What to eat with Gastroenteritis or Diarrhea? ASTRINGENT DIET

Astringent diet, what to eat with gastroenteritis or diarrhea

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

The most indicated treatment to alleviate diarrhea and Gastroenteritis is 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 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.

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

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

The recommended foods called astringents; are those which narrow 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. As we see below, some foods are no longer banned in the recovery phases and move to recommended foods.

Table of Contents

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 beneficial, it is advisable to meet with a medical consultant to determine the condition's origin.

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 infections such as salmonellashigellaClostridium, or E-coli. These are all serious medical concerns.

A psychological cause could cause a disorder like this.

We know this is 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. 

A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and alcohol abuse are risk factors for contaminating our intestinal flora. 

One cause that may be surprising is self-medication, whether 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 have 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 raw vegetables, such as pumpkin and potato puree, can 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 reach the usual healthy diet little by little.

For example, you can eat some fruits, the best 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 are recommended.
  • Foods that have spicy seasoning will irritate a person's digestive system 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.
  • As indicated below, dairy foods can be eaten, non-fat fresh cheese, but not milk or fatty cheeses.

Astringent Foods

Bitter and astringent foods can be self-medicated during the recuperation phases of Gastroenteritis. In addition, you can ingest foods rich in tannins, such as tea and coffee.

Also, we don't recommend alcoholic drinks such as red wine or beer in large quantities because they worsen specific symptoms associated with a digestive tract infection.

Some spices and foods have bitter and astringent tastes. This category includes dry fruits, almonds, peppermint tea, and foods like grapefruit.

Astringent spices are bay leaves, oregano (the critical element in fish), turmeric (recommended especially in the recovery phases).


lemon water
Alkaline lemonade

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

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.


Doctors 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.


Recommended foods:

  • We recommend 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.
  • I recommend the famous dessert type combination of fresh cheese with quince jelly for an astringent diet.

We lose significant amounts of intestinal flora during frequent, liquid bowel movements.

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, considered probiotic foods, which replenish this lost intestinal flora.

It is vital to include carbohydrates once you feel better.

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

Carbohydrates are substantial in white rice, an excellent accompaniment to a grilled chicken breast with a slight lemon dash.

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

¿What is astringent taste?

Astringent tastes are like a mix between salty and sour. It is notable in chamomile tea and lemon juice, among other foods we can eat during an astringent diet.

The main advantage of this diet is the absence of diarrhea as the most common symptom experienced by those who suffer from viral Gastroenteritis.

Astringent foods help control diarrhea that is always present in food poisoning or gastroenteritis cases.

Once you rise from your sickbed, it is vital to eat natural meals with chicken breast and boiled rice and banana mashed with apple jelly.

Do bitter foods have astringent properties?

Yes, foods with a bitter taste also have astringent properties. Sour tastes and astringent tastes share the characteristic of contracting the tissues and reducing intestinal secretions.

You can eat grapefruit and add a little lemon juice to it for better taste.

You should not drink coffee during the astringent diet. In addition, it is advisable to avoid black tea and black coffee. Black coffee and black tea are potent beverages that irritate the stomach lining when someone is sick.

You can give your bitter foods a sweet taste by adding sweeteners or natural fruit jelly to them. Your taste buds will adapt quickly to this type of food combination.

When your stomach is calm, you can eat boiled rice with chicken breast or plantain mashed with a banana till smoothie consistency to nourish the organism.

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

What to eat with gastroenteritis

After recovery, if we want to avoid risks, it is recommended to follow a balanced diet and foods 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.”

What are the essential six tastes we have?

Ayurvedic medicine (source*) or traditional medicine recognizes six tastes:

  • Sour taste. Some sour foods include lemons or grapefruit.
  • Salty taste. Some salty foods include pickles, potato chips, olives.
  • Spicy or pungent taste (pungent) foods include chili pepper, hot sauce.
  • You can find astringent taste in tea and red wine. You can find it in some vegetables like legumes and nuts; fruits like the pomegranate; wines; teas; etc.
  • Sweet taste. You can find it in sweet foods like candy, cakes, or chocolate.
  • Bitter taste. You can find bitter tastes in coffee, grapefruit, olives, and beer.

People who are sick don't want to eat anything because they feel nauseated or have abdominal distension. During this time, it is essential to keep hydrated and nourish the body with food that won't cause digestive problems but will help you recover sooner.


If you have Gastroenteritis or diarrhea, you have to follow the phases and eat the recommended foods. Now, if you do, your body will fix these conditions progressively 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 to learn everything about the Gastroenteritis Diet. ¡¡Cheers!!

DISCLAIMER: buildyourbody.org does not provide medical advice, examination, or diagnosis.

Medically reviewed and approved by Nataniel Josue M D.