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While it might not be the most glamorous of topics, the frequency and appearance of our poop can tell us a lot about our health. Since going number two is the last step in digestion, we at EatingWell are pretty tuned in to what can help—or hurt—your cause. While there are several foods that can help you stay regular, it can be a little easier said than done. And on the other end of the spectrum, there are also foods and strategies that can help when you can't stop going to the bathroom.
There are actually specific foods that can help treat diarrhea and settle an upset stomach, and they make up what's called the BRAT diet. This acronym stands for four foods: bananas, rice (white, as it is easier to digest), applesauce and toast. Typically when we are healthy, we want to focus on including high-fiber foods to help keep your gut healthy. But when we have a stomach bug or are experiencing diarrhea, eating ample fiber can actually exacerbate the issue. The BRAT diet foods are lower-fiber, simple carbohydrates that are easier to digest and can help make stools more firm.
To try out the BRAT diet when you're experiencing symptoms, start small with a snack rather than a full meal as to not overload your already-distressed digestive system. This is why we have deemed our Peanut-Butter Banana Cinnamon Toast the best snack to eat when you have diarrhea.
When you aren't feeling well, it's doubtful that you want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. This recipe comes together in just five minutes, requires zero cooking (minus toasting the bread) and relies on pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand. Plus, it includes two of the BRAT diet foods proven to help with diarrhea: bananas and toast. If you are really wanting to keep it light, you can omit the peanut butter or swap in another type of nut butter if you have an allergy. This snack is simple enough that it is palatable when you don't have an appetite and also packs in some protein and nutrients like iron, magnesium and potassium that can help your body functioning at its best. Be sure to pair it with plenty of water since diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
While it might not exactly be dinner party small talk material, staying in tune with how we go to the bathroom is important for our health. And no matter how healthy your lifestyle is, there are bound to be times when your bowels are … unsettled. The next time you are experiencing diarrhea, be sure to drink plenty of water and try our Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast to help bring you some relief.