Foods That Will and Won’t Upset Your IBS

foods that will and won't upset your ibs

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is probably the most common type of bowel disorder there is. The diagnosis certainly accounts for the greatest number of people seeking medical help for their abdominal pain. The disorder is very common and the symptoms of IBS are abdominal cramping, bloating, pain, constipation, diarrhea, excessive gas, and digestive upset. My experience has also shown that in a great deal of these cases, lifestyle, emotional issues and an over-reliance upon antibiotics, can be closely related to your risk of developing this condition.

If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS and are suffering from the symptoms of IBS, then here’s the IBS diet you should try, including foods to avoid and foods to add to your diet. Making dietary changes has been shown to be an effective irritable bowel syndrome treatment.

Foods to Avoid on the IBS Diet

1. Simple Carbohydrates

Foods containing high amounts of white flour like breads and pastas, sugar, sweeteners, syrups, or concentrated fruit drinks are devoid of fiber, nutrients, and high in calories. These are foods to avoid on your IBS diet.

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These foods can typically lead to constipation, increased constipation, inflammation, and alterations to gut microflora. It’s these essential bacteria normally present in large numbers through the gut which help the gastrointestinal track function properly. Increasing the consumption of simple carbohydrates can disrupt the environments of the gut and encourage the overgrowth of yeast and harmful bacteria. As part of an effective irritable bowel syndrome treatment, replace simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates.

2. Saturated Fat

Another type of foods to avoid on this IBS diet are foods high in saturated fat including lard, full fat dairy products, animal flesh, fast food, and fried foods. The high consumption of this type of food can lead to constipation, inflammation, and pain. For the best irritable bowel syndrome treatment, avoid saturated fats and eat healthier fats instead.

Foods to Eat on the IBS Diet

1. High Fiber

One of the foods you should eat as part of your irritable bowel syndrome treatment are foods high in soluble fiber such as flax seed, bran, and whole grains like oats and quinoa. Vegetables and fruits such as sweet potato, apples, cherries, pears and blueberries are also good sources of soluble fiber and should be included in your IBS diet. Soluble fiber has a healing effect upon the gut wall and improves nutrient absorption and microflora content. Consuming two to three servings of soluble fiber-rich foods every day is an effective irritable bowel syndrome treatment.

2. Yogurt

Low-fat natural yogurt contains protein, calcium, and a large concentration of beneficial bacteria like bifidobacterium and lactobacillus acidophilus among others. This type of normal bacteria will help re-populate your digestive tract with the amounts of normal flora necessary for better gastrointestinal function. As part of a healthy IBS diet, I recommend consuming at least one to two servings of yogurt every day.

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3. Spices

There are three spices I recommend taking with your food as part of an irritable bowel syndrome treatment plan. These include peppermint, ginger, and curcumin. Peppermint leaves and the oil contained within it have a very soothing and healing effect upon the intestinal lining. It is also a very good remedy for gas and pain.

Ginger is great for improved digestion, nausea, and cramping. You can eat ginger raw from the root, cooked, or pickled. Curcumin, the spice contained within turmeric, is extremely helpful to ease pain, swelling, and bloating frequently associated with IBS. This spice is contained within various curry dishes or can be added to food directly. Add these healthy spices to your IBS diet today.

4. Raw Pineapple

Raw pineapple is a concentrated source of enzymes which can improve digestion in the stomach. Poor digestion of proteins can also be a contributing factor to IBS as undigested proteins can cause inflammation, allergic responses, and bloating of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Adding raw pineapple to your diet can really help digestion and can reduce bloating, belching, gas, and abdominal distension frequently associated with IBS. I recommend eating one serving of raw pineapple daily as a method to reduce the symptoms of IBS.

When you’re diagnosed with IBS, you want to be careful about which foods you eat and which foods you avoid. As part of your IBS diet, and for an effective irritable bowel syndrome treatment plan, make sure to watch out for these foods.


Sources:
Böhn, L., et al., “Self-reported food-related gastrointestinal symptoms in IBS are common and associated with more severe symptoms and reduced quality of life,” Am J Gastroenterol. May 2013; 108(5): 634-41.
[Contemporary dietotherapy of the irritable bowel syndrome], Vopr Pitan 2013; 82(1): 64-73.
Aggarwal, B.B., et al., “Curcumin: An Orally Bioavailable Blocker of TNF and Other Pro-inflammatory Biomarkers,” Br J Pharmacol. February 20, 2013.
Murray, M., et al., Encyclopedia of Naturopathic Medicine (Prima Publishing, 1998): 609-613.