Those diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS are usually so caught up in learning and avoiding IBS triggers that they often overlook the need to know which foods are actually good for them. The real challenge is in knowing which foods can help you ease the symptoms and make IBS better instead of focusing on foods that will not make the condition worse than it already is.
Here are the top foods to eat to alleviate symptoms of IBS:
1. Lean meat
Lean meats are rich sources of proteins, and these are easy to digest. Since the bacteria in the stomach cannot ferment them, they do not produce unwanted gas or bloating. So, people with IBS can safely consider white meat chicken or turkey, lean beef cuts, and pork as IBS foods to eat. The fatty cuts, however, will have unhealthy toxins and pro-inflammatory fats; so, it is best to avoid dark-colored meats.
2. Fatty fish
Oily fish like salmon or mackerel fight inflammation in the body, which helps ease IBS symptoms. So, eating omega-3 rich fatty fish like black cod, anchovy, rainbow trout, sardines, herring, etc., can be an excellent dietary choice.
These are easy to digest and are believed to be safe for IBS patients; you can eat scrambled, boiled, or poached eggs. However, some people with IBS have been seen to have a sensitivity to egg whites while the yolk often causes discomfort for some others. So, it is best to try eggs first a few times before you add them to your daily diet.
4. Low-FODMAP veggies
While many IBS patients have traditionally avoided vegetables as these cause gas and bloating, the truth is veggies can promote gut bacteria and in this sense can ease IBS symptoms. However, it is recommended that you eliminate gas-causing vegetables and stick to eggplant, broccoli, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, parsnip, potato, tomato, water chestnut, etc. It is also advisable to opt for cooked vegetables rather than consuming them raw.
5. Leafy greens
Your stomach bacteria can grow better when you eat more dark green leafy vegetables. They are nutritious and will not trigger gut fermentation. If you can eat these raw you may add it to your daily salads and smoothies. If so, you can always get them cooked with garlic-infused olive oil. The best options are common cabbage, collard greens, bok choy, lettuce, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.
6. Low FODMAP fruits
Certain fruits are good for gut bacteria and therefore, beneficial for you if you have IBS. However, it is best to try these out one by one as some IBS patients may not be able to digest them as well as others. The best choices are grapes, cantaloupe, banana, blueberries, avocado, lemon, kiwi, papaya, orange, olives, pineapple, raspberries, etc.
They are excellent sources of proteins and fiber and can fight inflammation being rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nats have healthy unsaturated fats, and this can reduce cholesterol. Moreover, this healthy fat is believed to be good for the gut bacteria and is therefore included in the list of IBS-friendly foods.