An upset stomach is a major energy sapper. It is described by health experts as a disorder of the digestive function and is characterized by certain manifestations which include heartburn, nausea, gas pains or indigestion.
One of the recommendations doctors suggests people with upset stomachs do is to limit their food intake to foods that are bland – foods that can't cause stomach irritation.
BRAT diet – what's this?
A BRAT diet is a bland-food diet that stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. According to nutritionist and health professionals, these foods can aid in calming the stomach from irritation which is sometimes caused by irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, stress, flu-causing viruses or high-fat foods.
The foods that comprise the BRAT diet are actually "binding foods" which are low in fiber, which helps your stomach in making firmer stools. Foods high in potassium, which helps to replace the lost nutrients due to vomiting and diarrhea, are also major players in the BRAT diet.
A BRAT diet is often recommended when you have diarrhea or vomiting. This will help in making your body restore its normal functions. Health enthusiasts have also observed that this type of diet also helps in easing the negative symptoms some women experience during the first stages of pregnancy, such as vomiting and nausea.
Blending your BRAT diet with other foods, such as saltine crackers or boiled potatoes can also help in the treatment of an upset stomach. Dairy products, sugary and fatty foods, coffee and alcohol should also be avoided as these can upset your stomach all the more and may even lead to severe diarrhea.
While the BRAT diet is effective for people of all ages, it is not advisable for anyone to eat solid foods, even the ones that are included in the BRAT diet, to those who are vomiting. A person who is vomiting due to an upset stomach should be made to take clear liquids until such time that they are already able to take solid foods without vomiting. Drinking electrolyte beverage can also help protect a person from dehydration if he is actively vomiting or suffering from diarrhea.
But the BRAT diet, with all its positive effects on a faulty digestive system can only be administered for a limited period because it is not complete with the nutritional elements that your body needs. As the BRAT diet is just an aid to help you normalize the function of your digestive tract, it does not guarantee balanced nutrition. You should eat regular diets once your stomach regains its normal functions. This should give you back the nutrition and energy that you missed while your stomach was upset.