BRAT Diet – Recovering From an Upset Stomach
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An upset stomach or diarrhea can leave you feeling miserable. If left untreated, it can lead to exhaustion and dehydration, so it’s important to make sure your body stays nourished. But it can be hard to determine what to eat after throwing up or having diarrhea. A special diet known as the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) is an effective way to treat both.
Path to improved health
The BRAT diet is a bland-food diet that is often recommended for adults and children. The benefits of using the BRAT diet to treat upset stomach and diarrhea include:
- The foods used in the diet make your stools firmer. That’s because the foods are considered “binding” foods. They’re low-fiber, bland, starchy foods.
- The foods help replace nutrients your body needs and has lost due to vomiting and diarrhea. Bananas, for example, are high in the vitamin potassium.
Bland foods don’t irritate your stomach. After you have diarrhea or vomiting, follow the BRAT diet to help your body ease back into normal eating. This diet may also help ease the nausea and vomiting some women experience during pregnancy.
You can add other bland foods to the BRAT diet. For example, you can try saltine crackers, boiled potatoes or clear soups. Don’t start eating dairy products and sugary or fatty foods right away. These foods may trigger nausea or lead to more diarrhea.
Things to consider
- At first, stick to sips of clear liquids. If you have been vomiting or have diarrhea, try drinking a beverage with electrolytes (a mix of important nutrients) to keep your body hydrated.
- Solid foods like those in the BRAT diet aren’t recommended for adults and children who are actively vomiting. Once you stop vomiting, slowly try foods to see if you can eat without vomiting.
- As you feel better, return to a normal, healthy diet. The BRAT diet doesn’t provide all the nutrients of a healthy diet. You should be able to start eating a more regular diet, including fruits and vegetables, within about 24 to 48 hours after vomiting or having diarrhea
- Contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions about whether you or your child should follow the BRAT diet