If you’ve been struggling with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, it’s critical to find safe food to eat.
A study published on nature.com states that about five to ten percent of the general population worldwide suffers from abdominal discomfort, altered bowel habits, pain, and even psychiatric conditions caused by IBS.
While pharmacological solutions can ease these symptoms, the study emphasized that specific dietary interventions can be beneficial in managing the condition.
One of these dietary interventions is the FODMAP diet, wherein people are advised to reduce their consumption of short-chain carbohydrates that the small intestine doesn’t absorb well. So if you want to manage your IBS, eat more of these foods that are low on FODMAPs:
5 Good Foods for IBS
1. Unripe Bananas
Bananas are healthy sources of carbohydrates and fiber which are great for the gut. Additionally, since they’re naturally sweet, it help reduce sugar cravings which can cause bloating. That said, ripe bananas can be tricky to consume if you have IBS. Most individuals with IBS should only eat about a third of ripe bananas because they are high in oligo-fructans and, therefore, high in FODMAPs.
Fortunately, unripe bananas have low amounts of oligo-fructans, making them safe for people with IBS. However, as one of our articles on healthynaturaldiet.com points out, unripe bananas have a lot of starch, which makes them difficult to digest. As such, it’s recommended that you boil or roast them for easier and more delicious consumption.
While some nuts can be high in FODMAPs and therefore trigger IBS symptoms in some people, many nuts can actually be beneficial for people with IBS.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, all of which can be helpful in managing IBS symptoms. In particular, nuts that are low in FODMAPs can be a great snack option for people with IBS.
Some examples of low-FODMAP nuts include:
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
However, it’s important to note that some people with IBS may still find that even low-FODMAP nuts trigger symptoms, so it’s important to pay attention to your own body’s response and adjust your diet accordingly.
Most types of rice are low on FODMAPs, making them another safe source of carbohydrates for people with IBS. In particular, basmati, brown, white, and arborio rice do not contain FODMAPs.
However, it’s important to take note that red rice has moderate amounts of galactooligosaccharides, while black rice has moderate amounts of fructans. This means you’ll have to reduce your consumption of red and black rice to two cups per serving, while it’s safe to enjoy other types of rice all you want.
Rice is also easy to cook and delicious to pair with other ingredients low on FODMAPs. Instead of cooking the ingredients on stoves, weknowrice.com shares that you can simply use Cuckoo rice cookers to cook it perfectly each time. You can even choose from 16 cooking settings, allowing you to enjoy sticky rice, soft rice, or even porridge with meals that are low on FODMAPs.
You can pair your rice with various types of protein because they are all naturally free of FODMAPs. However, fatty fish are better than other protein sources because they have specific health benefits that can help people with IBS.
A research study published on ncbi.nlm.nih.gov points out that fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are predominant anti-inflammatory ingredients. As such, it’s recommended that you eat salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel to reduce any inflammation occurring in your intestines.
However, it’s critical to remember that you have to cook fish in the proper way to avoid worsening your condition. Instead of frying your fish in oil, you can opt to cook low-FODMAP meals like baked salmon or ahi tuna poke bowls. You can also do a sardine rice bowl or enjoy a broiled mackerel fish fillet to lower any inflammation in your body.
5. Bone Broth
Bone broth rose in popularity because many celebrities credited it for their clear skin. However, many people don’t know that bone broth can also benefit people who want better digestive health. Marrow and chicken bones are low on FODMAPs, which is why their broths are safe for people with IBS. Bone broth can also have anti-inflammatory properties, making them useful in reducing any inflammatory pain caused by IBS.
Though bone broth is healthy, many people hesitate to consume it because it can be quite laborious to make. According to mashed.com, you can simplify the process by using a slow cooker to create broth from marrow or chicken bones. You can even watch the videos of celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Ryan Seacrest to see how they make bone broth using a slow cooker.
Food that is low on FODMAPs can be good for people with IBS. However, you can experience added health benefits and have an easier time preparing your meals, if you use these best foods for IBS management.
Foods to Avoid with IBS
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find that certain foods can trigger or worsen their symptoms. While triggers can vary from person to person, some common foods that tend to be problematic for many people with IBS include:
- High-FODMAP foods: FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can cause gas, bloating, and other digestive symptoms in some people with IBS. Foods high in FODMAPs include wheat, onions, garlic, beans, lentils, certain fruits (such as apples, peaches, and pears), and some vegetables (such as asparagus and broccoli).
- Fried or fatty foods: These types of foods can be difficult for the body to digest and may trigger symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.
- Spicy foods: Spicy foods can irritate the digestive tract and lead to symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping.
- Alcohol and caffeine: These substances can be irritating to the gut and can trigger symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain.
- Dairy products: Some people with IBS are lactose intolerant and may experience symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea after consuming dairy products like milk, cheese, and ice cream.
Q: What are FODMAPs, and why are they relevant to IBS?
A: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs) are certain types of carbohydrates that can trigger IBS symptoms. Following a low-FODMAP diet may help alleviate these symptoms.
Q: Are there specific fruits that are better for IBS sufferers?
A: Yes, some low-FODMAP fruits include bananas, berries, grapes, and citrus fruits. It’s essential to monitor individual tolerance and portion sizes.
Q: Can dairy products be consumed by individuals with IBS?
A: Many people with IBS are lactose intolerant. Lactose-free or low-lactose dairy options (like lactose-free milk or hard cheeses) are often better tolerated.
Q: Is fiber beneficial for IBS?
A: Fiber can be beneficial for IBS, but it’s essential to choose soluble fiber sources like oats, psyllium, and certain fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber may worsen symptoms in some cases.
Q: How does stress impact IBS, and are there stress-reducing foods?
A: Stress can exacerbate IBS symptoms. While there are no specific stress-reducing foods, incorporating a well-balanced diet with magnesium-rich foods (like nuts and leafy greens) may indirectly help manage stress.
Q: Are there beverages that should be avoided by individuals with IBS?
A: Carbonated beverages, caffeine, and high-fructose drinks can trigger IBS symptoms. It’s advisable to opt for water, herbal teas, or low-FODMAP beverages.
Q: Can spicy foods worsen IBS symptoms?
A: Spicy foods may be a trigger for some people with IBS. It’s recommended to monitor individual tolerance and avoid excessive consumption of spicy dishes.
Q: How should meals be structured for IBS management?
A: Eating smaller, more frequent meals rather than large meals can help manage IBS symptoms. Additionally, staying hydrated and avoiding rapid eating may contribute to better digestive health.
Q: Is it necessary to consult a healthcare professional or dietitian for personalized dietary advice for IBS?
A: Yes, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to create a personalized diet plan tailored to individual needs and symptoms.
It’s important to note that everyone’s triggers for IBS symptoms can be different, so it’s important to work with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to identify foods that work best for your individual needs.