You may blame it on a 24-hour bug or something you ate, but if you’re like the average American, you’ll suffer once or twice this year from diarrhea: frequent, watery bowel movements that may be accompanied by painful cramps or nausea and vomiting.
Diarrhea is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but generally no big deal in otherwise healthy adults. However, if diarrhea becomes a chronic condition, the situation changes. Or if it affects the very young, the elderly, or the chronically ill, it can be dangerous. And if you’re not careful to drink enough fluids, you could find yourself complicating what should have been a simple enough situation.
There are essentially two types of diarrhea: acute and chronic. Thankfully, the vast majority of diarrhea is acute, or short term. This type of diarrhea keeps you on the toilet for a couple of days but doesn’t stick around long. Acute diarrhea is also known as non-inflammatory diarrhea. Its symptoms are what most people associate with the condition: watery, frequent stools accompanied by stomach cramps, gas and nausea.
Acute diarrhea usually has a bacterial or viral culprit. Gastroenteritis, mistakenly called the “stomach flu,” is one of the most common infections that cause diarrhea. Gastroenteritis can be caused by many different viruses. Eating or drinking foods contaminated with bacteria can also cause diarrhea. Other causes of acute diarrhea are lactose intolerance, sweeteners such as sorbitol, over-the-counter antacids that contain magnesium, too much vitamin C, and some antibiotics.
In this article, you will find the home remedies you can follow to keep yourself healthy while you are battling diarrhea. You will also find out what to do in more extreme cases of diarrhea.
Do you pitch the peels of potatoes into the garbage disposal? You could be discarding a wealth of good-for-you ingredients. The skins are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients and weight-friendly fiber. By incorporating potato skins into your diet, you’ll get more healthy meals from each potato.
Half the spud’s fiber is in the skin. Fiber helps prevent constipation and may reduce the risk of colon cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fiber also helps you maintain a healthy weight, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One reason: Eating foods with fiber helps prevent blood sugar slumps that can cause hunger and lead to mindless snacking, explains Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis. The nutrition academy notes that most people don’t get enough fiber. Up to age 50, women need 25 grams daily, while men should get 38 grams. After age 50, both genders need slightly less fiber. Potato skins are rich in fiber with 2 grams per ounce.
Potatoes are brimming with potassium, an essential mineral. Studies have linked potassium with a lower risk of dying from a heart attack, possibly because it lowers blood pressure. Getting enough potassium also reduces your risk of having a stroke, but only if your potassium comes from food, not supplements, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. Potassium may also play a role in preventing osteoporosis, but as of 2012 more research was needed to confirm this connection. Another potassium plus: Eating healthy foods high in potassium may help prevent water retention that can make you weigh more, Diekman notes.
Aren’t spuds splendid? Cheap, fat-free, bursting with vitamins and minerals, unbelievably versatile and a national favourite. Bet you didn’t know they were at their best in November?
Our quick and tasty tip:
Try making olive oil mash by adding a good lug to your potatoes before mashing with a knob of butter and plenty of black pepper. Excellent with grilled fish and lamb.
Compact, crunchy and colourful red cabbage is a winter favourite, and particularly perfect with rich meats like pork and game.
Our quick and tasty tips:
Try braising with apple, smoked bacon and balsamic vinegar. Serve sprinkled with freshly chopped parsley leaves.
Try stir frying finely shredded red cabbage in butter and oil with ground spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, some chopped apple, a splash of red wine vinegar and a sprinkling of sugar. Delicious with sausages and roast ham.