Diarrhea involves passing frequent loose stools, typically more than three times a day, according to the World Health Organization. Always ask your doctor for a thorough evaluation if your diarrhea does not subside within a few days. A meal plan to slow or stop your diarrhea will help you feel better while still providing your body with the proper nutrients.
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse reports that infections cause the majority of diarrhea episodes in healthy people. The infection may come from a bacteria that is present in food you eat, a viral infection or infection from a parasite present in water or food. Other causes include bowel disorders, diseases, food intolerances to particular foods or food groups and as a side effect of medications. Some serious causes of diarrhea include celiac disease, colitis or Crohn's disease.
A bland breakfast that can help you maintain a proper nutrient intake while recovering from diarrhea involves making careful choice. The relatively high potassium content in bananas can help balance and replace the electrolytes in your body that you may lose through frequent diarrhea. A 1 cup serving of mashed banana has 806 milligrams of potassium and 5.8 milligrams of fiber. Avoid eating whole wheat toast in the midst of a diarrhea episode, as your stomach has a harder time digesting the large amount of fiber in whole grains. Instead, choose a slice of lightly toasted white bread to accompany a banana.
Lunch and Dinner
Continue with primarily bland, low-fiber foods for lunch and dinner. Applesauce, which has a lower fiber content than raw apples, makes a soothing choice when suffering from diarrhea. A baked white potato sprinkled with a no-salt seasoning or a bowl of white rice will fill you up and be easy for your stomach to digest. Baked or poached chicken or clear soup makes a healthy, easily digestible addition to either lunch or dinner. Serve with a plain white roll with no butter. While the doctors at the National Institutes of Health recommend avoiding most dairy products, yogurt with live bacteria cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus may help lessen your diarrhea, while replenishing your digestive system with healthy bacteria.
Eat small amounts of food throughout the day rather than three large meals. A smaller meal may digest more easily, and not trigger further bouts of diarrhea. In addition to applesauce, blueberries make a sweet, diarrhea-friendly food, according to Theresa Cheung, author of "The IBS Healing Plan." Choose dried blueberries over fresh because of the higher concentration of tannins and antibacterial properties in the dried berries. Soothing drinks include peppermint or chamomile tea. If your doctor recommends sports drinks or fluid replacement drinks, use them to replenish electrolytes you lose through excessive diarrhea.
Is This an Emergency?
- World Health Organization: Diarrhoea
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): Diarrhea
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Bananas
- National Cancer Institute; What to Do When You Have Loose Stools (Diarrhea); May 2011
- National Institutes of Health; Diarrhea; David C. Dugdale, et al.; February 2011
- "The IBS Healing Plan"; Theresa Cheung; 2008