insoluble fiber. During bouts with diarrhea, it's wise to avoid foods high in insoluble fiber, such as the skins of fruits and root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, wheat and corn bran, and green beans. Fried or fatty foods, high-fat dairy products, caffeinated drinks, gluten grains, and chocolate are also triggers for digestive upset and should be eliminated until the diarrhea clears. Alcoholic beverages, the fructose in honey and the sugar substitute sorbitol can bring on a diarrhea flair for some individuals.

Though dairy may not be good for those who have diarrhea, yogurt is the exception, according to About.com. The best yogurts to eat are those that contain either Bifidobacterium bifidum or Lactobacillus acidophilus, both probiotics. If looking for a great protein source, steamed chicken is good to eat for diarrhea, as it is bland and digests easily. Those suffering from diarrhea should make sure to keep oil and butter out of their diet, preparing foods as simply as possible. Blueberries are also ideal for those suffering from diarrhea, and they have been used for many years as a treatment for diarrhea in Sweden. Individuals can eat them dried, or they can boil dried blueberries in water for 10 minutes to make tea.

If the diarrhea is mild and of a short duration, in addition to eating foods that are tolerated, individuals should drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of fluid, such as fruit juice without pulp, low-fat chicken broth, tea or sports drinks, every day. It's best to drink small amounts of liquids at frequent intervals, one hour before or one hour after meals. If the diarrhea is prolonged, there is blood in the stool, a fever persists longer than 24 hours, or vomiting doesn't allow the replacements of fluids, people should seek medical attention.