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What should you eat to help you prevent painful symptoms when you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Knowing what NOT to eat is just as important as learning what to eat with IBS.

So here are some tips…

1) Eat soluble fiber foods. Soluble fiber soothes your intestines whether you have IBS with constipation or diarrhea. These foods include:
bananas, avocado,
peeled apples,
mango and papaya,
white rice, rice pasta,
white bread,
oats, barley, buckwheat
quinoa,
mushrooms,
chestnuts,
winter squash, pumpkin,
most root vegetables,
potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes.

2) Eat soluble fibre foods BEFORE you eat other foods. So eat your parsnips or squash or whatever first, before you eat your chicken and salad (if you tolerate salad.)

3) Avoid dairy. I know, I know, everyone gets all freaked out about this because dairy products taste good and we’ve all been brainwashed to believe that if you don’t eat them, you’ll end up with osteoporosis. NOT true! A study of 78,000 women by Harvard University showed that the dairy-consumers had MORE fracture risk.

But back to digestion and what to eat with IBS. Milk products are the TOP problem food when you have digestive trouble. Even if you’re not lactose intolerant, the protein in milk can cause you pain, gas and spasms. Ouch!

There’s a theory that the reason dairy is the top problem food is because of pasteurizing. This basically means cooking it until it’s dead. So that kills off all the natural enzymes in dairy that would help you digest it. In countries where they don’t pasteurize milk, they apparently don’t have IBS either.

BTW, I’m sure you already know this, but eggs are not dairy. Only milk from cows, goats and sheep counts as dairy products. So, cheese, ice cream, milk chocolate, yogurt, kefir, whipping cream and anything else that contains milk or cream.

4) Are fats and oils part of what to eat with IBS? Absolutely. You need some essential fatty acids or your body won’t work properly. (Neither will your brain.) Omega 3’s are destroyed by cooking and processing. You can get your omegas from ground flax seed or soaked chia and then you get the soluble fiber benefits too.

Otherwise, go light on eating fatty foods, especially if you have diarrhea. Dr. D.S. Khalsa says that fat – especially animal fat – makes the colon contract because of a hormone called cholecystokin.

So if you’re prone to spasms in the gut, watch out for fatty foods like bacon, hamburgers, scalloped potatoes, etc. Deep-fried fats are especially challenging for your body to digest so avoid the French fries, tempura, and batter-fried anything.

5) Eat fruit alone, not with other foods. Fruit goes through your system fast because it’s mostly water and natural sugar (and a few vitamins.) If you eat it after a meal, as dessert, you’re asking for gas and bloating because it will tend to ferment the food you’ve already eaten.

So eat fruit either 30 minutes before a meal, or 2 hours afterwards. Bananas may be an exception to this because they contain a lot of starch. You may be okay mixing them with starchy foods like oatmeal but definitely do NOT mix acid fruits like strawberries with cereal or other starchy carbos unless you want explosions.

More help for IBS:

Hi. We are Karen Alison and Kathy Raymond and we help people self-heal their IBS naturally, with a doctor-recommended method that addresses the least-recognized aspect of this hellish condition – the way the brain triggers uncontrollable symptoms in the gut.

IBS is a lot like having PTSD (also once believed to be untreatable) because of the way your autonomic nervous system is triggered to produce symptoms. But, in a few short sessions, you can learn how to retrain your brain so you shut down the neural pathways that lead straight to diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and anxiety.

If you don’t deal with this underlying root cause of your problem, you’ll have to spend the rest of your life at the mercy of your Irritable Bowel… and it usually gets worse.

But you can make it stop NOW. Just click on this link for more information and follow the instructions to access the program.


By the way, there's more great information about food and IBS in our special report "Unlocking the Mystery of IBS." Along with that you'll get insider details about the top 5 triggers of IBS... including the one thing nobody has told you that is likely keeping you from getting better - and how to deal with it to resolve your symptoms. Simply put your email address in the box on the right for instant access to this special IBS information.

We'd love to hear more about your experience of eating with IBS or your favourite IBS recipes. Leave a comment below - first name only (your email will not show) and click on the Share button to share this article with your friends.

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Comments (35)

  1. Karen of No IBS

Hi Tracey,
Have you tried enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules for the IBS-D? The enteric coating keeps them from dissolving in your stomach. Instead, they go to your intestines, where they help with diarrhea and digestive problems in general.

...

Hi Tracey,
Have you tried enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules for the IBS-D? The enteric coating keeps them from dissolving in your stomach. Instead, they go to your intestines, where they help with diarrhea and digestive problems in general.

Just a thought.

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  1. tracey

thanks for this site lots of great information I have had IBS c+D more D for 5 years now. have found eggs, uncooked apples have affect on my stomach. I had campylobacter over 5 years ago. get spasams fever feeling sick that ...

thanks for this site lots of great information I have had IBS c+D more D for 5 years now. have found eggs, uncooked apples have affect on my stomach. I had campylobacter over 5 years ago. get spasams fever feeling sick that disappears after i have been to toilet.

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  1. Shannon

Look forward to seeing new info.

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  1. Karen of No IBS

Hi Annita,
If you request the free report (see top of page on the right), you will receive all our news about IBS.

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  1. Annita Hadjivassili

Please keep me informed on any news you have regarding IBS

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  1. Karen of No IBS

Hi Shannon,
A couple of things come to mind. One is that according to Dr. Robert Scaer, fibromyalgia has a trauma link, so it may help you to use some EFT tapping on the urgency or D. Please see our post

Hi Shannon,
A couple of things come to mind. One is that according to Dr. Robert Scaer, fibromyalgia has a trauma link, so it may help you to use some EFT tapping on the urgency or D. Please see our post
http://www.no-ibs.com/blog/running-back-to-the-bathroom-when-leaving-the-house-nervous-stomach.html

Another thought is that peppermint oil capsules often help with IBS symptoms. The capsules (as opposed to tea) get to the intestines relatively undigested where they have a chance to break down and release their contents to soothe your digestive tract.

You might also try eating some soluble fibre foods or taking a soluble fiber supplement before bed, which can help with D.

Are you eating fatty foods in the evening? Fat triggers a hormone in the digestive tract that stimulates contractions of the intestines, which might be causing your symptoms. Also, if you've had your gall bladder out, it may be harder to process fats. Perhaps a good digestive enzyme containing bile (to break down fats) would help.

Hope that helps.

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  1. shannon

I have fibromyalgia and have recently had problems with IBS-D. I have yet to determine the trigger foods as it sends like it's different each time. I do know v is worse in the morning. .....I can go 3 or 4 times one right after another and...

I have fibromyalgia and have recently had problems with IBS-D. I have yet to determine the trigger foods as it sends like it's different each time. I do know v is worse in the morning. .....I can go 3 or 4 times one right after another and then be ok for the rest of the day. It comes on fast with the tummy rumbles and I better find a bathroom real fast. I'm unsure if my fibro triggers my ibs or vice versa but it's very discouraging! Some I had my gull bladder out 10 years ago I always had a loose still in the am.... but in the last 6 months its gotten much worse. ..... any suggestions? ? Thank you!

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  1. Karen of No IBS

Hi Diane,
I wish there was a one-size-fits-all diet for people with IBS, but unfortunately, there isn't. I have trouble with pineapple, too, perhaps because it is rather acidic. If you have bacteria in the small intestine, the sugars in pineapple...

Hi Diane,
I wish there was a one-size-fits-all diet for people with IBS, but unfortunately, there isn't. I have trouble with pineapple, too, perhaps because it is rather acidic. If you have bacteria in the small intestine, the sugars in pineapple will feed that bacteria and potentially cause problems. Fruit sugars are often difficult for IBS people. (see Sue Shepherd's site about FODMAPS)

Sometimes it helps to puree greens or cook them well. I know we're always told to eat our veggies raw, but plants contain substances like phytates and insoluble fiber that make them difficult to digest in the raw state. When you break them down more with cooking and pureeing, they may be easier for you to digest.

As for beef, every body is different - some thrive on it, some can't eat it. It may be the type of beef, too. Perhaps you are reacting to something in the beef, such as antibiotics that were given to the beef cattle. Organic, grass-fed or pastured beef is considered the best but it can be expensive and not always easy to find.

Something else that has helped our clients is using EFT tapping to reduce the stress around food and eating generally. There's lots of info on this site about tapping, or you can check out our ebook for IBS on the products page. http://www.no-ibs.com/products-for-ibs-relief.html

Hope that helps!

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  1. Diane

I'm kind of confused on soluable and insoluble fiber/ foods.. What it says I can eat without any problems with my stomach is not true for me. I had some pineapple one day on an empty stomach and later on in the day my stomach got really sick and...

I'm kind of confused on soluable and insoluble fiber/ foods.. What it says I can eat without any problems with my stomach is not true for me. I had some pineapple one day on an empty stomach and later on in the day my stomach got really sick and bad stomach cramps.. I've read to eat it on an empty stomach,.. Not for me.. I also can't eat beef and a lot of greens and certain spices... Any suggestions for an easy digestion???

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  1. Debbie

I'm am new to learning what to eat and what not to eat since I have been diagnosed with IBS. I would appreciate some great recipes to get me started. Thanks. God bless You.

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