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Soothing foods for ibs: The Best & Worst Foods for IBS

The Best & Worst Foods for IBS

It’s estimated that between 25 and 45 million people are affected by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in the United States alone, with women more likely to suffer from IBS than men. While IBS is not a serious disorder, it can affect a patient’s quality of life. Managing IBS has a lot to do with dietary and lifestyle changes. Eating the right foods and figuring out food triggers for a patient with IBS can be life-changing. Read on to learn more about IBS and some of the worst foods for IBS (and the best!). 

What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that affects the large intestine. It is a chronic condition for which there is no definitive cure, but many people with IBS find that a change in lifestyle and diet works to help keep symptoms at bay without using medication.

Irritable bowel syndrome is not a serious condition, but it can be an uncomfortable one and can affect patients’ quality of life when there is a flare-up. IBS is known as a functional GI disorder. These disorders, also known as disorders of the gut-brain interaction, are concerned with how your gut and brain interact together. The long-term outlook for IBS is good, provided the patient is compliant with diet and lifestyle changes. 

Because the gut and brain are not working properly together, this can cause sensitivity in the digestive tract, which can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea. Common symptoms of IBS include: 

  • Gas and bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation

There are also several types of IBS, depending on the symptoms you describe to your team of healthcare professionals. These include:

  1. IBS-D (IBS with diarrhea): Most of your bowel movements are watery and loose.
  2. IBS-C (IBS with constipation): Most of your bowel movements are hard and difficult to pass
  3. IBS-M (IBS with mixed bowel habits): Bowel movements vary between constipation and diarrhea, often on the same day 

If your gastroenterologist gives you an IBS diagnosis, it’s important to know what type. If it’s decided that medication is appropriate, only certain medicines will work with certain types of IBS.

IBS most commonly appears between the late teens and early 40s and is more common in women. Other risk factors include a family history of IBS, food intolerances, stress and anxiety, or a history of sexual or physical abuse. 

Triggers for IBS are different for every individual. Those who eat the worst foods for IBS, such as high-FODMAP food, will likely have more flare-ups than those who are paying more attention to their triggers. Eating the right foods for IBS is imperative to help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Elimination diets can help identify triggers. Patients may also want to adopt a gluten-free diet or lactose-free diet to monitor changes.

Diagnosis for IBS may require several different things. First, your physician will give you a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Then, you will discuss your symptoms with your physician. Because IBS symptoms and symptoms of more serious gastrointestinal disorders or similar, your doctor may want to order other tests to rule out other conditions. These may include X-rays, blood tests, and stool samples. 

Depending on your symptoms, your gastroenterologist may order a colonoscopy. This diagnostic test can help diagnose colorectal cancer as well as many other diseases of the large intestine. While you do have to prep for the test by emptying your bowels, the test itself is a short, outpatient procedure, where you’ll receive anesthesia so you won’t be uncomfortable. The physician uses the colonoscope to look for diseases, if polyps are found, they can be removed during the procedure. The doctor will also likely take biopsies and tissue samples to be sent to the lab.

The Best Foods for IBS

The best foods for IBS will be ones that are low in FODMAPs, which you will learn about below. People look at foods such as fruits, vegetables, and certain grains, thinking they’re eating healthy—however, in an IBS patient, some of these foods can trigger symptoms. Some of the best foods for IBS include:

  1. Eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and don’t upset the colon. Also, they are a great source of protein as part of a weekly diet. However, not everyone digests eggs the same. If you’re cutting out the worst foods for IBS and are still having GI upset, an elimination diet can help figure out food triggers.
  2. Lean meats. Lean meats are another great source of protein and give you a lot of food options for meal planning. Lean meats include lean cuts of beef (e.g., sirloin, top/bottom round steaks), pork, white meat chicken, and white meat turkey. Some physicians also advise free-range or grass-fed meats, as the high content may benefit gut bacteria. 
  3. Salmon and other fish high in omega-3s. This also includes herring, black cod, anchovies, whitefish, sardines, rainbow trout, and mackerel. 
  4. Low-FODMAP foods. Below is a list of many low-FODMAP fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds:
    • Bell peppers
    • Carrots
    • Corn
    • Eggplant
    • Green beans
    • Potato and sweet potato
    • Tomato
    • Turnip
    • Zucchini
    • Arugula
    • Kale
    • Lettuce
    • Collard greens
    • Swiss chard
    • Baby spinach
    • Avocado
    • Banana
    • Blueberry
    • Cantaloupe
    • Grapes
    • Kiwi
    • Lime
    • Strawberry
    • Pineapple
    • Almonds
    • Hazelnuts
    • Pecans
    • Macadamia nuts
    • Brazil nuts

Now, this is quite a long list, and it may take a while to remember which foods are low in FODMAPs. If you’ve been diagnosed with IBS, a good rule of thumb is to try several foods on this list at a time and slowly work your way up to all of the recommended foods. Just because it’s low in FODMAPs doesn’t necessarily mean it will agree with you. 

Those with IBS can also consume bone north and fermented foods, which are loaded with probiotics. 

Some other tips to manage IBS include:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, soda, chocolate)
  • Increase fiber intake
  • Take a fiber supplement in addition to eating fiber-rich foods

When it comes to activity changes, it’s wise to exercise regularly, eat smaller meals at a sitting, try meditation or relaxation techniques, and quit smoking. Increased activity and exercise are also associated with fewer IBS flare-ups. 

The Worst Foods for IBS

Consuming the worst foods for IBS can trigger flare-ups. Your doctor will likely suggest a low-FODMAP diet, but in general, these are the worst foods for IBS:

  1. Lactose. Lactose is found in milk and other dairy products, and while those with IBS may not be fully lactose intolerant, it’s best to avoid dairy as much as possible. A good alternative is lactose-free milk.
  2. Certain fruits and vegetables. Fruits with high levels of fructose, such as apples, pears, and watermelon, can trigger IBS symptoms. Instead, eat fruits with lower levels of fructose, such as grapes, berries, citrus fruits, and bananas. Cruciferous vegetables can also contribute to IBS flare-ups. These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, shallots, and asparagus.
  3. Beans and legumes. Beans are associated with causing gas and bloating in those without IBS. Those with irritable bowel syndromeshould avoid beans and legumes as much as possible. 
  4. Sugar alcohols and substitutes. These can be found in chewing gum and other candies and include sorbitol, mannitol, isomalt, maltitol, and xylitol.


FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols,” which is quite a lot to remember. More generally, it refers to short-chain carbohydrates that are harder to digest. In those with IBS, eating a high-FODMAP diet can cause symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. If you receive an IBS diagnosis, your gastroenterologist will likely recommend the low-FODMAP diet. 

Many of the low-FODMAP foods were already listed in the “best foods for IBS above,” but here’s another snapshot of what a FODMAP diet may look like:

  • Dairy: Almond milk, soy milk, lactose-free milk
  • Grains: Quinoa, white rice, corn flour, oats, gluten-free pasta
  • Protein: Lean meat and tofu, including beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs
  • Fruits: Strawberries, bananas, citrus fruits, blueberries
  • Vegetables: Carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, olives, potatoes, and turnips

Make sure that you talk with your gastroenterologist or a registered dietitian before beginning any new type of diet. 

Other IBS Causes

While food is a known trigger of IBS, no one knows exactly what causes it. Researchers believe it is attributed to a number of factors. One of the most common schools of thought is gut-brain dysfunction, but there may be other causes. A patient may have dysmotility, which means that there are problems with GI muscles, or visceral hypersensitivity, which means the nerves in the GI tract are oversensitive. 

Contact a Gastroenterologist Today

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms that persist and are uncomfortable, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, you should consult a gastroenterologist for a definitive diagnosis. Those symptoms are all associated with irritable bowel syndrome but could be indicative of other GI distress as well, so it’s important to talk to a professional. Schedule an appointment today, and our team of physicians and healthcare professionals will work together to help manage your symptoms, diagnose, and offer you quality and comprehensive treatment for all types of gastrointestinal disorders.

Your Sick Day Diet for All Types of IBS

Whether your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) causes diarrhea or constipation, changing your diet may calm your gut.

Finding the right foods for managing IBS, especially when you’re having a sick day, can feel a lot like solving a mystery — piecing together clues and uncovering culprits. As you learn ways to ease symptoms like diarrhea and constipation, you’re likely to get overwhelmed by the long list of foods you shouldn’t eat. You want to know what you can eat when IBS symptoms strike so you can stay well nourished.

Some say that a low-FODMAP diet can help improve IBS symptoms. For example, a meta-analysis from 2021 that looked at 12 different studies on the topic found that a low-FODMAP diet reduced gastrointestinal symptoms and improved quality of life for people with IBS when compared to other diets.

The diet involves eliminating foods that are high in certain carbohydrates called FODMAPs, or fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. But the diet doesn’t offer specific advice for diarrhea or constipation, says Baharak Moshiree, MD, a physician specializing in gastroenterology at Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. Tweaking your diet according to your specific sick day symptoms will help even more.

Here’s how to get started.

Which Foods Trigger IBS?

Some diet changes will help regardless of which category you fall into. Start by eating small meals and make them low in fat. It’s better to grill foods using a light cooking spray than to douse your meal in oil, Dr. Moshiree advises. Red meat can also irritate the stomach, so it’s best to go for poultry or fish.

Also, a protein-focused diet can help with both diarrhea and constipation. Raw vegetables are more likely to cause gas and bloating, so consider cooking them, Moshiree says.

It’s important to know your own body and how it will react to different foods. Some people with IBS have a very hard time with dairy products, so eliminate those right off the bat.

You may also be sensitive to gluten, found in bread and baked goods made with wheat, rye, and barley. Research has suggested that for some people, IBS and gluten sensitivity may overlap. A review of research from 2020 concluded that a gluten-free diet can benefit both patients with gluten-related symptoms, as well as those with IBS who could have a gluten or wheat sensitivity.

Moshiree tells her patients to do a two-week trial of eliminating gluten to see if symptoms improve. If they do, you probably need to follow a gluten-free diet, especially when your symptoms are acting up.

The same can be done for other food categories that are associated with IBS symptoms, such as foods with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and garlic and onions, along with dairy. Once you know your trigger foods, you’ll know what you need to avoid when IBS is acting up.

Because gas and bloating are also potential issues when you have constipation or diarrhea, pass on beans and other legumes and foods that contain insoluble fiber, such as apples, grapes, and blueberries, when you’re having symptoms.

Also remember to eliminate alcohol, which is known to provoke symptoms.

How Do You Soothe IBS With Diarrhea?

When people are sick, they tend to turn to high-carbohydrate foods with sugars to feel better, but that’s not what you want to do when you have IBS, says Melissa Garrett, MD, a gastroenterologist at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That’s because many problems with IBS are from intolerance to some carbohydrates in foods.

Instead, try these meals when you’re having IBS-related diarrhea.

Breakfast A bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon without sugar or artificial sweetener.

Lunch Grilled or baked fish or chicken and a baked sweet potato without butter.

Dinner A spinach salad with lean protein such as grilled chicken (made without oil).

Snack Protein shake or protein bar. Be sure to read the label and avoid products with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, because those ingredients alone can cause significant diarrhea.

Drinks Moshiree tells her patients to hydrate with water or an electrolyte replacement drink like Hydralyte or Pedialyte when they have diarrhea.

IBS and Constipation: What to Eat

Figuring out what to eat when you’re constipated can be trickier, says Dr. Garrett. Adding in some fruits and vegetables that are typically banned on a low-FODMAP diet can help move your bowels, but they can also increase bloating. The key is to avoid gas-forming insoluble fiber. Choose stone fruits such as prunes and peaches over bananas and apples, she says.

Breakfast Fresh peaches and prunes with peppermint tea or something with natural peppermint oil, which is a laxative, Garrett says.

Lunch A fruit and vegetable salad with some lean protein (such as fish) and a little oil. If you don’t make it a heavy meal, it should help to relieve constipation, she says.

Dinner Another light meal with a fruit, cooked vegetables or a salad with a little oil and vinegar, and lean protein such as fish or chicken.

Drinks Water, tea, or coffee, which may act as a laxative.

When Will IBS Symptoms Go Away?

How long symptoms last varies from person to person. As you work on your diet, remember to also work on lowering stress. Even when you’re eating perfectly, high stress may make your symptoms stick around, Moshiree says.

When you do start to feel better, Moshiree warns against rushing back to eating foods that you know make your symptoms worse; sample only in small amounts. That’s an individual thing you have to determine on your own.

If you eat a healthy diet and learn what to avoid when symptoms strike, you should be better able to manage your IBS. Not sure where to start? Consider meeting with a registered dietitian, who can help you learn more about how food impacts your IBS symptoms and create an eating plan designed for your needs

Additional reporting by Ashley Welch.

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Rational nutrition in coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) – damage to heart cells caused by various factors. Clinical manifestations of IHD are: various forms of angina pectoris, arrhythmias, myocardial infarction. According to statistics, mortality from cardiovascular diseases in Russia is growing every year, and the disease is much younger. It is noted that problems with the cardiovascular system are experienced by young people from the age of 30.

Cardiovascular diseases are multifactorial in nature, have geographical, ethnic and cultural characteristics of distribution. Among the behavioral risk factors for coronary artery disease and other diseases associated with atherosclerosis, nutrition is of the greatest importance. Epidemiological studies have found that the nature of nutrition is a key factor that can explain differences in risk levels of clinical manifestations of coronary artery disease.

Characterization of macronutrients in IHD.


The traditional recommendation is for a total protein content in the diet not to exceed 1.1 g/kg of body weight with a ratio of vegetable and animal protein of at least 1:1, which corresponds to 12–14% of the energy value of the diet. In the presence of excess body weight, obesity, low-fat diets, it is allowed to increase the protein quota to 20-25% due to plant sources in the absence of kidney disease.

Recommended sources of protein are lean meats, fish, seafood, legumes, whole grains are a must.


The fat content in dietary therapy for cardiovascular disease should range from 25 to 35% (minimum 20%) of total calories. The prescribed ratio of unsaturated fats to saturated fats is 4/1. A complete source of unsaturated fats are olive, corn, rapeseed, unrefined sunflower oils, nuts, sea fish (sardines, herring, salmon, mackerel, horse mackerel, etc.) and seafood. Saturated fats should be present in the diet no more than 5%. Sources of saturated fats are mainly fatty dairy products, fat from birds and animals. From the menu, products containing trans fats, which are currently considered the main cause of the development of cardiovascular pathology, should be completely excluded. Trans fats are vegetable fats with a modified molecular structure. Products containing trans fats include: industrial bakery products, ready-made desserts, popcorn, chips, ready-made baking mixes, liquid seasonings, ready-made salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup, frozen convenience foods (pizza, nuggets, meatballs, etc. ) , coffee creamer, milkshakes, spreads, margarine and the like.


According to most researchers, the amount of carbohydrates in the presence of cardiovascular disease should be from 40 to 55% of the total calorie intake. In the diet therapy of IHD patients, the standard approach is to focus on complex carbohydrates (vegetables, fruits, whole grains) with a maximum reduction in the percentage of simple refined carbohydrates (sugar, jam, honey, industrial confectionery and bakery products, sweet drinks, etc.).

The mineral shield of your heart.

Potassium — an intracellular element that provides a balanced work of the heart and muscles, supports the functions of the brain and peripheral nervous system. The main sources of potassium in food are dried apricots, potatoes, beans, bananas.

Magnesium is present in all cells as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymes, is involved in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone, provides the heart with energy, reduces stress levels, and supports mental abilities. The results of the Russian study revealed the presence of magnesium deficiency in 47.8% of individuals. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with increased blood clotting, neurological pathology (epilepsy, neuroses, alcohol dependence syndrome) and chronic inflammation (ulcerative colitis, allergies, coronary heart disease). Compensate for the lack of magnesium will allow adding cereals from buckwheat, oatmeal or millet, nuts, dark chocolate to the daily diet.

Selenium is necessary for the harmonious functioning of the cardiovascular system. It has been established that insufficient intake of this trace element with food leads to the development of pathological changes in the myocardium. It is known that about 15% of the world’s population, including the population of many developed countries and Russia, lack selenium intake. To maintain a sufficient level of selenium, cereals (wheat, rice), lean meats, pelagic fish (capelin, herring, herring, mackerel, horse mackerel), legumes (corn, beans) should be present in the daily diet.

Iron is necessary for maintaining the physiological function of blood and tissues (myocardium, muscles and brain). To date, iron deficiency, according to WHO, is observed in every fourth inhabitant of the Earth. Correction of the diet can help in the prevention of iron deficiency. The menu should contain foods containing a sufficient amount of iron: meat and offal (beef, lamb, lean pork, turkey and chicken meat, heart, liver), grain bread, cereals.

Iodine is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which are indirectly responsible for the rhythmic work of the heart, vein tone, the ability to expand and contract blood vessels. Today, the actual average consumption of iodine by a resident of Russia is three times less than the established norm. Worthy sources of iodine for you will be river and sea fish, seaweed, seafood, cranberries.

Zinc is part of more than 40 important enzymes involved in metabolic processes and protection of the human heart and blood vessels. The main sources of zinc are sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sprouted wheat grains, beef liver, some types of fish (anchovies, smelt, carp), legumes, nuts, seafood.

Minor components of (vitamin-like substances, flavonoids, sterols, indoles, etc.) are compounds of natural origin that have antioxidant (protect the cell and genome from destruction), antihypoxant and adaptive potential.

As a result of scientific research, it has been established that a high intake of minor compounds can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, prevent the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines, reduce the likelihood of blood clots, eliminate fibrosis processes in the myocardium, and prevent the development of ischemia, especially in the heart.

Currently, there is a total shortage of these compounds, due to the high refinement of food products, the lack of necessary components in the daily menu, a decrease in the level of adaptive capabilities, a significant level of stressful situations and environmental unconsciousness.

To change the current situation in principle, perhaps, it is enough to reconsider food preferences and behavior strategy. The paradox of the situation lies in the fact that most of the minor components are contained in parts of plants, fish and mammals that are not eaten (plant peel, interlobular membranes of citrus fruits, cartilage, edible fish bones) or they are lost in the processes of industrial food processing (grinding grain, refining, deodorization, etc.), not to mention fast food and frozen prepared foods.

To replenish the deficient components, it is enough to change the food concept by including unpolished grains (wheat, rye, rice, etc.), beans (soybeans, lentils), seeds (sunflower, flax, sesame), nuts, dried fruits, mandatory berries (currants, raspberries, sea buckthorn, cranberries, hawthorn, cherries, pomegranates), leguminous plants, vegetables, citrus fruits in an unpeeled form or at least without a significant part of the peel. The diet should contain herbal teas (melissa, sweet clover, licorice, St.

General recommendations for IHD.

– Reduce the energy value of the diet.

– Control of body weight.

– Completely eliminate salt

– Add fasting days 1-3 days a week (fruit-vegetable-cottage cheese, rice).

– Daily fractional meals at least five times a day, eating no more than 200 ml.

– Dinner must take place at least three hours before bedtime.

– The recommended way of cooking is steam, boiled and stewing, baking.

Based on the materials of GBUZ “VROZ i MP”

strengthen the heart.

What to limit

“First of all, it is necessary to limit the intake of fatty foods. Fatty foods have a detrimental effect on blood vessels – they lose their elasticity and form on the walls

The whole truth about cholesterol

cholesterol plaques. Modified vegetable fat is very harmful to the heart. It is one of the main causes of cardiovascular insufficiency. Also, people who care about their health should exclude sweets, cakes, cookies and pastries from the diet that contain trans fats that are dangerous for the heart,” says Anatoly Voloshin.


Vegetable food: cans or fresh vegetables?

set of trace elements, especially potassium. There are many of them in fruits – bananas, fresh apricots, dried apricots, raisins, dates, figs.

Almost all fresh fruits are good for the heart. Therefore, in the summer you need to eat as many apples, pears, plums and all kinds of berries as possible. By the way, all dark-colored berries (blueberries, blackberries, currants) not only replenish the body’s vitamin supply and nourish the heart muscle, but also increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Useful for the heart and pomegranate juice. But only freshly squeezed.

The health benefits of pomegranate juice are just as good as those of ordinary

8 recipes for the perfect summer breakfast

oatmeal and nuts Nuts contain fats necessary for the human body, and oatmeal

porridge is rich in fiber, indispensable for the heart. Olive oil has a unique ability to dissolve cholesterol plaques.

Regular consumption of olive oil is a good prevention of strokes and heart attacks. Olive oil strengthens blood vessels and makes them more elastic. But milk and heavy foods inhibit the digestive process, which leads to constipation and the release of toxins into the blood.

Don’t forget the fish. For example, super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively lower blood pressure. And if you use it constantly 2 times a week, it reduces the risk of a heart attack by a third. Useful for the heart and other types of fatty fish: mackerel, tuna, herring, sardine.

Turn them on in the menu

Ginger – stimulates blood circulation even in the capillaries, relieves spasms in hypertension and headaches.

Garlic – good for the heart when crushed. The secret is that the traumatic effect on garlic cells triggers the formation of allicin in them. This substance has a powerful stimulating effect on the blood vessels and thins the blood.

Sorrel – oxalic acid stimulates vascular tone and thins the blood.

Tomatoes – tomato juice reduces arterial and intracranial pressure, so it is recommended to drink it in case of hypertension and glaucoma (vascular eye disease).

Young potatoes – they are rich in potassium, so they have a stimulating effect on the heart and improve the conduction of the heart muscle.

Avocado – helps lower blood cholesterol, a source of beta-carotene and lycopene, which have a positive effect on the heart.

Spinach – contains lutein, folic acid, potassium. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 25%.

Soya – lowers cholesterol levels, a natural source of proteins.

Dark Chocolate – improves overall heart health, lowers “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the brain.