7 Foods to Relieve Diarrhea

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Amy Rushlow on May 10, 2021
  • woman snacking at night
    Eat to Calm Your Diarrhea
    When you have diarrhea, you want it gone ASAP. Eating can help shorten the duration of your symptoms. But some foods can also make symptoms worse. Luckily, these seven smart foods to choose when you’re dealing with diarrhea are often sitting in your kitchen cupboard or fridge.
  • Chicken Soup Broth
    1. Broth-based Soup
    When you have diarrhea, you lose fluids along with salt and other minerals that maintain the fluid balance in your body. Broth-based soups help replace salt and fluid to prevent dehydration. Try chicken, beef or vegetable broth.
  • banana
    2. Bananas
    Soft, bland foods, such as bananas, are best when you have diarrhea. Bananas are also high in potassium, one of the important minerals you need to replenish. Plain rice and boiled potatoes are other good choices in this category.
  • Plain Toast
    3. White Toast
    Plain toast is another good bland food to nibble. Avoid whole-wheat toast, though, which is often high in fiber. High-fiber foods can make you go to the bathroom more frequently.
  • Take Care With Canned Fruits
    4. Canned Fruit
    Raw fruits and vegetables can make diarrhea worse because they have a lot of fiber. Fiber makes your stool take up more water as it passes through the intestine, leading to softer stools. Most canned fruit, however, is easy on your stomach. Fruits also help replenish electrolytes. Opt for fruit in light syrup or water to reduce the amount of sugar.
  • Soy Milk
    5. Soy Milk
    You might have difficulty digesting dairy products during and after you have diarrhea. Try a nondairy milk, such as soy milk or almond milk, instead. Dairy products also have the potential to cause gas and bloating.
  • chicken
    6. Baked Chicken
    Fried, greasy foods can worsen diarrhea. Choose lean meats, such as chicken, turkey or fish, prepared without the skin and baked or broiled.
  • glasses of lime, lemon and orange jello with whipped cream on top
    7. Gelatin
    Experts recommend drinking more than three quarts of clear liquid daily when you have diarrhea. Enjoy a bowl of gelatin, which counts toward your clear-liquid requirement, to help meet the mark.
7 Foods to Relieve Diarrhea

About The Author

  1. Barr W, Smith A. Acute diarrhea in adults. American Family Physician. 2014;89(3):180-189. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0201/p180.html]
  2. Dairy. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy.html
  3. Diarrhea. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/diarrhea.pdf
  4. Gastrointestinal complications (PDQ®): diarrhea. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/gastrointestinalcomplications/HealthProfession...
  5. Nutrition in cancer care (PDQ®): nutrition therapy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/nutrition/HealthProfessional/page4
  6. Potassium and high blood pressure. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/P...
  7. Shaw C, Taylor L. Treatment-related diarrhea in patients with cancer. Clin J of Oncol Nurs. 2012;16(4):413-417.
  8. Tips to help you eat whole grains. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains-tips.html
  9. What I need to know about diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/diarrhea/Pages/ez.aspx
Was this helpful?
Last Review Date: 2021 May 10
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.