Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods is a key component of a healthy diet. However, those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may find that some meals make their symptoms worse. People with IBS frequently have gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming certain meals, and what may cause symptoms in one person may not cause symptoms in another.
Food is a strong weapon to have in your health toolbox, and the right guide can support you in developing a plan that works for you and that suits your lifestyle. This could involve fostering a positive relationship with food, enhancing confidence when making food choices at home and outside, encouraging the consumption of nutritional foods that won’t aggravate gut problems, avoiding unnecessary food limitations, and handling any food-related anxieties.
People dealing with IBS can employ dietary and lifestyle modifications to manage their gastrointestinal symptoms better and enhance their quality of life and improve their digestive health. Having said that, there are different diet options that tend to provide relief to the various IBS syndromes.
The typical approach to treatment is to stick to a regular meal schedule while limiting your intake of insoluble fibre, alcohol, caffeine, spicy and fatty foods. Regular exercise and staying hydrated are also required and can help ease the discomfort.
We reached out to Dr. Archana Batra, Dietitian, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist and Diabetes Educator, and asked her to share some foods and diets that help relieve IBS symptoms. Read on to know all that she shared!
1. Consume Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are difficult to digest in the intestines. These carbohydrates draw more water into the intestine and create gas, resulting in bloating, discomfort, and diarrhoea after consuming them.
The acronym stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. You can eat the following low FODMAP foods on this diet: Lactose-free milk or alternatives such as rice or almond milk; fruits such as oranges, blueberries, strawberries, and grapes, eggs; vegetables such as carrots, eggplant, green beans, pumpkin, and zucchini, rice or quinoa.
2. Include Probiotics In Your Meals
Probiotics are the live bacteria or yeast found in some meals and supplements. They work to promote a balanced, healthy gut flora, and are secure. They also help in inhibiting the growth of disease-causing bacteria and help fight against inflammation.
Probiotics may be used to treat and manage IBS efficiently. They have the ability to target a few specific symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and gas, diarrhoea, constipation, etc., hence providing comfort against them. Prebiotic inulin is found to decrease bloating, the feeling of fullness and constipation. These probiotics lead to improved consistency and more frequent bowel motions during treatment.
Foods like yoghurt, tempeh, kombucha, buttermilk, etc. are rich in probiotics.
3. Try A Gluten-Free Diet
Gluten is a protein present in grains like bread and pasta. In people who are gluten-intolerant, the protein can cause intestinal damage. Some people who are gluten-sensitive or intolerant also have IBS. In such cases, a gluten-free diet may help alleviate symptoms.
Remove barley, rye and wheat from your diet to see if your digestive issues improve. These ingredients can be found in a variety of dishes, including bread cereals, crackers, pasta sauces and beer with malt vinegar. Nowadays, gluten-free versions of your favourite products can be found in health food stores and many grocery stores.
The ideal foods to consume and avoid are usually determined by the type of IBS diet you follow and the meals you can tolerate. Before beginning a new diet, examine your symptoms and consult with your doctor. Keep an eye on how your body reacts to different diets, since you may need to change your eating habits. To get rid of IBS symptoms, it’s also vital to exercise regularly, get adequate sleep and manage stress.
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