Good foods to eat for irritable bowel syndrome

Updated November 21, 2016

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 diarrhoea 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.

Bland Foods

When you are having an irritable bowel episode that involves an upset stomach and diarrhoea, 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.

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 neutralise stomach acid. Additionally, ginger cookies, candy or ginger ale may help calm your stomach as well.


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

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 crisps over traditional crisps.

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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About the Author

Based in Orlando, Fla., Michaela Davila has been writing poetry, short stories, resumes and advertising materials for years. She has recently been published in the Dollar Stretcher and Devozine. Davila has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Elon University and is a Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst.