Gut health forms the crux of a healthy body. The digestive system is prone to functioning improperly during gut health-related issues. Diarrhea and vomiting, being the main diseases that affect the gut. Our body loses nutrients from excessive vomiting and diarrhea. We face a lack of energy, dehydration, extreme fatigue, stomach ache, nausea, and many other symptoms during diarrhea.
Brat diet for diarrhea is an age-old method to give our stomach some rest. Whilst on the diet the body gets enough time to reboot itself and start working again.
Before starting with deep analysis, here are some quick facts:
- If there is any sign of mucus or blood, then special medical attention is required apart from the brat diet
- Brat diet can ease pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting tendencies.
Brat Diet: An Overview
You may have never heard about the brat diet, but if we elaborate on it, you will understand it is nothing but an abbreviation for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Brat diet is famed for treating stomach related issues effectively.
To understand the effectiveness of the Brat diet for diarrhea, you must understand the nutritional value of each of the components of the Brat diet.
All of these brat diet foods are easy to digest and does not create any discomfort in the stomach. Brat diet foods lower bowel production and are far more relieving than any other food options. Your gut gets a scope to rest and restart.
Brat diet is one of the pediatricians’ recommendations for toddlers to treat an upset stomach. Brat diet foods are low in digestive fiber and ease the gastrointestinal tract.
Apart from that, many brat diets have lesser fat and complex nutrition, thus easy on the digestive system. If you are suffering from vomiting or nausea, then try the brat diet and thank us later.
How to Follow Brat Diet?
Following the brat diet is simple and easy. People follow the brat diet for many years and enjoy their efficacies. Brat diet for diarrhea can be followed in many steps.
First, let us talk about the brat diet foods. We have already given you an idea about what it stands for. Now the question is how to follow the brat diet?
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Here are the brat diet meals:
Banana is high in potassium and easy on the stomach. It helps to prevent diarrhea and vomiting. Ripe banana is comparatively better than unripe bananas.
Cook Normal Rice:
By rice, we mean regular rice, not brown rice. Cook it in your rice cooker and wait until it becomes soft enough to eat.
Buy or D.I.Y Applesauce:
Apple helps to make stool firmer. You can buy applesauce from local market otherwise you can make your own applesauce.
- Take around six apples and peel them
- Cut the apple into pieces and add them to boiling water
- You can add 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Keep it in simmer for 30 minutes
- You can use a potato masher
- Add sugar as per your taste
- Stir well, and your applesauce is ready
Toast can help in proper bowel formation because of its low fibers. Try to avoid nut butter or any kinds of butter on the toast. If you want, you can add jam on your toast. Generally, whole grain toast is good for health. But to treat upset stomach, you must avoid high fiber whole grain toast.
Apart from the steps mentioned above, another thing you need to maintain is drinking a lot of fluid. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. You can start by consuming fluids instead of solid food if you are down with vomiting. Electrolytes, herbal teas, mild fruit juices can help as well.
[Read: Cure Diarrhoea With Home Food]
How is Brat Diet Beneficial for Diarrhea?
Before trying the brat diet for diarrhea, let us explore how it helps to treat stomach issues and diarrhea.
Firmer stool: All the brat diet foods are low in fiber and starch. These two conditions are suitable for binding runny and loose stools. They are also gentle on the stomach.
Because the meals are low in fat and protein, they are unlikely to irritate the stomach and put stress on the digestive system.
Zero nausea: The brat diet meals are devoid of any particular flavor or smell. Because of that the chances of vomiting or nausea drastically decreases.
According to a few studies, banana and rice help treat diarrhea. Banana contains a specific kind of starch known as pectin. This protein is good for gut health and digestive tract.
As per one study(1), the green banana supplement helps to treat children suffering from diarrhea and boost recovery.
A different study(2) says rice helps treat diarrhea if taken with an oral rehydration solution.
The secret behind brat diets popularity in treating diarrhea is because of the food items it contains. All the food items related to brat diet are low fiber binding food.
Our body loses nutrients during diarrhea and vomiting, and this is where banana helps our body with potassium supplementation, which is a source of energy. Brat diet helps us to restart the normal eating habit after diarrhea.
Brat diet does not contain all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals, so physicians never recommend brat diet for a long time. It is meant for a short period. If you follow the brat diet for a more extended period, then your body will experience severe malnutrition and all the organic functions including the recovery will be disrupted.
24 hours is enough time to follow the brat diet; after that, you can start eating your regular food.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, brat diet is effective for infants and children, because we adults need more nutrients to sustain. We need the supply of micronutrients, protein, and other vital components to treat diarrhea. Few researchers prefer adding some other food options while following the brat diet as well.
Starting or stopping any diet should never be abrupt. Our body needs time to adjust. Do not forget that the brat diet foods are not whole food so you should know about the alternatives as well. Try to modify the brat diet a bit and include some other bland foods.
Jump-starting a normal diet is never a good idea. In this post, we will also explain about the other food options which you can consume during your brat diet hours, considering their inclusion.
[Read: Tea for Relieving Diarrhea]
Brat Diet for Toddlers and Adults
A single diet can have a different effect on the different age group. Pediatricians generally recommend brat diet for diarrhea, and studies also proved the efficacies of brat diet among children with diarrhea and stomach infections. Let us understand how the brat diet works differently for adults and toddlers.
Brat Diet for Adults
Brat diet foods tighten the loose stool and turn it to constipate comparatively. Following the brat diet for an extended period can cause constipation. Though, the new age doctors prefer alternative or modified brat diet to supply the essential nutrients.
According to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, people should avoid caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and laxatives during diarrhea. Consuming extreme cold or hot foods are also avoidable.
Brat Diet for Kids
Brat diet is suitable for children suffering from diarrhea. However, toddlers need plenty of liquids during this phase. Apart from regular water, fluids that are lactose-free or replacement of electrolyte is the best option for them.
Parents should watch them closely while following the brat diet; any sign of dehydration needs special attention. Here are a few symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry Skin
- Irregular Urination
- Sunken Eyes
- Dry Mouth
- Fewer Tears
However, if your kid is suffering from extreme symptoms of diarrhea, then do not wait for brat diet to work. You should immediately see a doctor.
Foods to Eat During Diarrhea
Choosing the right food options during diarrhea is essential. Our body loses nutrition during this phase and is not capable enough to digest all the nutrient-dense foods. Apart from the brat diet for diarrhea, we need more nutrition to fight the ailment and recover soon. The following foods are easy to digest and provide energy, nutrition and boost immunity.
1. Bone Broth
Bone broth is good for your gut. It is high in vital nutrients that boost the immune system. Broth stimulates the growth of probiotics in the stomach. It also soothes the digestive tract and keeps a healthy inflammation level.
2. Vegetable Juice (Mainly Root Vegetables)
Vegetable juices are high in many vital nutrients and vitamins. Root vegetables like carrot can soothe the inflammation of the digestive tract and support your body nutritionally.
3. Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are needed to treat diarrhea because they are essential for gut health. Few readily available probiotic foods are apple cider vinegar, cultured vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut, yogurt and miso, etc.
[Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for Diarrhea]
Soluble fiber like oats can absorb extra fluid from the bowels and tighten the loose stools. Oats are high in soluble fiber and are gluten-free. They firm up the stool and regulate the movement of bowel through the digestive tract. Oats also help in dragging toxins and left-overs along with them.
Ginger is an old-age remedy to boost digestive issues. It can prevent the growth of harmful bacteria which can cause stomach infection and diarrhea.
6. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil can reduce inflammation and calm the digestive tract. It also decreases loose stools.
Foods to Avoid During Diarrhea
We have already talked about the foods which you can include even if you are following the brat diet for diarrhea. But few foods are very harmful during this phase. Here is the list:
1. Dairy Items
Any dairy products like cheese, cream, milk and ice cream are tough to digest during any stomach or digestion related issues but yogurt is an exception and highly recommended as well. Yogurt contains helpful bacteria and has lower lactose level.
2. Fried Foods
Fried foods are difficult to digest and also worsen the condition.
Cakes, Sodas, Cookie Chocolates, and Candies are high in sugar and during diarrhea, you should avoid consuming sugar as much as possible.
[Also Read: Foods to Cure Diarrhea]
4. Synthetic Sweeteners
Sucralose, sorbitol or any other artificial sweeteners are also harmful to diarrhea.
Black tea, Coffee or any caffeine drink is diuretic in nature, so you should avoid it as much as possible.
Alcohol dehydrates our body, it is diuretic in nature and increases the inflammation in the stomach.
7. Heavy Protein
You should avoid heavy proteins like pork, salmon, and steak during diarrhea. Protein can add extra stress on the stomach and digestive tract. You should also avoid fat because fat is too hard to digest.
8. Spicy foods
The stomach becomes sensitive during diarrhea or infection. Spicy food can cause further irritation and inflammation.
9. Certain Vegetables
You should avoid specific vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. These vegetables can cause bloating and gas.
Brat diet for diarrhea is a tested method and helps cure stomach infections. Studies have shown how the brat diet helps our body and digestive system to recover from diarrhea and rest a bit. Our body is a piece of complicated and sophisticated machinery where every organ is interrelated.
We hope from now onwards you will think of trying the brat diet to heal from diarrhea or vomiting but don’t forget the fact that you should try it only for some time and not rely on it for longer as then it may cause adverse effects.
[Read: Yogurt for Diarrhea]
Q 1: What is the Brat Diet?
Brat Diet stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. All of these are bland foods and does not have a strong smell which can cause nausea or vomiting. These foods are low in fiber and easy on the digestive tract.
Q 2: What to Eat After the Brat Diet?
After following the brat diet, do not abruptly jump to a regular diet. Start small with stewed fruits, sherbet, soft boiled eggs, cooked vegetables, well-cooked chicken, etc.
Q 3: What Else Can You Eat on the Brat Diet?
You can have bone broth, vegetable juice, peppermint tea, oats, probiotic foods and ginger root water on the brat diet.