Astringent Diet. What can you eat when you have Sickness and Diarrhea?

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M.D.

The most indicated treatment to alleviate diarrhea and Gastroenteritis is the intake of astringent foods that harden the feces. The most recommended are rice, apple, cooked potato, toast, and banana (this helps restore the potassium eliminated by the excrements.)

An astringent diet is a type of food-based diet that doctors recommend to people with an upset stomach, with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or lack of appetite.

These symptoms usually occur during Gastroenteritis.

What to eat with gastroenteritis, astringent diet

When someone suffers from Gastroenteritis, they need to organize an astringent diet and take good care of what they eat.

This illness happens because, during the virus’s life, the body dehydrates, losing minerals and fluids essential for the digestive system’s proper functioning.

The recommended foods called astringents; are those which narrows the tissues for a correct decomposition in the organism. 

It is a slow process in which the stomach settles thanks to these easily digestible foods.

But there is no need to worry, during the recovery, as we see below in the recovery phases, there are foods that are no longer banned and move to the category of recommended foods.

What causes diarrhea or decomposition?

Multiple causes can lead to diarrhea, and we all know how uncomfortable it can be not to control daily bowel movements. 

Although the advice presented here is highly useful, it is advisable to meet with a medical consultant to determine the origin of the condition.

It would be best if you did it, because it may be due to:

  • A parasite infection.
  • A virus.
  • Eating intoxicated foods.
  • And also, bacteria infection such as salmonella, shigella, Clostridium, or E-coli. These are all serious medical concerns.

A psychological cause could cause a disorder like this.

We know this is as irritable bowel syndrome, and the causes may be under enormous pressure or stress.

You may unknowingly suffer from different medical problems, as varied as they are:

  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Intolerance or sensitivity to gluten.
  • Pancreas problems.
  • Intestinal ischemic diseases.
  • Endocrine system diseases.

Another cause can be an inadequate diet, which is a diet based on saturated fats, excess sugars that negatively affect our body and our intestinal flora, and is deficient in nutrients and fibers. 

Sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and alcohol abuse are also risk factors for contaminating our intestinal flora. 

One cause that may be surprising is self-medication, whether it’s taking too much ibuprofen when you feel a slight pain in your body or head or abuse of stomach pain medications such as buscapine. 

Finally, we know that people over the age of seventy by having an inevitable decline in their beneficial bacteria.

They are prone to episodes of constipation or problems in the digestive tract.

Recovery phases with an astringent diet

We can divide the astringent diet for a better organization in several phases.

Phase One

Can I eat with Gastroenteritis?. The first is fasting, which is usually the easiest because when there is a breakdown, the body often rejects the desire to eat, and it is possible that the patient feels weak, without appetite.

The fasting phase consists of nothing more and nothing less than just drinking liquids and not solid food.

Phase two

In the second phase, food begins to be incorporated, little by little, so that the body can start to adapt.  

It is essential to begin to include foods of a light type, such as white rice or boiled vegetables, and eat lean and grilled meat.

Do not over-eat or force yourself to eat, because, remember, the stomach has been at rest and must begin to get used to eating food.

More vegetables, such as pumpkin puree and potato puree, can then be included. We recommend lentils and wholemeal bread or even white bread.

Phase Three

In the third phase, already very close to recovery, we can ingest progressively foods called complexes, and little by little, reach the usual healthy diet.

For example, you can eat some fruits, the best which we recommend are bananas and apples.

Also incorporated are boiled vegetables, natural yogurt, fresh cheese (all without fat), and even coffee, always decaffeinated, or chamomile tea.

What is the best food to eat with a stomach bug?. Prohibited & Recommended Foods

It is crucial to ban under any circumstances meals that are rich in fat and fiber.

Also, industrially processed foods like frozen hamburgers, breaded chicken Milanese, soy Milanese, or almost anything you can get from the supermarket.

It is imperative to ban alcohol, fried foods, and dairy products.

Prohibited foods

  • Beverages: soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Low-dose energy drinks recommended.
  • Foods that have a spicy seasoning will irritate the digestive system of a person with Gastroenteritis or diarrhea.
  • Sauces.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Legumes.
  • Fruits that do not help the intestinal flora (those that are not banana or apple).
  • Whole-grain cereals.
  • Dry pasta.
  • Flour.
  • Chocolate or candy.
  • Bluefish. It is essential to avoid oily fish, but not in the recovery phases of white fish.
  • Sausages.
  • Dairy foods can be eaten, as indicated below, non-fat fresh cheese, but not milk or fatty cheeses.

Astringent Foods


lemon water

  • Alkaline lemonade is for the first phase, in which the body still does not tolerate solid food. But don’t drink any liquids, as a lot of coffee or tea can irritate the digestive system. The alkaline lemonade is very easy to make at home. Just drain two lemons with a liter of water, a pinch of sugar and salt, and, if you have, bicarbonate.
  • Isotonic drinks are those that we know as sports or re-hydrating, which come in Gatorade or Powerade brands. It is recommended to drink them cold, or even put them in the refrigerator and sip the apple Gatorade ice cubes. However, one should not be overconfident either, as excessive consumption of minerals could be counterproductive. The secret in every astringent diet, as well as in every diet, is moderation.
  • Infusions: They recommend chamomile tea or orange peel, both infusions with strong astringent properties that help decrease the frequency of bowel movements and relieve the pain caused by intestinal cramps that a person with viral Gastroenteritis or decomposition may suffer.


What to eat with gastroenteritis

Recommended foods:

  • We recommend the plantain, banana, and apple. We can eat the apple striped or mashed if the organism is still adapting to the needs of a solid diet.
  • Boiled rice.
  • Also, we can eat fresh cheese and natural yogurt.
  • Slices of boiled ham.
  • We can have grilled chicken breast.
  • We recommend the famous dessert type combination of fresh cheese with quince jelly for an astringent diet.

During frequent, liquid bowel movements, we lose large amounts of intestinal flora.

Besides, it is even possible to lose enzymes that work on lactose tolerance, causing long-term damage to the digestive system.

Therefore, there is the possibility of eating yogurts, which are considered probiotic foods, which replenish this lost intestinal flora.

It is vital to include carbohydrates once you feel better.

It is essential to eat a slice of bread with meals and include protein, which is always better when they come from chicken or grilled lean meat.

Carbohydrates have a strong presence in white rice, an excellent accompaniment to a grilled chicken breast with a small lemon dash.

The best friend of an astringent diet is mashed potatoes and, later in recovery, pumpkin.

What to eat after diarrhea? Recommended foods for post-recovery

After recovery, if we want to avoid risks, it is recommended to follow a balanced diet and with foods that are not heavy on the body. Here we leave a possible menu for an excellent astringent diet:

  • For breakfast, try a herbal tea with a toast of white bread smeared with fresh cheese, and an apple (the apple helps harden the evacuation)
  • We recommend for your appetizer, mid-morning before lunch, to alleviate your hunger, banana, or plantain.For lunch, we propose a dish consisting of white rice, grilled chicken breast, and if you want, boiled potatoes, or carrots with a piece of white bread can accompany it.
  • The snack should be very light. If possible, we recommend a natural yogurt, zero percent fat, and perhaps some slices of cooked ham and fresh cheese.
  • It’s good to incorporate lean meat in small portions, white fish, or boiled chicken, accompanied by mashed potatoes and pumpkin for dinner. We highly recommend a combination of grilled meat with a garnish of cooked vegetables.
  • You can have an apple or banana for dessert, and close the night with an infusion, either a herbal tea or a decaffeinated or instant coffee.

You may be interested in “The 22 best food according to science.”


astringent diet

If you have Gastroenteritis or diarrhea, you have to follow the phases and eat the recommended foods. Now, if you do, these conditions will be progressively resolved until your full recovery.

This phase could help you if you didn’t take it, to start living a healthier life.

To finish, I leave you a video where you will learn everything about the Gastroenteritis Diet. ¡¡Cheers!!

The article was reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josué Alvarez. Medical Doctor graduated from Medical School Universidad Nacional Experimental Francisco de Miranda. Área Ciencias de la Salud. •Awarded winner IV Science Fair of Research Methodology – April 2012 •Recipient of Asesor Estudiantil Institucional Scholarship •Thesis: Relationship Between Parasitosis, Anemia and Hygiene Habits in patients aged 20 yo 70 years old in Amuay, municipality of Los Taques, Falcón State, Venezuela •Thesis: Intervention Plan in Rural Healthcare in Monte Verde and La Puntica sectors, of the Amuay Community, Los Taques parish, Los Taques municipality, of the Falcón State, Venezuela. During the period March 2018 – July 2018