People sometimes have episodes of diarrhea due to virus, bacteria or bowel problem. When you have diarrhea or loose motion, you have runny stools along with cramps, nausea, vomiting or even fever. The first thing you should do when this occurs is to drink lots of liquids and have oral re-hydration (ORS) at regular intervals. This helps you to stay hydrated and also help yourself with some energy lost because of the loose motions.
You also need to be cautious about the foods you are going to eat for the next couple of days. Some food can cause the condition to get worse and some can relieve you from it. The bland food, known as the BRAT diet (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) is good, but you need to consider other food choices as well. Here are the best foods to eat when you are having loose motions:
Banana is a part of the BRAT diet and is ideal for getting relief from loose motion. It has many properties that help to reduce the negative effects of diarrhea.
- Banana is easy to digest as there is a low quantity of fiber.
- It contains potassium that helps to replace the important nutrients and electrolytes that your body has lost during loose motion.
- It is rich in pectin, a soluble fiber, which helps in absorbing liquid in the intestine so that the stool can pass out smoothly.
- It contains resistant starch that helps to absorb the water from stool in the colon, making the stool firmer.
- It helps to slow down your trips to the toilet, and so you will lose less amount of water from the body.
- It reduces constipation as well, so doesn’t give you any discomfort.
Eating one or two bananas during the time of loose motion can help to restore normal bowel activity. You can cook green bananas and have it with rice for better results. You must include it in your diet every day until your condition gets better.
Oatmeal will give you great relief when you have loose motion. It acts as a bulking agent for the stool and helps to improve the condition. It contains fiber that will help to keep the bowels functioning at its best. However, make sure not to have much milk or sugar with oatmeal as these contain fat and can make your condition worse.
3. Plain White Rice
Plain white rice contains a lot of carbohydrates to give you energy. White rice is better than whole grains when you have diarrhea as whole grains have fiber that is difficult to digest and so it will deteriorate your health condition. As refined white rice is binding, it helps to make the stool firm. It also reduces the amount of stool and so you will feel better soon. It will also rehydrate your body and prevent further sickness.
4. White Bread or Toast
White bread has low fiber content and so it can be digested easily. Here are the advantages of eating bread during loose motion:
- It will reduce your stomach ache.
- It will make the stool firmer and the starch in bread is a good binding agent.
- It won’t encourage elimination as it doesn’t contain fiber, so you will feel better.
You shouldn’t put on jam, butter or other things on the bread as these contain sugar and fat. You can also have toast and get the same benefits.
5. Boiled Potatoes
Potatoes have high quantities of potassium and you should have it when you have diarrhea. You can steam or boil the potato and make sure that you peel off the skin before eating. You should only sprinkle some salt and pepper and have it without any butter or sour cream because fat and oil can irritate the stomach and cause cramps. Potatoes also contain Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 which are very important for the body.
You must have heard that it is best to avoid dairy products when you have loose motion. But yogurt is an exception because it will improve your health during that difficult time. Yogurt will give you a cooling effect on the stomach and you will feel better.
- It contains probiotic that helps to replenish the bacteria that is good for the gut.
- It also helps to balance the good and bad bacteria that help in digestion and healthy bowel movements.
You should eat unsweetened yogurt; otherwise, your condition may worsen. Yogurt has been proven to be very effective in easing the condition of diarrhea.
7. Soup Broth or Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is known as the ‘all remedy’ for illness and diarrhea is no exception. Having soup can be very soothing and you will feel better and energized. The chicken helps to restore the minerals and electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea. It will also reduce the cramps and stomach pain that many people experience during loose motion.
When you have diarrhea, you lose a lot of water and as a result, you may get dehydrated. You should drink a cup of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of organic honey to rehydrate your body. Some people experience cramps or abdominal pain during diarrhea and this water and honey solution can help to relieve this discomfort.
9. Peppermint Tea
During loose motion, the stomach feels strange and you feel uncomfortable all the time. Peppermint tea can soothe the stomach and rehydrate your body as well. You will have reduced cramps and stomach pain as it inhibits the pain receptors in the colon.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
The main concern when someone has diarrhea is the loss of water and important nutrients from the body. Apple cider vinegar has been found to be very effective in calming down the condition of diarrhea. Here are some great benefits of apple cider vinegar:
- The fermented apple from which apple cider vinegar is made contains pectin which helps in the growth of good bacteria in the gut.
- It can also make the stool firm and prevent water loss from the body.
- It can lower intestinal inflammation and so reduces the discomfort you feel during loose motion.
If the diarrhea is caused by bacteria, then apple cider vinegar will be perfect to improve your health condition. You should dilute the apple cider vinegar with water or juice before consuming as it is very acidic and may cause side effects like an acidity problem or heartburn if taken in high concentration.
In addition to having stomach-friendly foods, you should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated all the time when you have diarrhea. So, drink a sports drink, carrot juice or just plain water throughout the day and night. Drinking liquid not only prevents dehydration but also flushes away the toxins from the body.
Precautions to Take
When you have diarrhea your digestive system is in turmoil. You should eat foods that pass easily through the digestive tract. Here are some precautions that you must take:
- You must refrain from eating spicy foods that might irritate the bowels.
- As diarrhea is caused by infection, you should always wash your hands properly before and after eating.
- You should also clean the toilet seat with disinfectant before use. By maintaining high standards of hygiene, diarrhea can be prevented.
Consuming a bland diet for a long time is not good for the body as it lacks the important nutrients the body needs to be strong and healthy. So, once you see that your condition is improving, you should start eating complex foods so that you recover fast from the weakness caused by diarrhea. If diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days, then it’s a sign of some underlying problem and you must visit a doctor right away.