Do you suffer from IBS? If so, then your diet can be an essential tool for controlling and managing the symptoms. Certain foods can help ease inflammation and discomfort in people with IBS. In this article, we will discuss 10 of the best foods to eat if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Foods To Eat If You Have IBS
Eggs are an excellent source of nutrition for people with IBS, and they provide many essential vitamins and minerals. They are high in protein, low in fat, and contain all eight essential amino acids. Additionally, eggs are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation for those with IBS symptoms. Eggs are incredibly versatile, they can be boiled, scrambled, poached, and more.
However, IBS does not behave similarly in every individual. Some people may be sensitive to the protein in eggs, therefore, it is always better to observe how your body reacts to different foods .
Lean meats such as poultry, fish, and shellfish are an excellent choice for people with IBS. They contain less fat than red meat, making them easier to digest and helping reduce symptoms of IBS . Additionally, lean meats are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Selenium, and Potassium.
These nutrients can help boost your immune system, provide energy, and improve overall health. Eating lean meats regularly also helps you maintain a healthy weight, giving you one more reason to make them a regular part of your diet.
Including whole grains in your diet can be a great way to reduce or prevent symptoms of IBS. Whole grain foods are high in fiber, which can help to improve digestion and provide relief from constipation and diarrhea. Some excellent whole-grain choices include oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, and buckwheat.
Eating whole grains can also help to keep blood sugar levels stable, which is beneficial for those with IBS. Try replacing refined grains with whole grain versions in your meals and snacks. You can also add oatmeal or quinoa to smoothies, top salads or yogurt with granola, or snack on popcorn for extra fiber.
Fish Rich In Omega-3
Eating seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to help manage the symptoms of IBS. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory which helps reduce inflammation found in the digestive tract . Eating fish also ensures you get enough protein and other vitamins and minerals that can improve digestion.
Examples of good choices include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies, and trout. You can also get omega-3s from non-fish sources such as walnuts, ground flaxseed, and chia seeds. However, if you are unable to get enough Omega-3 from natural sources, you can consider supplements like Rucir’s Omega 3
Vegetables are one of the most important foods to eat if you want to prevent IBS. Not only are they a great source of essential vitamins and minerals, but they also contain a lot of dietary fiber that helps to keep your digestive system in balance.
Eating plenty of vegetables also helps to reduce your risk of developing other illnesses like diabetes or heart disease. Vegetables are low in calories and fat, so they make a great addition to any meal. Furthermore, they’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals, so there are added benefits.
Fruits are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy, so adding them to your diet can be beneficial. Additionally, they're rich in fiber which is important for digestion. Eating fruits when you have IBS can help regulate your digestive system, as well as reduce inflammation and provide relief from symptoms like bloating or constipation.
Fruits like apples, oranges, and bananas are especially beneficial as they contain pectin which helps with digestion. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are also great for IBS sufferers as they have natural anti-inflammatory properties .
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of nutrition for those with IBS. Not only do they contain healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they also provide the body with essential amino acids. Studies have found that consuming nuts can reduce symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea associated with IBS.
Eating a handful of nuts like walnuts or almonds per day can help to reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and alleviate symptoms of IBS. Furthermore, they give you a feeling of fullness for a longer period, so you will not be snacking every now and then .
Fermented Foods are an integral part of a healthy diet, especially if you have IBS. Not only do they add flavor and texture to meals, but they can also provide probiotics that help balance your gut microflora, the bacteria that live in your digestive system.
By regularly consuming fermented foods, you can increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which helps reduce inflammation and improve your gut health. Some common fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, yogurt, and kombucha.
Green Leafy Vegetables
For individuals dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), adding leafy green vegetables into your diet can be a game changer. These vegetables are packed with dietary fiber which can aid in maintaining regular bowel movements and reducing the symptoms of IBS. Not only do they offer a low-fat, high-fiber content, but they also provide essential nutrients like Vitamin K and iron. However, remember to gradually increase your intake of greens to avoid any initial discomfort due to a sudden increase in dietary fiber.
The FODMAP diet
The FODMAP diet is a highly effective dietary intervention for managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The acronym stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols, which are all types of carbohydrates. FODMAPs can be found in many foods including wheat, milk, lentils, onions, and garlic.
The Low FODMAP Diet has been studied extensively and found to be beneficial in treating IBS, with improvements reported by up to 68% of those who follow it . The diet involves reducing the intake of certain carbohydrates which are not broken down properly in people with IBS. By reducing these FODMAPs, symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and gassiness are reduced.
Individuals with IBS should pay careful attention to the foods they consume. While some foods can trigger IBS symptoms, others can help to reduce pain and symptoms associated with the disorder. Eggs, lean meat, grains, fish rich in Omega-3s, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, fermented foods like yogurt and kefir and green leafy vegetables are some of the foods to eat if you want to prevent IBS. Additionally, adjusting your diet to adhere to the FODMAP guidelines can be a great way to help manage your IBS symptoms as well.
- Melchior C, Algera J, Colomier E, Törnblom H, Simrén M. Irritable bowel syndrome with food‐related symptoms: Future directions in the clinical management. UEG Journal 2022;10:594–600. https://doi.org/10.1002/ueg2.12265.
- Chen B, Li D, Leng D, Kui H, Bai X, Wang T. Gut microbiota and meat quality. Front Microbiol 2022;13:951726. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.951726.
- Ng QX, Soh AYS, Loke W, Lim DY, Yeo W-S. The role of inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). JIR 2018;11:345–9. https://doi.org/10.2147/JIR.S174982.
- Huang W-Y, Liu Y-M, Wang J, Wang X-N, Li C-Y. Anti-Inflammatory Effect of the Blueberry Anthocyanins Malvidin-3-Glucoside and Malvidin-3-Galactoside in Endothelial Cells. Molecules 2014;19:12827–41. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules190812827.
- Creedon AC, Hung ES, Berry SE, Whelan K. Nuts and their Effect on Gut Microbiota, Gut Function and Symptoms in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2020;12:2347. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082347.
- Bellini M, Tonarelli S, Nagy AG, Pancetti A, Costa F, Ricchiuti A, et al. Low FODMAP Diet: Evidence, Doubts, and Hopes. Nutrients 2020;12:148. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010148.