It is so easy for food to become enemy #1 (and I’m not someone who has just studied this – I lived it for years). And mealtimes can become so stressful. So, what is best to eat with IBS?
Eat what you digest the best
Above everything else, with IBS it is best to eat what you digest the best. Continuing to eat food that you know you can’t tolerate on a regular basis is a no-no. It will just set you up to lose.
However there may be an underlying reason why you can’t digest your favourite food anymore, so it would be wise to check this out.
But be nice to yourself too!
It IS hard having IBS, and feeling regularly deprived. I know would crave something every once in a while, or give myself what I wanted after a hard day at work.
We’re only human and that garlic bread can smell so enticing! So let yourself off the hook if you indulge – and wish you hadn’t.
And put whatever you fancied on a list of things you’re going to shamelessly tuck into when you’ve beaten IBS.
“What!” I hear you say, because that may sound impossible right now…. I’m living proof it is possible.
And I believe it’s possible for you to. Which makes all this temporary, and a little easier to bear:)
Don’t force your body to eat “healthy” food
So you’ve heard that you need to have 5 fruit or veg per day to be healthy.
But you have a hard time digesting them.
By all means keep your diet as varied as you possibly can (and yes I know that with IBS, you may have very limited choices).
At the same time, don’t go force feeding yourself foods that your digestion cannot handle – in the name of “health”.
It is best to eat what you digest (or what you digest the best). No forcing!
Sometimes the foods we digest the best with IBS aren’t particularly healthy.
For example, my go-to used to be French fries with bolognaise sauce and a glass of Diet Coke!
I don’t suggest having something like that for every meal, but when your body needs soothing, soothe it!
If you’re intolerant to a lot of foods
Many IBS sufferers are in this case, and find it increasingly difficult to find foods they digest.
For extra clues, read my article on food intolerance. It was liked on Twitter by a registered dietitian..
If you’re trying a food you are not used to having, start off with a very small portion with other foods you know you digest the best. Have it just once in the space of a week, and see how you feel.
Get some taste in there!
Nothing is worse for morale than consuming the same bland foods day in, day out.
With IBS it is best to eat food that is as tasty as you can make them, without sabotaging digestion.
Try garlic-infused oil
A majority of IBS sufferers don’t digest garlic, which is a shame because it boosts digestion – and gives food taste.
Instead of straight garlic, try using a garlic-infused oil: oil that has garlic in the bottle, where you get the flavor, but not the garlic.
If you want to make sure there are no preservatives, just add a few garlic cloves to a bottle of olive oil, and dribble onto food at the end of cooking (olive oil is not suitable for frying).
Lemon can be a great ally. If you use an organic lemon, you can use the juice and the zest to give your food some zing.
Use IBS-friendly herbs
There are some tasty herbs that are also good for digestion.
I put rosemary in some dauphinoise potatoes, and it was surprisingly good.
You may not know how to use herbs in cooking – but you can learn.
The best thing is to have them around, because you’ll be more likely to use them.2