No one is spared of some bouts of diarrhea during their lifetime. Contaminated water, food poisoning and viral or bacterial infections are some of the main causes of acute diarrhea. Even recent use of antibiotics can cause it.
Frequent watery stools, Abdominal cramps and bloating are the most common symptoms of diarrhea which can last up to 2 weeks. These are not easy times.
Children mostly get diarrhea from viruses whereas travellers are mostly affected by contaminated water. Others are bacterial diarrhea that generally occur due to contaminated food.
You lose lots of fluids and minerals in diarrhea so you need to top these up. Foods like sweet potatoes can help to effectively stop diarrhea.
Let us look at the mechanism of diarrhea and usefulness of sweet potatoes to curb it in detail.
Table of Contents
- Can Sweet Potatoes Stop Diarrhea?
- How to Use Sweet Potatoes to Stop Diarrhea?
- Foods other than Sweet Potatoes That May Help with Diarrhea
- Other Tips and Precautions
Yes, it can and it does. In fact, there are lots of food items that can help in getting rid of diarrhea and sweet potato is one of the very useful food items in this respect.
At the same time there are lots of food items that can actually further deteriorate the condition. So, those food items have to be avoided.
Diarrhea is a condition in which frequency of bowel movement suddenly increases and the stools are watery. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria of parasites. This sudden onset of diarrhea which lasts for up to 2 weeks maximum is called acute diarrhea.
Other health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome ( IBS) or Inflammable bowel disease (IBD) and other similar conditions can cause chronic diarrhea.
Our focus in this article is on acute diarrhea and how sweet potatoes can help to stop it.
Sweet Potatoes Help in Diarrhea in the Following 3 Ways:
- High soluble fiber content helps to solidify the stool. This type of fiber gets dissolved in fluid inside the gut and swelled to give volume to the stools.
- Beta Carotene in it quickly converts into vitamin A which helps to stop diarrhea. A study in Mozambique found that orange sweet potatoes not only reduce the periods of diarrhea but also prevents it in children. Unfortunately maximum number of children die of diarrhea in the world are in Africa and this study is a good relief to save lives.
- High potassium and other minerals help to replenish the minerals lost during diarrhea.
Other Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
- High Potassium content of sweet potatoes help to reduce high blood pressure
- Phosphorus content of sweet potato helps to store energy repair damaged cells in the body
- Low glycemic index helps to control blood sugar levels in diabetes type 2 patients
- High beta carotene,anthocyanins and other antioxidants protect cells from oxidative stresses
- Sweet potatoes treat ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Improves vision
Some Risks Associated with Sweet Potatoes
- Increases its glycemic index if baked so not good for diabetic patients. Boiled on the other hand is good for diabetes.
- Contain oxalates which can lead to kidney stones
- Can cause stomach pain to some people who are intolerant to a sugar called mannitol
Boiling and eating sweet potatoes vus the best way to consume it.
- Boil a small sweet potato of about 100 grams
- Remove it from water and peel off the skin
- Mesh it and sprinkle some himalayan salt and it. Himalayan salt has all the minerals that might have been lost in diarrhea.
- Eat 3-4 times daily. Don't eat too much at a time.
- Toss 100 gram boiled and mashed sweet potato in a blender
- Add 100 grams unsweetened organic yogurt
- Pour 50 ml water
- Add ½ teaspoon of himalayan salt powder
- Blend and prepare smoothie
Powder sweet potatoes is a very convenient way to get rid of diarrhea
- Boil ½ kg sweet potatoes in water.
- Let it completely soften and broken into pieces
- Pour the mix of soft and sweet potato and water after it cools into a Blender and blend well
- Strain the blended sweet potato in a tray.
- Let the sweet potatoes settle at the bottom of the tray. It might take a couple of hours.
- Remove the water from the top and dry the remains in the tray in sunlight.
- Store the dried sweet potatoes in powder form in a sealed jar.
- Consume 1 tablespoon of the powder by mixing in a cup of water
- Drink it 3-4 times a day.
- Rice plain white
- Toast or bread
- Hot oatmeal
- Rice porridge
- Cream of wheat
- Boiled potatoes
- Unseasoned crackers.
Diarrhea can be life threatening if proper care is not taken. Lots of children die in the undeveloped world due to uncontrolled diarrhea. You must control it
- Drink lots of water and other healthy fluids to replenish lost fluids
- Eat foods rich in potassium and other essential minerals such as sweet potatoes and banana etc to replenish lost electrolytes.
- Eat probiotics like organic yogurt to increase good bacteria in the guts to counter increased bad bacteria due to infection
- Eat only freshly cooked light food. Completely avoid stored or stale food
- Stop alcohol, tea, coffee, milk and sugary soda consumption
- Avoid green leafy vegetables
Immediately contact your doctor if your diarrhea condition doesn't improve in 2 days with home remedies.