Can I eat brown rice if I have diarrhea?

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Anyone experiences diarrhea at some point in their lives and it can be an uncomfortable ordeal. The passing of loose, watery stool can be managed at home with simple remedies, over-the-counter medications and changes in the diet. It is important to note that rice is one of the foods that are often recommended to help manage diarrhea. Even though brown rice is considered as a healthy dietary staple and generally nutritious than white rice, it might not be the suitable option when managing diarrhea. If you want to learn how to properly manage diarrhea, click here.


It is important to note that rice is considered as a starchy food and capable of absorbing water which helps makes stools firmer. Rice is a rich source of a type of dietary fiber – soluble fiber which effectively thickens the stool. Since it is a bland food, rice can prevent further irritation to the digestive tract. Just make sure that rice is eaten plain without any spicy or high-fat additions which will only worsen the diarrhea.

The passing of loose, watery stool can be managed at home with simple remedies, over-the-counter medications and changes in the diet.

White or brown rice

Brown rice is unrefined which means that is has not been overly processed and still has most of its fiber and other vital nutrients needed by the body. Aside from fiber, brown rice is a source of B vitamins and it is digested at a slower rate than white rice which provides a lasting source of energy. Once the digestive system starts to act up, the low fiber content of white rice is an advantage since the body is no longer required to work hard to digest the rice which prevents adding strain on the already compromised system.

BRAT diet

The BRAT diet is composed of bland, easy-to-digest foods which stand for banana, rice, applesauce and toast. This diet is usually recommended for individuals suffering from digestive issues including diarrhea. Remember that these are low-fiber and binding foods that help firm up the stools. The diet can also provide vital nutrients such as potassium from bananas that are usually depleted during episodes of diarrhea. When the BRAT diet is followed, it is best to opt for rice and applesauce without the skin as well as refined grain toast to avoid consumption of too much fiber.

How to include rice in the diarrhea diet

Even though one can eat a bowl of plain white rice, there are other ways to prepare the food in order to avoid the monotony of eating the same food until the diarrhea subsides. The individual can eat noodles made out of rice as long as there are no other components added during the processing. An alternative is to squashed boiled white rice and serve it as gruel. You can even mash up a banana and combine it in the gruel or simply mix a few spoonful of smooth applesauce for added sweetness.

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