What to eat or not to eat when you have diarrhea (gastroenteritis)

Forcing you to go to the bathroom several times a day, sometimes while suffering from abdominal pain and being weak, diarrhea can quickly become very restrictive and disrupt the course of your life. This when it does not lead to complications, in case of strong dehydration and loss of mineral salts. It is therefore essential to treat diarrhea well, especially by paying attention to your diet. 

It is important to know that some foods can have a negative effect on your condition, while others will calm your diarrhea and facilitate your recovery.

If you have diarrhea, usually a symptom of gastroenteritis, and are wondering what to eat and what to avoid to get rid of it, then you've come to the right place! Read on:

What you can eat when you have diarrhea

1. Drink water, lots of water

When you have diarrhea, your body loses a lot of water. It is therefore necessary to make sure you stay well hydrated by drinking water regularly. The ideal is to drink between 1.5L and 2L of liquid per day. This means drinking between four and six glasses of water per day. Sugary drinks, carbonated drinks and fruit juices should be avoided. It is better to stick to fresh, pure water until your intestinal transit is more stable.

2. Bananas

The banana is known to be an effective remedy for diarrhea. Rich in potassium, this fruit will replenish your body with minerals. In addition, because of its consistency and texture, eating bananas will fill your intestines to come effectively relieve and calm your diarrhea

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3. Rice

Another food that is recommended to consume for to limit the effects of diarrhea: it is rice. Rice acts as a binding agent and will make your stool less liquid. This facilitates rehydration and accelerates healing. You can eat white rice or soup according to your convenience. Note that the juice of rice cooking can also be consumed throughout the day to relieve diarrhea.

4. Potatoes

Cooked in water or mashed, potatoes help you to fight against diarrhea. They are rich in vitamin C, iodine, vitamin B6 and niacin. They will also provide you with many essential nutrients. However, be careful not to eat them with their skin and not to prepare them with butter.

5. Chicken

As far as meats are concerned, in case of diarrhea it is advisable to eat boiled chicken. Prepared this way, it will be less fatty and easier to digest, while providing you with your protein ration.

6. Applesauce

Like bananas, applesauce contains a lot of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps make the stool more consistent. Applesauce allows you to reduce diarrhea. Be careful not to drink apple juice, which is a laxative.

7. Probiotics

It is important to consume probiotics during a period of diarrhea because they recolonize the intestinal mucosa with good bacteria and fight against harmful bacteria. Although dairy products should be avoided during diarrhea, you can eat yogurt rich in probiotics.

What to avoid eating when you have diarrhea

Let's move on to the foods you should avoid when you have diarrhea:

1. Dairy products

With the exception of yogurt, which contains probiotics, dairy products should be avoided in case of diarrhea. It is important to know that one of the consequences of diarrhea is the decrease in lactase, an enzyme that is essential for the digestion of lactose. Hence the need to take precautions with dairy products.

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2. Fatty foods

Stay away from fatty foods which tend to speed up the contractions of the intestine, making your condition worse. Avoid all fatty, fried or breaded foods as much as possible, as well as dishes that are bathed in a fatty sauce.

3. Alcohol and caffeine

Alcoholic or caffeinated beverages are irritating to the gastrointestinal system just like soft drinks, which should be avoided.

4. Raw fruits and vegetables

In case of diarrhea, it is recommended not to consume fruits or raw vegetables because they are rich in fiber and accelerate intestinal transit. And when faced with acute diarrhea, it is also recommended to limit the consumption of cooked vegetables and fruits.

5. Cereals

Cereals are rich in fiber and tend to stimulate intestinal transit. It is therefore best to avoid eating foods containing cereals such as breadwholemeal pasta or rice.

6. Red meat

Red meat is fatty and therefore difficult to digest. That is why it is necessary to avoid eating it when you have diarrhea.

7. Sugar and sweeteners

To combat diarrhea, it is also important to limit your intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners. No matter how hard the temptation is, you'll have to wait until you get better before you can enjoy sweets and sugary desserts again.

Some tips for a quick recovery from diarrhea

In addition to knowing which foods to choose and which to avoid when faced with diarrhea, here are three tips and recommendations that will be useful to ensure that your diarrhea resolves quickly :

  • Eat light and several times a day rather than three large meals a day.
  • Make sure you drink and hydrate regularly.
  • If your diarrhea persists, or is acute, don't hesitate to consult your doctor.

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