Read any magazine or blog. They all say that a healthy diet starts with a good, healthy breakfast. This will vary from country to country, but it usually involves some sort of fresh fruit, dairy and bread.
For IBS sufferers, finding a good breakfast to start the day can be daunting.
This is one example where you really need to listen to your body.
Do you find that an hour or so after breakfast you are very tired? Or bloated? If so, you need to change what you are eating and drinking.
Cereal with milk?
When I was a kid I used to be given a bowl of cereal with milk and a glass of orange juice. Trouble was, as healthy as that may seem, it wasn’t for me – and I spent all day tired, trying to digest it.
Why? Processed cereals have a large amount of sugar in them, as well as gluten. The fiber in them would irritate my bowels, and the lactose in the milk I could not digest properly. I didn’t know why at that time, but my tastebuds did not attract me to cereal and milk. I naturally preferred toast and just a glass of water.
A drink at room temperature or a warm drink is generally better tolerated than chilled. It is closer to your body temperature and less of a shock to your sensitive stomach first thing.
Beware of processed orange juice. Chilled ready-to-drink orange juice may seem fast and healthy – but it has a lot of sugar in it too, often with some preservatives and artificial vitamins. I personally find these substances very difficult to digest and avoid them when I can. Buying fresh oranges and squeezing them is much better for you all round. Squeezing them takes out the fiber that can cause you trouble.
Tip: To get all the benefits, don’t leave your orange juice hanging around on the breakfast table. Squeeze, then drink it. Vitamin C is very volatile. After 30 minutes all the vitamin C has evaporated, so don’t prepare it too much in advance.
Also, have just a small glass. Adverts have conditioned us to thinking that we need a big glass of juice, but this will probably overload your digestion. One squeezed orange is sufficient.
If you find that like me you can’t digest even natural orange juice at breakfast, try a small glass later in the day. Vary the amount you drink to see what suits you best.
Let your body take the lead
Ever since I have listened to my body and kept away from foods that I did not fancy eating I have felt much better. I have found that in the morning I can stomach few things. So I personally have just a glass of water with a piece of toast, butter and a little drop of jam (I can’t digest honey). I sometimes have a boiled egg too, but not if I’m in a rush. If you have gluten intolerance, then protein can be the answer.
Don’t force yourself to eat breakfast.
There is pressure to eat a big “healthy” breakfast to start the day. But this just may not be for you. Maybe you are just not hungry first thing. If you are still digesting last night’s meal, your stomach doesn’t not need to you send down more food before it is ready.
Starting the day with food triggers is not a good option, even if it may seem healthy.
Try making slow changes to your breakfast to see what suits you best. Vary the content and the size of portions and see what works for you and when.
Your body knows what is best for it. Listen to your body – instead of the media.
Photo credit: Original photo by Images BG via Pixabay, reworked using Canva3