Is A Vegan Diet Good For IBS?
When it comes to irritable bowel syndrome, the best way to manage the symptoms is by following a strict diet. However, this can vary from person to person.
Is a vegan diet good for IBS? While plant-based foods might not be the most apparent solution, vegan foods can often avoid the usual culprits that trigger IBS and leave you feeling better in the long run.
When it comes to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, animal products aren’t usually the problematic food group that causes stomach aches and pains.
As a result, a plant-based diet may not be totally necessary. Yet, plant foods do often avoid other, less obvious triggers that end up in many animal-based foods.
A diet without trigger foods can seem impossible, especially with long ingredient lists detailing hidden food additives so you never truly know what you are eating.
Fortunately for you, we will help you find the best way to balance your relationship with food & IBS whether that is plant foods or animal products.
What is IBS?
IBS is a disorder characterized by abdominal pain and discomfort, with accompanying changes in stool frequency and consistency.
The symptoms of IBS vary widely; they can be mild or severe. The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and cramps in the stomach area. Some sufferers will have to endure all these symptoms, while others will only get a few.
Having chronic digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome or bowel cancer can be very stressful and painful-regardless of whether you’re treating it yourself or seeking medical assistance.
If IBS is a serious problem in your life, then get professional advice from your doctor or another healthcare professional.
Eating a poor diet also increases your chances of developing IBS. Both helicobacter pylori infection and food additives negatively affect the stomach and intestines directly.
This is a large part of the reason it is important to manage your diet when handling IBS, as there is no quick and easy medication to fix it.
Common Food Triggers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
While plant foods can contain more fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs), a common trigger of IBS, this doesn’t mean that a vegan diet will make your symptoms worse.
Another common container of FODMAPs is dairy products, for example. As such, switching from cow’s milk to rice milk can help ease your stomach disorder.
FODMAP foods are the first thing doctors will usually tell their patients to avoid, as they are easily the worst and most common of all trigger foods.
If you have a food intolerance to gluten, then food items containing FODMAPs may be easier to avoid. Mainly thanks to their presence in cereal grains.
Other common triggers include spicy foods, which can disrupt your digestive health. Especially if you don’t cool down with milk alternatives like almond milk, or soya milk.
Benefits of the Vegan Diet
Other than avoiding trigger foods, a vegan diet does come with an array of health benefits, making it one of the most popular modern diets.
Even if you avoid the ethical reasoning behind much of vegan dieting, it can be a great way to achieve your health goals as vegan and vegetarian diets have been known to improve life expectancy.
Using a non-meat source of protein is also good for those with an existing health condition, or heart issues. Unhealthy animal fat is more easily avoided if you eat kidney beans.
Following a plant-based diet can lead your meal plans to more well-rounded meals, keeping your body healthier and more in shape than on a non-vegan regimen.
Negatives of a Vegan Diet with IBS
While cooking beans and firm tofu may be something you will enjoy, the vegan lifestyle is not for everyone. It can take some serious getting used to.
Even cutting out animal products, if you suffer from IBS then you still won’t be able to enjoy huge meals thanks to the uncomfortable symptoms.
IBS also has some co-morbidity with other bowel conditions, like bowel cancer, meaning that a vegan diet may not be the most appropriate fix to the classic symptoms of IBS.
Other bowel diseases can be affected differently by a plant-based diet, so make sure to ask your doctor or dietician for suggestions concerning your unpleasant symptoms.
What is a FODMAP Diet?
A low FODMAP diet measures foods by their fermented carbohydrate content, as this is what will be triggering your IBS and causing intestinal distress.
A variety of food groups can contain these, and there are very few food types that are totally safe. This makes managing digestive health difficult.
Foods to Eat on a Low FODMAP Vegan Diet
While animal-based products are off the menu, there are plenty of vegetarian suitable options for you to enjoy which are low FODMAP.
Carbohydrate sources don’t necessarily have to be monitored by reducing meat intake, but meat consumption can aggravate symptoms of IBS.
We suggest vegetable-based foods like veggie noodles (perfect for a saucy stir fry). Pairing with other vegan foods like tofu, you can avoid those pesky fermentable short-chain carbohydrates.
Other Safe Foods with IBS
Millions of people suffer from IBS, and as such there will be some variance in how effective a vegan diet works for you.
Some symptoms in people might not be solved so easily by plant-based foods and soya beans, for others it can be a great way to manage the pain.
Other than milk alternatives and non-meat products, you can also try some cooling foods in moderation. Sweet treats like ice cream or yoghurt can be good if they are lactose-free.
Hey'all I'm Amy, a born foodie and diagnosed with celiac disease 7 years ago. I refused to cave into tasteless, boring gulten free food and create my own!
On my blog you'll find info & cool facts along with recipes, all on gluten free foods!