Can You Eat Vegetables When You Have Diarrhea?

Close-up of an array of assorted vegetables
Vegetables may help relieve diarrhea symptoms. (Image: Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Your body, especially your digestive system, can react negatively or positively to the food you eat. While certain foods may worsen the symptoms associated with diarrhea, vegetables are not typically one of them. In fact, vegetables may even help to reduce the pain, bloating and loose bowels that come from diarrhea.

Causes

Diarrhea is typically a condition that goes away on its own in a matter of hours or days. The most common causes of diarrhea, as reported by the National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse are, a bacterial or viral infection, a parasite, an intestinal disease, a reaction to medication or a food intolerance, typically from lactose or sugar substitutes.

Benefits of Vegetables

Most vegetables are made of glucose, vitamins, minerals, water and fiber. Increasing your intake of both water and fiber can help your diarrhea. Vegetables can contain both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, which can benefit your condition. Vegetables contain little or no fat and no caffeine, two types of foods that can worsen your symptoms.

Fiber

High fiber foods can help to reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate diarrhea, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Soluble fiber mixes with water. This reaction causes your stools to hold onto water, making the feces firmer. Fiber can also help to slow down digestion, increasing the time stool passes through the large intestine, where water is absorbed. Slower digestion means a larger and firmer stool as well.

Water

When you have diarrhea, your body loses water. Instead of reabsorbing excess water in the stool as it moves through your large intestine, the stool passes through so fast, the intestine is unable to remove water. Therefore, you risk becoming dehydrated while you have diarrhea. Many vegetables are made up mostly of water, which can help keep you hydrated. Vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and eggplant are over 90 percent water.

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