Foods to eat and avoid for IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) results in gut-wrenching abdominal pain accompanied by cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. This condition is not life-threatening, but it causes great difficulty in going about your daily activities. It becomes almost impossible to function without uneasiness when you are suffering from IBS. At times, it is impossible to leave the bed or the bathroom, making it one of the most discomforting conditions to be in. The condition is known to have a higher number of cases among women than among men, and many cases also go undiagnosed as people do not consult a doctor.
Causes of IBS
Although the exact cause of the condition is unknown, the muscles in the colon becoming overly sensitive may cause IBS. These muscles are responsible for pushing the stool out of the body, and hindrance in their functions would mean problems with bowel movements and abdominal pain. People often develop this syndrome post a gastrointestinal illness, after a course of antibiotics, or during or post an emotional trauma.
Food to eat for IBS
As what we eat determines our health, it becomes important to draw attention to the food we consume. Eating right will help your body receive the right nutrition. Here are some foods to include in your diet for relief from the discomfort that IBS brings along:
- Probiotics: Yogurt is known to be one of the best sources of gut-friendly bacteria. Yogurt and probiotic supplements are available for treating IBS at home as well, and some doctors may also prescribe supplements along with advising you to consume yogurt. People who suffer from the syndrome and take probiotic supplements often experience positive results. The symptoms of IBS can also be alleviated significantly by the consumption of probiotics in the form of supplements. If you are suffering from IBS, you can either consume probiotics naturally or take supplements. Either way, it’s advised that you consult your doctor.
- Lactose-free: You should opt for lactose-free dairy products like oat milk, rice milk, or soy milk that are great alternatives and prevent the worsening of the symptoms of IBS. You can consume aged cheeses like brie or camembert, and you can cook your meals in olive oil instead of butter.
- Soluble fiber: Soluble fiber not only soothes you in IBS, but it also helps treat the symptoms. You should consume foods like grains, root vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Fruits, on the other hand, may be high in fructose that can worsen the symptoms, so you should go for fruits that are lower in fructose like bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, strawberries, and kiwis.
- Vegetables: Vegetables that are not just safe but also healthy to eat for IBS are eggplant, carrots, bean sprouts, potatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers. You can also include basil, chili, coriander, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme in your diet.
Food to avoid for IBS
- Soda, beer, high-fructose corn syrup, caffeine, artificial sugar and sweeteners including chocolates, processed foods, and snacks (chips, crackers), certain vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower are all aggravating agents for the condition.
- Though vegetables are healthy, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower are high in Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols (FODMAPs), which are harmful in an IBS diet.
- Foods rich in fructose are known to worsen the condition, so it is best to avoid foods like grains like wheat and rye and also avoid added insulin.
- Eating foods that are easier to digest will ease the burden on your digestive system and provide relief from the symptoms.