What is BRAT Diet?
In today’s ‘junk-food’ age one cannot help but get sick. Every now and then something new is launched in the market to target your fragile stomach. It’s funny how they have products for every age and succeed in luring even the most educated ones.
Everyone is so busy that they don’t cook their own meals and rely on these dangerous packets that lead to all sorts of illnesses. However, it is almost impossible to avoid junk today no matter what the reason. Due to the bad food habits people end up with upset stomachs.
Upset stomachs trouble not only the children but also the adults. Every second individual suffers with this and it can be really tormenting to take frequent visits to the washroom. The solution to this lies in a simple and well known acronym ‘BRAT’.
BRAT stands for:
BRAT Diet for adults, babies and toddlers
BRAT food diet which is also known as the ‘Bland food’ diet is both for the children and the adults. It comprises low fiber foods which are generally soluble in water. It is a combination of those foods which have binding properties and make the stool firmer. BRAT diet also eases out the sensation of nausea and vomiting.
It is also recommended for the pregnant women as it drives away morning sickness. BRAT diet is really helpful but one should not straight away begin eating these solids especially the children. During the period of upset stomach the solids cannot be digested easily.
One should take a lot of fluids in the beginning and then follow up with the BRAT diet. Fluids like water, broth and apple juice should be consumed. The body should be kept well hydrated. Diarrhea causes the loss of important electrolytes in the body so additional supplements for salts can be taken to maintain a proper balance in the body.
The doctors have been prescribing bananas for kids in case of stomach aches since always. Bananas are known to be very rich in potassium, which helps the body replace nutrients which were lost due to diarrhea. Banana is a binding food which has low fiber content which promotes the formation of firmer stool.
Applesauce contains pectin which is commonly known as the ‘anti-diarrhea’ component. Pectin has natural thickening abilities which lead to the formation of solid stool. This should be taken without added sugars as excessive sugary content may actually promote an upset stomach.
RICE AND TOAST
Diarrhea weakens the stomach and the digestion is adversely affected. In this kind of a situation one needs to consume food that is light for the stomach and also easy to digest. Rice and toast are just the best choice during this sickness. Along with being gentle to the stomach they also possess binding properties which will lead to a less number of trips to the ‘washroom’.
BENEFITS OF THE BRAT DIET
• LOW FIBER
Fibrous foods can create a lot of irritation in the stomach and can be hard to digest. It also causes gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. BRAT food is low in fiber and gives a relief from these problems.
• LOW FAT
This diet relives gastrointestinal stress. Though it is followed on temporary basis, it gives rest to the gut and gives it enough time to heal.
• EASY TO DIGEST
These foods are really kind on the stomach and are considerate to its fragility. Many a times this diet is used during stomach infections and flu.
• BLAND DIET
Being bland this diet does not cause any kind of irritation in the stomach. It becomes so easy on the stomach that you will feel fresh and no sensation of pain will be felt.
• COST EFFECTIVE
BRAT diet consists of very simple foods which are very cheap and can be afforded by anyone.
The key ingredients of this diet are easily available and can be purchased at the nearest store
HOW LONG THE DIET SHOULD BE FOLLOWED?
BRAT diet cannot always be resorted to. If it is a case of severe vomiting then only fluids should be put into the body. If the body is able tolerate these fluids then one can jump to the BRAT foods. One should always keep in mind that BRAT diet cannot be taken over long periods and should not at all be considered as a weight loss regime.
This diet is recommended for maximum 48 hours or two days. If one keeps on following this for longer periods then he might end up with a malnourished body with no energy in it.
However, Some doctors believe that the BRAT diet is not enough as the foods that are included in the diet thicken the stool and do not provide essential nutrients for survival. They have modified the BRAT diet to form a ‘BRATT’ diet and also a ’BRATY’ diet. ‘BRATT’ diet has an addition of tea to it which fulfills the need of fluids and ‘BRATY’ has an inclusion of yogurt to it to make up for the essential nutrients.