If you have ever suffered with an upset stomach or diarrhoea, you may have been told to follow a bland food diet that won’t irritate your stomach, like the BRAT diet. BRAT stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Doctors advocate these foods as they are easy to digest and don’t irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
These foods are used to treat diarrhoea for a number of reasons. They contain lots of soluble fibre, which absorbs excess liquid in the bowels, subsequently making stools more firm. In addition to this, applesauce, toast and rice have stool-binding effects, making them perfect for treating diarrhoea. Other foods like saltine crackers and boiled potatoes can slowly be added into the BRAT diet.
Due to the specific foods in this diet lacking certain vitamins and minerals, it is not advisable to follow BRAT for very long. It should only be followed for around 24 to 48 hours, before other foods need to be added, as malnourishment may become prevalent.