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Foods With Fiber That Won't Hurt or Irritate IBS

By August McLaughlin

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder in which your digestive tract muscles contract slower or faster than usual. Unlike other digestive disorders, IBS doesn't lead to permanent internal damage. It can, however, pose bothersome symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps and bloating. If fiber-rich foods worsen your symptoms, you may require a low-fiber diet and doctor-approved fiber supplements, according to MayoClinic.com. Otherwise, a healthy fiber-rich diet may improve your symptoms and overall wellness.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are grains that have not been stripped of valuable nutrients and fiber during food processing. If you're intolerant to gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley and rye — consume gluten-free grain foods, such as brown rice, wild rice, popcorn and gluten-free oat, rice and corn-based cereals. These foods also provide valuable fiber if you have a wheat allergy, which may contribute to IBS symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If wheat and gluten do not cause problems, you can also enjoy 100 percent whole grain breads and cold cereals, oatmeal, cooked barley, barley soup and whole wheat pasta. One cup of whole grain spaghetti or pearled barley provides roughly 6 grams of fiber — up to 25 percent of adults' daily recommended fiber intake.

Legumes

Legumes are some of the richest sources of dietary fiber. They are also naturally cholesterol-free and provide valuable amounts of nutrients, such as B-vitamins, iron, zinc and protein, which enhances tissue repair and healing from IBS symptoms. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends replacing fatty red meats with plant-based protein sources, such as soy products and beans, as a way to ease complications with IBS. One cup of cooked lentils, black beans or split peas provides between 15 to 16.5 g of fiber. If you find that beans trigger gas or bloating, MayoClinic.com suggests boiling beans in water for two to three minutes, then allowing them to soak overnight. This process reduces the gaseous components of beans significantly.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants — nutrients that support your body's ability to heal and defend itself from infections and disease. Many fruit and vegetable varieties are fiber-rich, including berries, citrus fruits, apples, pears, artichokes, broccoli, bananas, mustard greens and sweet corn. One medium artichoke provides more than 10 g of fiber, while 1 cup of fresh raspberries provides 8 g, MayoClinic.com states. Incorporate fruits into fiber-rich cereals, such as oatmeal; and fiber-rich vegetables into soups, salads, whole grain pasta and brown rice dishes for heightened benefits. Cooked and peeled fruits and vegetables provide valuable options if fresh, whole varieties trigger gas or bloating. If cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli cause gas, consume these items in moderation and with non-problematic foods.

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