The BRAT diet is a well-known eating plan often recommended for individuals experiencing gastrointestinal distress, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach upset. The acronym “BRAT” stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, which are the key foods included in this diet.
In this comprehensive guide, we will provide a detailed list of foods suitable for the BRAT diet, along with some additional options that can be incorporated during the recovery process.
BRAT Diet Food List
The following foods are typically included in the BRAT diet:
- Bananas: Bananas are gentle on the stomach, easy to digest, and provide a good source of potassium. They can be eaten plain or mashed.
- Rice: White rice is low in fiber and easy to digest, making it an ideal choice for the BRAT diet. It can be cooked plain or with a small amount of salt for flavor.
- Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce is easy to digest and provides a source of natural sugars for energy. Look for varieties without added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- Toast: Toast made from white bread is well-tolerated and gentle on the stomach. Choose plain, lightly toasted bread without added butter or spreads.
While the BRAT diet primarily focuses on these four foods, it’s important to transition to a more varied diet as symptoms improve. Here are some additional foods that can be incorporated during the recovery process:
- Boiled or Baked Chicken: Plain, boneless, and skinless chicken breast is easy to digest and provides a good source of lean protein. Avoid adding heavy seasonings or spices.
- Boiled Potatoes: Potatoes, boiled and mashed without added butter or seasoning, can provide carbohydrates and gentle fiber.
- Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt with live and active cultures can be introduced to provide probiotics and aid in digestion. Avoid flavored or sweetened varieties.
- Clear Broth: Clear chicken or vegetable broth can provide hydration, electrolytes, and a mild source of nutrients. Opt for low-sodium options.
- Cooked Carrots: Well-cooked carrots are easy to digest and provide essential vitamins and minerals. Mash or puree for easier consumption.
- Ginger: Ginger has natural anti-nausea properties. Ginger tea or ginger candies can be soothing for the stomach.
- Crackers: Plain, saltine or soda crackers can provide a bland source of carbohydrates and help alleviate nausea.
Foods to Avoid on the BRAT Diet
While following the BRAT diet, it’s important to avoid certain foods that may worsen gastrointestinal symptoms. These foods include:
- Fatty, Fried, or Spicy Foods: Foods high in fat, fried in oil, or seasoned with spices can further irritate the digestive system and should be avoided.
- Dairy Products: Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and ice cream, can be difficult to digest for some individuals and may exacerbate symptoms. If tolerated, plain yogurt can be an exception.
- Caffeinated and Carbonated Beverages: Beverages containing caffeine and carbonation can stimulate the stomach and worsen symptoms. Stick to water, clear fluids, or herbal teas.
- High-Fiber Foods: Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, beans, nuts, and raw vegetables, can be challenging to digest and may worsen diarrhea or abdominal discomfort.
The BRAT diet, consisting of Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast, is a commonly recommended eating plan for individuals experiencing gastrointestinal distress. While these four foods form the core of the BRAT diet, it’s important to transition to a more varied and balanced diet as symptoms improve.
Incorporating additional gentle foods, such as boiled chicken, cooked carrots, and yogurt, can provide essential nutrients and aid in the recovery process. As always, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice, especially if symptoms persist or worsen.