What is BRAT Diet?
BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast)Banana
Bananas contain resistant starch that slows down diarrhea by reducing gastric symptoms and decreasing the volume of stools. Bananas are good sources of potassium, one of the salts that are lost during diarrhea and vomiting. Eating bananas can replenish the potassium stores in the body. Bananas also contain inulin, which is a soluble fiber. Inulin acts as a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Cooked green banana (plantain) is more effective to treat diarrhea compared to other types of bananas.
Rice is easily digestible but keeps the blood sugar levels high. It is advised to take Basmati rice as it has a low glycemic score and does not spike the blood sugar levels. Rice has an anti-secretary effect that stops diarrhea. Basmati rice cooked in clear broth is a good choice for an upset stomach. Brown rice should not be taken as it is high in fiber, which can make diarrhea worse.
The fiber content of raw apples can be hard for an upset stomach. Applesauce makes them easier to digest, providing the benefits of pectin, sugar and other nutrients that lie within. It provides energy and pectin slow down diarrhea by making the stools firmer. Applesauce also contains high amounts of potassium. Applesauce can be made in no time. Peel the skin of apples and cut it into chunks. Add two tablespoons of water and cook over a low heat stirring occasionally.
Toast is a bland carbohydrate that provides energy and stimulates your bowels less than untoasted bread. Toast should be eaten without butter, if it is too dry, jam or jelly can be taken along with the toast. Jams contain pectin and also help to slow down diarrhea.
Variations of BRAT DietOther types of BRAT Diet include BRATY and BRATT. The BRATY diet includes yogurt that contains live organisms (Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum). These active cultures appear to help establish a healthier balance of bacteria in the digestive tract.
Other Foods to Include for Diarrhea
- Tea (herbal tea)
- Chicken broth
- Boiled potatoes
- Caffeinated beverages
- Milk and other milk products
- Raw vegetables such as beets, onion, and all cruciferous vegetables
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit)
- Cherries, berries, and figs