IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome refers to a common disorder that affects the large intestine. The most common symptoms of this disorder are abdominal pains, cramps, bloating, gas, and constipation or diarrhea. Although the symptoms can be severe, it affects only a few people. It is possible to control the symptoms easily through a well-managed diet, stress-relieving practices, and lifestyle changes.
What triggers IBS?
Once you learn to identify factors that aggravate the symptoms of IBS, you will learn how to handle these triggers to prevent flare-ups. Firstly, you need to make a proper diet plan so that you can work on problems like belly pains, gas and associated bloating, and constipation and diarrhea.
- Symptoms are usually triggered because of specific foods. Curbing food allergies and food intolerance are a major part of IBS treatment. However, IBS occurs when you eat or drink specific foods or drinks like wheat products, dairy products, milk, carbonated sodas, cabbage, and citrus fruits.
- IBS symptoms can also be aggravated because of high-stress levels; stress alone cannot cause IBS.
- Hormones often play a part in triggering the symptoms. For instance, the symptoms are likely to become worse when women have periods.
Foods that can help with IBS:
- Lean meats are easily digestible. So, you can choose to include white meat like chicken and turkey, lean beef cuts, and pork to your diet. It is best to avoid dark-colored turkey and chicken meats.
- Eggs are usually easy to digest and are considered safe for people with IBS. They can be consumed when they are boiled, poached, scrambled, or soft-boiled.
- Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in your body. This helps with the symptoms of IBS. Some examples are herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel, rainbow trouts, anchovies, etc.
- Vegetables are good for gut health. Earlier, people with IBS avoided vegetables as they thought it would aggravate the symptoms. However, the intake of vegetables reduces bloating and gas. Moreover, it is safer to consume vegetables after they have been cooked instead of eating them raw. For example, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, carrots, broccoli, parsley, green beans, eggplant, fennel, potato, squash, tomato, turnip, water chestnut, and zucchini.
- Green leafy vegetables can be beneficial for gut health as they are loaded with nutrients and do not cause gut fermentation. Add them to your daily meals in the form of salads or cook them to ensure that your body does not react. These include collard greens, arugula, kale, lettuce, spinach, common cabbage, etc.
- Some fruits are also highly nutrient-rich and are great for stomach health. However, you must not eat too many fruits at a time when you have IBS. Good fruit choices include bananas, blueberries, lemons, grapes, cantaloupe, kiwi, olive, orange, pineapple, strawberries, and rhubarb.
- Nuts are excellent sources of proteins, fibers, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, etc, can keep you satiated for longer hours. Additionally, chia and flax seeds are beneficial for people suffering from IBS.
- Fermented foods have probiotics and are good for IBS. Some of these are kefir, kombucha, yogurts, bone broth, etc.
While some foods help people with IBS, each individual’s body is different. It is always advised to visit a doctor before you start a diet.