Medical professionals often suggest bland diets to those experiencing gas, ulcers, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and other conditions. A bland diet consists of low fiber, soft foods with minimal seasonings or spices, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Raw, fried or spicy foods are prohibited on a bland diet. As a result, the diet is designed to limit symptoms and promote recovery.
Vegetables are important foods to consume on a bland diet. They offer a balanced dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. You should only eat frozen, canned or cooked vegetables, since the bland diet calls for soft foods. Ideal vegetables for a bland diet include winter squash, carrots, green beans, zucchini and peas. Avoid gaseous vegetables such as broccoli, onions, peppers, cabbage and cauliflower.
Like vegetables, fruit is a nutritious option to include in your bland diet. For easy digestion, you should choose canned, cooked or soft fruit, removing excess seeds or skin. Applesauce, fruit cocktail, bananas or canned peaches are ideal fruit-based foods for a bland diet. To extend your options, blend fruit into smoothies or juices. For best results, avoid acidic fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, oranges and grapefruit, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Lean Meats and Fish
Lean meats and fish that are grilled without fat, steamed or baked are allowed on a bland diet. These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which promote body repair and strengthening. Ideal meat and fish sources include tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, salmon, pork tenderloin, chicken breast, peeled shrimp, lobster, beef cuts and game meat.
Consuming dairy products on a bland diet will supply your body with vitamin D, calcium and other nutrients. Elizabeth Lipski reports in "Digestive Wellness" that it is important to consume these sources since they are easily digested. In addition, you can easily consume them during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Dairy sources include milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and eggs. To avoid saturated fat, opt for reduced or low fat alternatives. Avoid strong cheeses such as Roquefort or blue cheese.
Breads and Other Carbohydrate Sources
Breads naturally contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates, which supply your body with energy. Since white breads contain less fiber than whole grains or whole wheat bread, refined white breads are the preferred bread source while on a bland diet. Consuming low fiber foods promotes gentle movements within your digestive system. This is especially important if you are recovering from gastrointestinal surgery. Examples of breads and other carbohydrates include saltine crackers, white rice, white bread, mashed potatoes and refined hot cereals.
- MedlinePlus: Bland Diet; Dr. George F Longstreth; May 2010
- Arizona State University Diet Manual: Bland Diet
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Bland Diet; Dr. George F Longstreth; Dec. 2008
- "Digestive Wellness"; Elizabeth Lipski, Ph.D., CCN; 2005
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.