5 Best Foods to Eat for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Written by Sophie Claessens, RD

Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can be challenging, but managing your symptoms through diet can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Read on to find out what the 5 best foods to eat for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

As a registered dietitian, I often work with individuals seeking relief from IBS symptoms through dietary changes. What my clients are often pleased to know is that adding in foods to your diet may help without the need to eliminate foods from your diet. While every person’s triggers may vary, incorporating certain foods into your diet can help alleviate discomfort and promote digestive health.

5 best foods to eat for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

1. Psyllium husk

Soluble fibre promotes regular bowel movements by creating a gel with the fluid in our stools. Psyllium husk is high in soluble fibre and works well for those who suffer with either constipation or diarrhoea symptoms1.

2. Peppermint

Peppermint is noted to be helpful to ease bloating2. Peppermint capsules are available with good research behind them and whilst peppermint tea hasn’t been researched, it too be helpful for bloating plus it’s low FODMAP and a caffeine-free option for those who find that caffeine triggers their symptoms.

3. Oats

These are also packed with soluble fibre which helps stool passage and can ease bloating3.

4. Linseeds (aka Flaxseeds)

Research has shown that 1tbsp linseeds per day can help reduce bloating and constipation. It’s important to add this into your diet gradually so I recommend starting with 1tsp per day initially and include plenty of fluids alongside4.

5. Kiwis

Did you know that 2 kiwis per day have been proven in clinical trials to help ease constipation?5 Perfect added to oats in the morning.

When to see a dietitian?

While these foods can be beneficial for managing IBS symptoms, it’s essential to listen to your body and identify your individual triggers. Keeping a food diary can help you track your symptoms and identify patterns, allowing you to make informed dietary choices. Additionally, consulting with a registered dietitian can provide personalised guidance and support to help you navigate your journey to better digestive health.

At Fresh Approach Nutrition, we treat a variety of digestive health concerns, including IBS. Book your free discovery call today to see how we can help you.

Disclaimer: This content is purely informational and should not replace professional medical advice. Please seek advice from a qualified health professional, like us or your GP, if you are concerned about your symptoms. 

References

  1. Monash University. Dietary fibre series- soluble fibre [Online]. Available: https://www.monashfodmap.com/blog/dietary-fibre-series-soluble-fibre/. [Accessed: March 6, 2024].
  2. Khanna & Levesque, 2014. Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis [online]. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24100754/. [Accessed: March 8, 2024)
  3. British Dietetic Association. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). [Online]. Available: https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs.html. [Accessed: March 6, 2024].
  4. McKenzie, Y. A., Bowyer, R. K., Leach, H., Gulia, P., Horobin, J., O’Sullivan, N. A., … & Thompson, J. (2016). British Dietetic Association systematic review and evidence‐based practice guidelines for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome in adults (2016 update). Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics29(5), 549-575.
  5. Consumption of 2 Green Kiwifruits Daily Improves Constipation and Abdominal Comfort—Results of an International Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial [Online]. Available: https://journals.lww.com/ajg/fulltext/2023/06000/consumption_of_2_green_kiwifruits_daily_improves.26.aspx (Accessed 6th March 2024)

Fresh Approach Nutrition

Our team of registered dietitians help people in Bristol and across the UK to overcome their struggles with food and to achieve their dietary goals.

We aim to cut through the confusion of dietary advice on the internet and in the media, and to give our clients the fresh approach they need to see real results.