5 Astringent Foods for Diarrhea Relief

These 5 astringent foods can help with diarrhea. Together with a proper diet, they help to improve symptoms and prevent dehydration.
5 Astringent Foods for Diarrhea Relief
Anna Vilarrasa

Written and verified by the nutritionist Anna Vilarrasa.

Last update: 06 May, 2023

When an episode of diarrhea occurs, there are certain astringent foods that can help reverse the situation. Your diet is important to continue providing nutrients, recovering intestinal well-being, and favoring the work of the digestive system.

Whatever the reason for the diarrhea, the most appropriate diet is a soft or gastric protection diet. This is a food plan that allows the digestive system to rest at this time when it’s most affected.

To this therapeutic diet can be added foods with a marked astringent activity. Due to this property, they help to slow down bowel movements, prevent water loss and reduce inflammation of the intestinal mucous membranes. Are you interested in knowing what they are? Read on and find out!

As stated in an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, diet is a key factor in the management of diarrhea. In particular, a bland ‘BRAT’ diet is recommended to help alleviate symptoms. Let’s see the most recommended foods.

1. Bananas

One of the most suitable fruits during the diarrhea process. It’s abundant in soluble fiber and resistant starch. The latter contributes to the protection of the gastrointestinal mucosa and helps to make the fecal bolus more solid.

It’s also very digestive and has the advantage of having a good amount of potassium (one of the minerals that is easily lost and should be replenished). For this, green or slightly ripe bananas should be chosen.

Beneficios de la banana
Due to its fiber, resistant starch, and potassium content, bananas are one of the best foods to recover from diarrhea.

2. White rice

Undoubtedly, white rice is one of the most popular dishes for any stomach problem. In this case, there is a controlled trial that supports the introduction of rice soup (together with oral rehydration solutions) in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children.

White rice does not contain fiber and the presence of starch favors the increase of stool density. It can be taken in small quantities and the cooking water can be used to drink throughout the day.

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3. Natural yogurt

Another way to help the intestine during episodes of diarrhea is to consume foods that provide probiotics. These contribute to the restoration of the intestinal flora that is altered due to the large evacuation of water.

Natural yogurt provides these live bacteria, which are also found in other fermented dairy products such as kefir. It’s necessary to choose yogurt without added sugar, otherwise, symptoms and electrolyte loss may worsen.

4. Lemon juice

Lemon is a type of fruit that contains a remarkable amount of tannins. Thanks to these, water with lemon juice can exert astringent activity and be an indicated food during diarrhea.

5. Quince

Quince also contains tannins which, together with fiber, give it astringent properties. Various parts of the fruit, as well as its sweetness, have been traditionally used in the treatment of diarrhea and other digestive problems.

It also contains demulcent components that help soothe irritated mucous membranes. This fruit is consumed after cooking, either in the form of compote, jelly, or sweet. It’s best to avoid very sweet options and eat it in moderation.

What else can you eat besides astringent foods to get rid of diarrhea?

At the onset of a bout of diarrhea, the most important thing is to ensure fluid intake in order to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. In fact, some people can only tolerate it.

For this purpose, the best drink is water. This can be accompanied by soft broths or solutions with electrolytes that can be recommended at the pharmacy. Carbonated drinks, caffeine, and sugary soft drinks and juices should be avoided.

The astringent foods recommended in the previous list help to make fecal bolus and allow to stop the strongest decomposition. But a soft diet also has room for other foods that make it more complete and allow a speedy recovery.

  • White pasta, white bread, cooked oatmeal, boiled potato.
  • Whitefish and chicken or turkey meat. It can be boiled, baked, or grilled.
  • Besides yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh cheese, or natural kefir can be added.
  • Vegetable broths, very cooked vegetables, or in the form of puree. It’s advisable to avoid flatulent vegetables.
  • Apple and pears, cooked or in a compote.

It’s also advisable to eat small amounts – often – and to chew food very well. Cooking should be simple, without sauces, fried food, or a lot of added fat. All these guidelines favor digestion and improve the whole process of the disease.

¿Qué más se puede comer a parte de los alimentos astringentes para quitar la diarrea?
Foods such as white fish help to provide protein during episodes of diarrhea.

Like this article? You may also like to read: Chronic and Acute Diarrhea: Causes and Treatment

Astringent foods to stop diarrhea are good as part of a bland diet

Bananas, rice, or quince are part of BRAT diets for diarrhea. This type of diet has been recommended for years by doctors and specialists to treat some stomach and intestinal ailments.

However, nowadays its prescription is not so common, as it could be deficient in some important nutrients (such as proteins or fats). For this reason, it’s not advisable to take astringent foods exclusively, nor for a long period of time.

When the episode of diarrhea starts to improve, it’s advisable to return to your usual diet as soon as possible. Doing so may reduce the duration of the problem, avoid intestinal permeability and improve the nutritional status of those affected.

In most cases, diarrhea appears as a response of the body to some harmful agent. Fortunately, it’s easy to alleviate with adequate food and dietary habits. In any case, a doctor should be consulted if it persists for more than two days, appears recurrently, or is accompanied by fever, pain, or rectal bleeding.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ashraf M. U, Muhammad G, et al. Cydonia oblonga M, a medicinal plant rich in phytonutrients for pharmaceuticals. Frontiers in Pharmacology. Junio 2016. 7: 163.
  • Dunjic B. S, Svensson I, et al. Green banana protection of gastric mucosa against experimentally induced injuries in rats. A multicomponent mechanism? Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Octubre 1993. 28 (19): 894-8.
  • Duro D, Duggan Ch. The BRAT Diet for acute diarrhea in children: should it be used? Practical Gastroenterology. Junio 2007.
  • Falcomer A.L, Figueiredo Resende R, et al. Health benefits of green banana consumption: a systematic review. Nutrients. Junio 2019. 11 (6): 1222.
  • Kianmehr M, Saber A, et al. The effect of G-ORS along with rice soup in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children: a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Nursing and Midwifery Studies. Junio 2016. 5(2): e25852.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.