Good Foods to Eat for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can encompass a variety of different symptoms. It can involve sensitivity or even intolerance to certain foods and cause digestive problems. Many people suffering from IBS will have alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation. Additionally, symptoms may worsen when a person is under a certain level of stress. The good news is that there are some dietary changes a person with IBS can make to help avoid and reduce the symptoms of the condition.

A woman holds her stomach in pain.
A woman holds her stomach in pain. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bland Foods

When you are having an irritable bowel episode that involves an upset stomach and diarrhea, it is a good idea to eat only bland foods until the episode passes. Bland foods are very mild and are unlikely to cause further symptoms. Bland foods include white bread or toast, white rice and applesauce. You also will want to replace any electrolytes your body may be losing by drinking something like Gatorade. It is important for you to try to eat and drink even when your symptoms are flaring up, because not eating can potentially make your symptoms worse, cause you to become light headed or cause you to become dehydrated.

Two pieces of toast on a plate.
Two pieces of toast on a plate. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Soothing Foods

There are certain foods you can eat that may help soothe your upset stomach caused by IBS. Peppermint candy or tea may have a soothing effect, because peppermint tends to neutralize stomach acid. Additionally, ginger cookies, candy or ginger ale may help calm your stomach as well.

A cup of peppermint tea.
A cup of peppermint tea. (Image: ULTRA F/Digital Vision/Getty Images)


If you suffer from IBS, you should consistently eat foods that are high in fiber. Fiber aids in digestion and can help keep you regular, reducing episodes of constipation and helping you to avoid hemorrhoids, which can be caused from straining. Fruits, vegetables and whole-wheat foods are generally high in fiber. Additionally, there are a number of fiber supplements available on grocery store shelves today.

A plate of chopped spinach.
A plate of chopped spinach. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Low Fat Foods

Irritable bowel symptoms can be triggered when a person with the condition eats greasy foods or foods that are high in fat. It is a good idea to choose foods that are lower in fat as a part of your regular diet. You can opt for similar alternatives such as choosing baked potato chips over traditional potato chips.

A low fat meal of salmon and greens.
A low fat meal of salmon and greens. (Image: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Safe Foods

IBS tends to manifest differently from person to person. For this reason, it is important for you to test your reaction to different foods. If you notice a particular food causes symptoms a couple of times, you may want to avoid it. It is a good idea to keep a list of foods that tend to flare up your symptoms, so you know what to avoid.

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