Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex disorder, which consists of a wide range of physical ailments and symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and indigestion. It occurs due to faulty eating habits. Excessive intake of fatty foods, low fibre, inadequate intake of fruits and veggies and lactose intolerance can all lead to the condition called as irritable bowel syndrome.The disorder can play havoc with a person’s health leading to other body complications especially if it becomes chronic. The good news is that it can be easily overcome with dietary modifications and consumption of certain foods in the diet.
Diet Tips for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Adequate Fluid Intake
One thing, which all patients should start with and imbibe, is to have an adequate fluid intake. The lack of water in the body can lead to a host of problems like bloating, constipation and water retention. By having enough water you will ensure that, the stomach functions smoothly and you have a regular bowel movement. Having water is one of the best ways to get rid of constipation.
Eat Smaller Meals
Having three large meals all of which are high on fat can aggravate the problem of irritable bowel syndrome. Patients would fare will if they spread out their eating to include three small meals and two snacks. This would also keep them from feeling hungry too soon. Chew and relish your food. Eat slowly to prevent bloating and indigestion which occurs when you eat too quickly.
Take More of Fibre
You need to start eating a diet that is high on fibre. Take plenty of fruits like apples, pears, guavas, watermelon and melon, as these are fibrous fruits.If you have diarrhea, you can consider eating bananas as these help to solidify the stools. Fruits are a great way to add fibre to the diet and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Identify Food Allergies
Your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms could actually be an adverse reaction to certain food allergies that you may have developed over a period of time. Lactose intolerance is one of the top food allergies that causes massive IBS like symptoms. If milk and milk products are the triggers, then you need to avoid them at all costs. Stick to non-dairy foods and find alternative substitutes for your milk cravings.
The BRAT diet
The BRAT diet which is usually recommended for pregnant women suffering from acute nausea also works exceedingly well for women who suffer from IBS. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These are all starchy foods that are not too harsh on the stomach and actually help to alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. You can consume the BRAT diet for a few days and see if it helps you in any way.
Low Fat Foods
Start eating low fat foods that have very little fat, grease or oil. You can opt for healthy soups and smoothies, which are ideal snack and dinner options for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.Eat side dishes like fish, chicken and lean cuts of beef, which are cooked in minimal oil. Have these along with a large serving of sautéed or steamed vegetables. This ensures that you get a wholesome and balanced diet.
Do not Eat Spicy Foods
Certain spicy foods like chillies and peppers can add to the symptomatic discomfort felt in cases of IBS. Patients then need to make a concerted effort to stay away from such foods at all costs. Spicy and fatty food can also lead to air, gassiness and bloating.
Getting Rid of Flatulence Causing Foods
Do not eat foods that cause excessive flatulence. These include cabbage, cauliflower and beans all of which are the biggest culprits. Cruciferous veggies should be abstained from at all costs.
Good Meal Options
It is important to remember that a healthy digestive tract can be attained if you start you day with a healthy breakfast option. This includes foods like porridge, muesli, whole grain toast with fruit or diluted tea. Lunch should contain a whole-wheat sandwich with low fat yoghurt and fresh fruit juice.Your one main meal can include a big serving of tuna along with boiled potatoes or grilled veggies that will adequately fulfil your fibre requirements. Stick to trail mix, digestive biscuits or fruit as snack options. You can have small servings of nuts like almonds as long as they do not irritate your stomach.
Avoid Dangerous Fats
There are certain foods, which fall in the category of being labelled as the dangerous fats. These include foods like pizzas, margarine, butter, pastries, cookies, deep-fried foods like French fries and battered fish all of which form an integral part of the American diet.These foods can irritate your alimentary canal and digestive tract and lead to symptoms like heartburn, bloating and flatulence so it is a good idea to stay away from such foods.
Make sure you eat your meals in a relaxed and calm atmosphere. Take out at least 20 minutes to half an hour to eat your meals. Chew your food slowly and enjoy every morsel. This technique goes a long way in preventing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Keep a Food Diary
Keeping a food diary will help you to make healthy food choices and eliminate foods that are causing or aggravating the symptoms of IBS. Make sure you maintain the food diary on a regular basis as this will help you to chalk out a detailed food map for yourself and eat only healthy foods.
Stress is a big triggering factor for IBS. Make sure you avoid stress like the plague. Stay relaxed, calm and happy at all times. Keep a healthy work life balance and take out time for leisurely and creative pursuits that are stress busting. Avoiding stress will help you enjoy a healthier and more productive life besides alleviating your symptoms.With the above diet tips, you can easily overcome and manage irritable bowel syndrome and suffer from fewer symptoms. There is no cure for it so the best thing to do is to manage the disorder with diet and lifestyle tips.