When it comes to IBS, food plays a major role and the first thing to keep in mind is that each digestive system is unique and will react in its own specific way to food. It is often a matter of try-and-fail until you get the proper results.
Still, there are some easy rules to follow and that can be a good starting point to check what suits you best, especially when it comes to the type of IBS you have developed: IBS-Diarrhea or IBS-Constipation, the two most common types of IBS.
For example, three balanced meals a day and a couple of healthy extras will surely make a difference but we will give you more insights along those lines.
Anyway, whatever you do, always make sure to check with a health specialist as nothing replaces a professional opinion when it comes to IBS.
Are you IBS-C or IBS-D? :
If you have been diagnosed with IBS, you should know which IBS type is yours and if you are fighting with diarrhea or constipation. It is an important thing to know as fibers play a crucial role in IBS diet.
When you have IBS-C which involves constipation, definitely add more fibers to your meals and it is recommended to focus on soluble fiber food like: oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium in order to avoid bloating.
On the other hand, a low-fiber diet can help those suffering from IBS-D, which involves diarrhea and gas. As opposed to IBS-C, if you want to keep fibers in your diet, you should focus on insoluble fiber food like: wholegrains food, roots vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits with edible seeds.
Now that you know which type of fibers works best for you, let’s have a look at the different types of food that can offer relief to your stomach and guts!
Here is a list of the different Low-FODMAP things you can eat or drink without worrying too much!
- Vegetables (preferably cooked or steamed as raw vegetables are hard to digest): eggplant, green beans, celery, carrots, bell peppers, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potato, yam, zucchini and squash.
- Fruits: blueberries, melon, cantaloupe, grapes, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, pineapple, rhubarbe, raspberry, and ripe bananas.
- Meat: chicken (breast), turkey (brest), lamb, pork, beef.
- Fish: salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines.
- Nuts: peanut, walnut.
- Brown rice, quinoa
- Vegetal milk like: almond, rice, coconut or soy
- Eggs and butter
- Some cheeses like: cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan and goat cheese.
- Herbal tea like: peppermint, ginger, lemon, rooibos
On the contrary the foods listed below should be avoided if you suffer from IBS-C or IBS-D.
- Vegetables: beetroot, cauliflower, asparagus, sweetcorn, pea, onion and garlic, mushrooms,
- Fruits: apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, nectarine, mango, watermelon, fig, cherry, blackberry.
- Wheat and rye.
- Muffins, granola, pistachios, almonds and cashews.
- Milk from cows, goat and ship, cream cheese.
- Processed meat like sausages.
- Sorbitol and polyol based sweeteners.
Avoiding IBS triggering food:
To be able to point out the kind of food your gut is sensitive to, you can also go on an elimination diet. By cutting off some food, like caffeine-based drinks, insoluble fiber or nuts and chocolate, you will be able to point out which one causes troubles and which is safe to eat.
Twelve weeks without one of those elements will help you detect the food guilty for your troubles.
Bad fats VS Good fats:
If you suffer from IBS, eating too much fat can worsen the things, especially if the kind of IBS you have combines diarrhea and constipation so it’s important that you know about the different types of fats.
You should know that there are bad fats and good fats.
Bad fats are found in:
The idea is to limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats.
– Saturated fats that occur naturally in some animal products, as: meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy items, such as cheese, cream, and whole milk. As well as in palm, coconut, and other tropical oils and cocoa butter.
– Trans fats that are made when liquid oils get turned into solid fats.
This process is called hydrogenation. Trans fats are found in a lot of processed foods. All food companies have to list trans fats on nutrition fact labels. However, foods can have up to .5 grams of trans fat per serving and still show 0 grams.
Good fats are found in:
Omega-3 fatty acids have good health benefits.
They can decrease the risk of heart attack and inflammation.
Monounsaturated fats are found in canola, olive, and peanut oils. They are in a variety of nut oils and butters. Avocados, legumes (beans and peas) and seeds also contain these fats.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, and safflower oil. They are in soybeans, legumes, grains, and nuts. Seeds, like sesame and sunflower also contain these fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are usually found in fish and seafood like salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts also contain omega-3s.
As you can see, the Low-FODMAP diet is full of good products that should alleviate the discomfort and the pain.
One important point is also to take your time while eating.
Chew your food slowly, in consciousness, try to feel and to connect to what you’re eating, the texture, the taste – and of course, ideally in a calm environment, without smartphone or television.
Enjoy and Bon Appétit!