Sick? Try the BRAT Diet

Have you picked up a stomach bug this winter? At least one of our editors is down and out with a nasty virus and so we have gentle eating on the brain right now. We discovered that there is a very particular diet recommended for those of us under the weather...

It's called the BRAT diet - a handy acronym. Here's what it stands for:

1. Bananas - Bananas, whether they are under-ripe or brown, like the ones we talked about earlier today, are easy on the stomach.

2. Rice - White rice is easy on the stomach and lets your innards rest.

3. Apple Juice/Applesauce - Same with apple juice and applesauce; they have minimal amounts of fiber but are still full of good sugars and calories.

4. Toast - White toast with little or no butter is also easy on the stomach.

This is the diet historically prescribed for gastrointestinal distress, and whether it's you, a friend, or a child, this is a good list of basics to stick to when you're not feeling so hot. It's not a diet to stick to long-term; it's definitely lacking in many basic nutrients. But it will give you stomach a rest if it's not feeling great.

Our other flu-season standby is this Flu Season Ginger Honey Lemon Tonic.

Also try these sick-day standbys:
Jane's Curative White Bean Soup
Miso Soup
Spicy Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
Easy Green Minestrone
Blood Orange Jelly Smiles

(Image credits: Toast from; apple juice from SOCI; bananas from; rice from Gulf Business)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.