Sick? Try the BRAT Diet

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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.