Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS for short, can be an embarrassing and often crippling gut disorder. It’s more common for those under the age of 45 and strikes twice as many women than it does men. There is neither a known cause nor cure and symptoms vary between sufferers. The most common ailments include abdominal pain, gas, bloating and a whole lot of bathroom discomfort. Instead of putting that decoy whoopee cushion in your Amazon basket though, read on about 5 Foods IBS Sufferers Should Avoid and learn about what not to eat to minimize the discomfort and get back to eating without worry!
I know, relax. If you are anything like me and need this elixir to ensure that you are safe to unleash into society, I’m not saying let the world face a caffeine-free you. The issue here is with the caffeine itself, so if you are hooked on the filtered stuff (140mg caffeine), it’s worth downgrading to instant (100 mg) or, if you can brave it, tea is your best option with only 24 mg caffeine per cup. Strong mint tea is also your ally in terms of easing symptoms, just be careful if you are prone to stomach acidity (try fennel or chamomile instead).
For IBS sufferers an apple a day only works to keep your friends away, as the high fructose levels aren’t easily absorbed by the bowel and can cause quite a trumpet solo as well as bloating and diarrhea. Instead go for fruits like banana, citrus fruits or berries. Try also limiting your fruit intake to three portions a day and avoid concentrated fruit juices.
If only I knew this when I was being force-fed these green trees when I was six! Other cruciferous veggies on the no-go list include cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. Instead go for cramp-free alternatives like eggplant, green beans, spinach, or zucchini.
4. Baked beans
Beans, beans the musical fruit. Although legumes and beans are a great source of protein and fibre, put a bunch of us IBS sufferers together and we really could make up an orchestra. Baked Beans, chickpeas and lentils all contain indigestible saccharides and so should be substituted where possible for rice, oats, polenta, or quinoa.
I’m not trying to be the fun police here, but fried food is really not your friend – IBS or not! Fatty and processed foods are hard to digest and contain resistant starches which aren’t digested properly until they hit our gut. My replacement here is simple – eat fresh food and unsaturated fats! This doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your comfort favourites, just smarter choices. Use coconut oil instead of butter when cooking and nuts and avocado as healthy snack options.
So there you have it, a short list to aid a gas-free gut. Remember though reducing the cramps and wind is not just about ridding the culinary culprits but also about healthy lifestyle changes.