Eat well

A number of recipes are available that use bland, stool - solidifying ingredients but still manage to be tasty, nutritious and easy to prepare.

Banana Bread

Bananas by themselves are an excellent way of providing nutrients and electrolytes, particularly potassium and carbohydrates, and will help to calm the stomach and provide consistency to the stool.

Alternatively, a nutritious banana bread is easy to prepare and can be soothing for the digestion and comforting for the spirit.

Ingredients

  • 2 large brown bananas, mashed
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100 ml skimmed milk
  • 4 egg whites
  • 60 g chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease an 18 cm cake tin and line with baking paper
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir in the sugar. Whisk the oil, milk and egg whites together and add to the flour mixture. Stir in the walnuts and mashed bananas, then tip the mixture into the prepared tin
  3. Bake for 50–55 minutes or until the banana cake tests done when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cover loosely with aluminium foil if the cake is browning too quickly
  4. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely

Nutmeg tea

A hearty nutmeg tea can have the effect of soothing the stomach as well as helping to rehydrate the body.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Put a level ½ teaspoon of nutmeg into a mug
  2. Add boiling water and leave to steep for 15 minutes
  3. Add honey to taste

Marshmallows

As marshmallows (or jelly babies) are mostly made of gelatine, they can help slow the transition of food through the bowel. Although very small, one randomised study has demonstrated that eating marshmallows may thicken the stool and slow its transit.1

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 13 leaves of gelatine
  • 700 g white caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons liquid glucose
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Sunflower oil for the tin
  • 100 g icing sugar for dusting
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour for dusting

Instructions

  1. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Put the gelatine in a deep bowl or jug and cover with 200 mL cold water to soften
  2. Put the caster sugar, liquid glucose and 300 mL water in a large saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat until the mixture reaches 130°C. Take the pan off the heat then add the gelatine and the water they were soaked in to the hot sugar. Stir until the gelatine has dissolved then carefully pour the mixture into a heatproof jug
  3. Return the beaters to egg whites and whip up further until stiff peaks form. Keep whisking while slowly pouring in the warm syrup. Keep beating the mixture until it is smooth and shiny, then add the vanilla seeds. Continue to beat for around 8-10 minutes or until the mixture is noticeably thicker
  4. Line a large and deep rectangular dish with cling-film and brush with sunflower oil. Mix the icing sugar and cornflour together then sieve a third of the mixture into the tray to coat the inside. Pour in the marshmallow mixture, level with a spatula and leave to set for 2 hours
  5. Cut the marshmallows into small squares, sieving a little cornflour sugar over the cut sides

Chicken rice soup

A bland Chinese rice soup may help restore electrolytes and provide nutrients and carbohydrate at the same time as being very easy to consume and comforting to eat.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup white or sushi rice
  • 2½ cups of chicken broth
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and half cover the pot. Cook at a slight boil. Stir occasionally and scrape the bottom to prevent rice from sticking
  2. Simmer 1½ to 2 hours until the grains burst and it has a thick, oatmeal consistency
  3. Season with salt for taste. Flavours can be added as desired e.g. ginger, soy sauce or sesame oil

Porridge

Porridge is not only a very filling meal to start the day, or to finish it, it is also a perfect bowel stabiliser, providing solid, consistent and regular stool.

Ingredients

  • 50 g porridge oats
  • 350 mL milk or water
  • Greek yogurt and honey to taste

Instructions

  1. Put 50 g porridge oats in a saucepan, pour in 350 mL milk or water and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time and watching carefully that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan
  2. Mix the porridge oats, milk or water and a pinch of salt in a large microwave-proof bowl, then microwave on High for 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. Leave to stand for 2 minutes
  3. To serve, add Greek yogurt on top and drizzle with honey
  1. Clarebrough E, Guest G, Stupart D. Eating marshmallows reduces ileostomy output: a randomized crossover trial. Colorectal Dis 2015;17:1100-3.

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