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What Foods to Eat for IBS


Updated June 20, 2014

Woman looking into a refrigerator
Photo: AMV Photo

It is common to wonder what to eat when you have IBS. Since no two bodies are the same, there is no one-size-fits-all IBS diet. However, with some basic information about how your body works and what your body needs, you can begin to develop a diet that maximizes your chances of easing your IBS symptoms. This comprehensive guide as to all aspects of the relationship between food and your digestive system will turn you into an IBS diet expert and help you to make the healthiest food choices for your body.

Food Allergies, Intolerance and Sensitivities

A good place to start is to make sure that you are not suffering from a food allergy or intolerance and to identify any food sensitivities.

Many people get confused by the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. The basic difference is that a food allergy triggers an immune system response, while an intolerance is due to an inability for the GI system to digest a particular food.  Food sensitivities are less understood as it is not known for sure as to why some people have problems with certain foods.  The following articles will leave you well-informed on the topic of food allergies, intolerance and sensitivities:

Low FODMAPs Diet

The low FODMAPs diet is the only diet that has considerable research support for its effectiveness for IBS.  Ideally, the diet should be followed under the guidance of a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting adequate nutrition.


Tips for Eating for IBS

Although IBS can manifest itself in markedly different ways for each individual sufferer, there are some guidelines that can be applied to all. The following articles cover the basics.

Although most IBS patients worry about what to eat, how you are eating can also serve to help or worsen your IBS symptoms. Learn some simple changes that you can make depending on your specific digestive symptoms:

Certain foods have a reputation for being particularly difficult on digestive systems. If your IBS is acting up, these would be the foods to avoid until your system has calmed down:

Recipes for IBS

You may love to cook, but have been fearful due to not wanting to set off your IBS. Fear no more - the following two articles will point your way to a wide variety of nutritious, IBS-friendly recipes.

Low fat cooking is a natural fit for IBS. You will love these nutritious options including breakfast favorites, soothing soups, nutritious side dishes, and chicken, fish and vegetarian main dishes:

Many IBS sufferers have found that their symptoms have improved when they followed a low carb diet. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of low carb recipes, each hand-selected to be IBS-friendly.

Eating for Diarrhea

The urgency and disruptive nature of diarrhea often seems to prompt a desperate scramble for safe foods. The next group of articles will teach you what to eat, how to eat, and what not to eat when you have diarrhea.

Certain foods lend themselves to a feeling of comfort when your system is acting up. This is where the old-fashioned BRAT diet is the most helpful.

If you are suffering from diarrhea, the last thing you want to do is to eat something that is going to make you feel worse. Here are the foods you should avoid when you have diarrhea:

Here you will learn some quick tips for eating in a way that is calming to your system:

Sometimes the best solutions come from those who are on the front lines. Learn what others eat and what foods they avoid when they are suffering from diarrhea:

It can be a little worrisome to start to eat again after a bad bout of diarrhea for fear of setting off symptoms all over again. Here are some safer foods to turn to when you are recovering:

Eating for Constipation

I know, you’ve heard it before – to ease constipation you need to eat more fiber. Fiber is important in easing constipation, so it’s important to learn how to incorporate high fiber foods into your daily diet. But, fiber isn't the whole story - the following articles will help you to make the best food choices you can to help to ease your constipation problem.

Here you will find a variety of foods that are thought to be helpful in easing constipation:

It’s not all about what you eat. How you eat can also affect the movement of your bowels. Learn some quick tips for eating in a way that helps your system to get going:

Find out what foods other people turn to and what foods they avoid when they need to ease constipation:

Fiber is important, but adding fiber to your diet doesn't have to be a complicated process. Here are some simple, everyday guidelines for increasing your fiber intake:

Eating for Gas and Bloating

If you frequently suffer from gas and bloating, you might want to take a closer look at your eating habits as well as the foods that you are eating. These articles will help:

IBS Diet Toolkit

Regardless of your primary IBS symptom, it is important to make sure that you have the best tools in your kit as you evaluate your relationship with food. In order to become an expert on your own personal IBS diet, you will need to know how to keep a food diary and how to follow an elimination diet. The next two articles will provide you with easy step-by-step instructions.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment rendered by a licensed physician. It is essential that you discuss with your doctor any symptoms or medical problems that you may be experiencing.

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