6 Foods To Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Some foods contain nutrients that are beneficial for controlling the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Are you interested in knowing what they are? Here we detail some options.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and debilitating gastrointestinal disorder that affects about 14% of the world’s population. Its symptoms include abdominal pain, straining, myalgia, bloating, and feelings of serious illness.

According to information published in Gastroenterology & Hepatology,  its cause remains unknown, but it involves factors such as infection, inflammation, medications, and stress. Also, some patients report that symptoms can be made worse by certain foods.

On the contrary, there are also some foods whose properties help to calm the symptoms of this condition. While it is best to consult a nutritionist for a more detailed and complete diet, in general, consuming these options is beneficial.

What to eat for irritable bowel syndrome?

A publication in the World Journal of Gastroenterology medical journal states that research on the role of diet in irritable bowel syndrome has made it possible to recognize its role in treating the disease. In this sense, it is recommended:

  • Limit alcoholic beverages: 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men.
  • Limit Caffeine Intake – You should limit yourself to 400 mg of caffeine per day.
  • Moderate or avoid the consumption of spicy foods, especially if it is observed that the symptoms worsen after ingestion.
  • Moderate fat intake: IBS patients should limit fat intake to no more than 40-50g per day.
  • Consume dietary fiber: in moderate amounts, preferably from sources such as flax seeds, oats, nuts, and whole grains.
  • A low-lactose diet: a trial period with a low-lactose diet is advised to determine if there is an improvement in symptoms.

Now, as we already mentioned, there are some foods whose composition is favorable for people who suffer from this condition. They are not curative or anything like that, but they serve as adjuvants against the symptoms of this disorder. Discover them!

1. Avocado

Avocado is one of the recommended foods to promote digestive function. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal , this food contains dietary fiber, monounsaturated fatty acids, nutrients and phytochemicals that improve the quality of the diet.

In fact, thanks to this composition, its consumption favors the balance of the intestinal microbiota and reduces the risk of metabolic diseases. Therefore, it not only favors the health of patients with irritable bowel syndrome, but also reduces some risk factors that are associated with the complications of this disorder. 

What to eat for irritable bowel syndrome?

2. Kefir

The consumption of kefir has interesting effects for patients are irritable bowel syndrome. Being a probiotic food, it provides beneficial bacteria for the intestinal microbiota, as detailed in research published in 2018 in the journal Nutrients .

This is quite positive, as a healthy microbiota strengthens the functions of the immune system and helps reduce inflammation. This, together, helps control irritable bowel symptoms.

Furthermore, as a study published in the Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology concludes , regular consumption of kefir improves the quality of life of patients with symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

3. Almonds

Consuming a moderate serving of almonds can be helpful in calming hunger in times of anxiety. According to research published in the journal Nutrients , its intake is a good option to quench hunger between meals without the risk of gaining weight.

However, as detailed in a systematic review published in 2017 in the same journal, almonds contain potassium and magnesium, as well as fiber and fatty acids. Due to this, its consumption favors the health of patients with irritable bowel syndrome. 


4. Salmon

Salmon, like other varieties of oily fish, contributes to improving health due to its content of omega 3 fatty acids and high quality proteins. Some studies, such as one published in the Annals of Gastroenterology , suggest that omega 3 may help reduce inflammation in people with irritable bowel.

And although there is still a lack of evidence to corroborate this relationship, for now it is recommended that they not be lacking in the diet of people with this disease. Eating 2 or 3 servings of salmon a week is the best option.

5. Oats

Due to its content of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids, oats are considered one of the most complete cereals. In particular, it provides slow-burning carbohydrates that help prolong the feeling of fullness, in addition to facilitating digestion.

It is also considered a prebiotic food, as it serves as food for healthy bacteria in the intestine. In this way, it protects the intestinal microbiota, stimulates peristaltic movements and reduces constipation.


6. Bananas

This fruit (like apple and papaya) can be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome. It has many properties due to its content of potassium, magnesium and B vitamins.

In addition, as detailed in a publication in Food Chemistry , it provides several bioactive compounds, such as phenolics, carotenoids, biogenic amines and phytosterols, that promote health.

Foods for irritable bowel syndrome: what to remember?

Food for people with irritable bowel syndrome should be considered a supplement, within the framework of a healthy and varied diet. By themselves they are not a cure for this disease, nor are they a first-line treatment.

In case of suffering from this problem, medical checks are essential. The professional will be the one to determine which is the best treatment, according to the individual characteristics of each person.

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