Recipes for Managing Side Effects Series: Diarrhea
Nutritional Content and Health Benefits
Diarrhea can present for a variety of reasons and can be a very frustrating side effect. You might notice some foods that will make it worse and discourage you from eating enough. The good news is that there are some foods that can help to alleviate these symptoms. Look for foods high in soluble fiber like oats, bananas, apples and rice as this type of fiber absorbs water, slows down stool movement and helps keep it more formed [i, ii]. This recipe incorporates delicious bananas paired with oats, dairy-free milk, and a hint of maple syrup for a breakfast that is filling and functional! This recipe is wheat-free, dairy-free, and can be made vegan or gluten-free with minor substitutions.
- Bananas are a handy fruit that have around 110 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 30 grams of carbohydrate per serving. They are a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, which help replenish the large volume of nutrients, especially potassium, lost in the stool when you have diarrhea [i, iii]. Bananas are also a rich source of soluble fiber, which is the fiber you are looking for when trying to manage diarrhea. They contain a molecule called amylase-resistant starch, which further works to add bulk to your stool [iv].
- Oats also provide soluble fiber in the form of beta-glucan, which helps to thicken your stool and slow down intestinal transit. It also binds cholesterol and slows down the release of glucose into the intestine [ii]. Oats are blended in this recipe and act as the main flour or binder. They lend a nutty taste and also contribute to the recipe being wheat-free.
Banana Oat Waffles
Serving size: 1 large waffle
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup dairy-free milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp maple syrup + extra for accompanying waffle
- Pinch of salt
- Heat waffle iron and spray with cooking spray
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the batter is too thick, add a little bit more milk until you reach the desired consistency
- Fill up the waffle iron with batter and press until fully cooked
- Enjoy with maple syrup, powdered sugar or any toppings of choice that do not aggravate your digestion
- Make a large batch and freeze waffles for an easy breakfast or snack
- If you don’t have a waffle iron, don’t fret! Thin out the batter with 2 more tbsp dairy-free milk and make into pancakes
- Add inclusions into the batter such as chocolate chips, as tolerated
- To add more gut-friendly foods, try adding a dollop of Greek yogurt. Yogurt provides active cultures, which are a source of probiotics. These probiotics help maintain your intestinal flora promoting bowel regularity [i]
- Vegan substitution: for each egg, substitute ¼ cup applesauce or vegan egg replacer of choice
- Gluten-free substitution: substitute regular oats for dedicated gluten-free oats
For more tips on managing diarrhea, check out this article.
[i] Brant, Jeannine M, PhD,A.P.R.N., A.O.C.N., Walton, Amy, RN,B.S.N., O.C.N. Chronic diarrhea in post-treatment colorectal cancer survivors. Oncology. 2010;24(7):45-49.
[ii] Butt, M.S., Tahir-Nadeem, M., Khan, M.K.I. et al. Oat: unique among the cereals. Eur J Nutr 47, 68–79 (2008)
[iii] FoodData Central Search Results. FoodData Central. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102653/nutrients. Accessed February 25, 2021.
[iv] Bae SH. Diets for constipation. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2014;17(4):203-208. doi:10.5223/pghn.2014.17.4.203