BRAT Diet Alternatives to Overcome Digestive Problems

BRAT Diet Alternatives

The diet you follow when you are suffering from gastroenteritis is extremely important. One such diet is the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet for diarrhea includes bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. However, there are some better BRAT diet alternatives which will provide you with the required nutrients to help you with recovery.

The BRAT diet is a bland diet that doesn’t provide the essential nutrients required for recovery after a digestion-related illness. So, it is essential that you introduce a more nutritious diet within 24 to 48 hours of doing the BRAT diet.

Sticking to the BRAT diet for a longer duration can adversely affect your health and cause nutritional deficiencies as it is not rich in protein and has only a few essential vitamins and minerals.

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BRAT Diet Alternatives for Better Digestion

Here are some BRAT diet alternatives which will provide you with the nutrients essential for a faster recovery.

The CRAM Diet

The CRAM diet includes cereal, rice, applesauce, and milk. It provides better nutrition than BRAT diet. It consists of foods with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats which aren’t present in the BRAT diet.

According to John Snyder, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at the San Francisco Medical Center, states that milk in the CRAM diet gives the patient complete protein and fats compared to the BRAT diet. The diet helps to ease diarrhea symptoms faster.

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is more nutritious than the BRAT diet. It provides immune-boosting nutrients that help your body heal throughout the illness.

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The Paleo diet benefits include replenishment of lost electrolytes and nutrients from the body which is essential to keep it hydrated with the required amount of salts.

The Paleo Diet should include the following items.

1. Coconut water

Coconut water is hydrating and packed with electrolytes which help with speedy recovery. It contains potassium and magnesium that helps prevent cramping. It gives instant energy and is far better than sugar-laden energy drinks.

Drinking maple water is another way to stay hydrated and prevent the loss of electrolytes. It contains less sugar and doesn’t increase your calorie intake drastically.

2. Bone broth

Bone broth contains proteins and amino acids such as glycine, glutamine, and arginine. These amino acids help to heal the gut. They regulate the immune system, reduce mucosal inflammation, and help with the maintenance and repair of gastrointestinal mucosa.

Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium present in bone broth all help with faster recovery.

3. Stew or soup

Once your body is ready to eat solids, you can have stew. The slowly cooked vegetables and meat become tender and are highly nutritious.

Meat contains a good amount of zinc which is an essential element to recover the loss of fluids from the body.

Seasonings like ginger can boost your immune system. Adding organ meat will also increase the nutrient value of the stew.

4. Chicken

Animal proteins like chicken is a good start to introducing solids in your diet. Avoid fried chicken. Opt for poached or baked chicken instead.

Food Alternatives for BRAT Diet

Do you know what types of food to eat when you have diarrhea? Here are some foods diarrhea relief and other stomach problems.

Related: Foods To Eat & Avoid When Suffering From Diarrhea

Peeled Fruits

Choose soft or blended fruits such as peaches or pears instead of crunchy fruits to help with your diarrhea.

The skin of some fruit is hard to digest, and it can irritate the stomach. So, fruits should be peeled and deseeded before eating in the case of an upset stomach.

Eggs

Eggs are a good source of protein and are free of fiber. They contain essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid cooking eggs in a lot of oil as it can irritate your digestive system.

Tofu

Tofu is soothing on the stomach and rich in proteins. Silken tofu is low in fiber and a good option for recovery.

Cereals

Low-fiber cereals like cream of wheat or cold cereals are a better alternative to toast or rice. They provide the required amount of carbohydrates.

Probiotic-Rich Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotic bacteria which are good for our gut and help reduce diarrhea.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, probiotics such as Lactobacillus GG and S. boulardii help in the treatment of diarrhea.

Oats

Oats are high in soluble fiber and are gluten-free. They are one of the best binding foods. Soluble fiber adds bulk to stool and absorbs excess fluid from the intestine.

According to a study published in the journal Infectious Diseases and Therapy, oats is a natural remedy for diarrhea.

With the help of these BRAT diet alternatives, you can recover faster from your diarrhea situation. But if you experience serious symptoms and lose fluids at a fast rate, seek medical help immediately.


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Sources:

Spritzler, F., “The BRAT Diet: Is It a Good Idea?” Authority Nutrition, December 27, 2016; https://authoritynutrition.com/the-brat-diet/.

“CRAM diet,” Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CRAM_diet, last accessed June 7, 2017.

“The BRAT and CRAM diet for Diarrhea,” Wellness with Sameer; http://wellnesswithsameer.blogspot.in/2014/01/the-brat-and-cram-diet-for-diarrhea.html#.WTeVGjeLnDd, last accessed June 7, 2017.

“Paleo “BRAT” Diet: The Definitive Stomach Flu Guide,” The Paleo Mom, October 3, 2015; https://www.thepaleomom.com/paleo-brat-diet-the-definitive-stomach-flu-guide/

Vuolo, S., “Stomach Upset? Skip the BRAT Diet,” The Paleo Diet, January 19, 2015; http://thepaleodiet.com/stomach-upset-skip-brat-diet/.

Hultin, G., “The Benefits of the BRAT Diet and Food Alternatives to Consider,” Livestrong, October 22, 2015; http://www.livestrong.com/article/241432-alternative-foods-on-the-brat-diet/.

Axe, J., “BRAT Diet: How to Stop Diarrhea in Its Tracks Beyond BRAT,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/brat-diet/, last accessed June 7, 2017.