Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast, the foundation of the BRAT diet associated with upset stomachs and bowels, are foods that can help stop diarrhea, according to Dr. Barbara Bolen for About.com. These foods are easy to digest, provide soluble fiber and contain potassium to help prevent electrolyte imbalances.
Baked chicken without the skin, bland foods such as saltines and probiotic foods such as yogurt can also calm a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, states Beth W. Orenstein for Everyday Health. It is best to eat these plain, simple foods for the first 24 hours after the start of diarrhea. Slowly transition to a regular diet as symptoms end.
Dehydration is a serious complication of severe diarrhea. It is important to drink eight to 10 glasses of fluid a day, preferably water, though herbal teas, sports drinks and rehydration solutions such as Pedialyte can be helpful, according to MedlinePlus. Aim to drink at least 1 cup of water or other drink after every loose or watery bowel movement.
There are also some foods to avoid when suffering from diarrhea, explains Orenstein. Steer clear of dairy products, fatty foods, artificial sweeteners, beverages containing caffeine or alcohol and foods that can cause excess gas, such as cruciferous vegetables. These foods can travel through the intestines too quickly, aggravating the diarrhea.