A Day in the life of someone battling with digestive troubles is not easy. Whether it’s you or someone you know living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it can be mind boggling trying to figure out what on earth to eat.
As a dietitian with a special interest in gut health I have seen in practice the true power of whole foods to heal many digestive complaints. In this post I will share with you some culinary nutrition wisdom on my top 5 foods to heal IBS.
Bone Broth: In Chinese medicine, bone broth has been widely used for centuries to aid in digestive support and is now commonly seen as a staple food in many asian cuisines such as in noodle soups. It is the home cooked bone broth made with love that is of the healing sort. Don’t be fooled by the tetra packed varieties lining the supermarket shelves, these are full of additives that can actually make gut symptoms worse. The protein gelatin in this healing broth is the secret ingredient. Gelatin contains glutamic acid which normalises stomach acid and gastric juices which are crucial for good digestion. It also soothes the intestinal tract by forming a layer on the intestinal walls to prevent further injury thus allowing the gut to heal.1,2
Salmon: For those with IBS finding the right source of animal protein that is easily digestible can be a hit-or-miss. Salmon
(especially wild caught) tops the list as the food with the highest source of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats making this super soothing for the gut. Salmon also has rich amino acids that aid in the repair of intestinal tract.3
Chia Seeds: The ancient grain chia seeds are buddies for our tummies. The soluble fibre contained in this power packed seed forms a mucilaginous gel that coats and soothes the intestinal wall and also gets you pooping like a champ. Even better, it also has Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ALA making this a super seed.4
Ginger: The good old herb ginger is widely used and well known for its anti-nausea properties. It is the bioactive compound gingerol that is the hallmark for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Next time when gas and bloating are getting you down, having some ginger inspired meals may just be what you need to help calm and support your whole digestive system.5
Fermented Foods: Most IBS sufferers have some form of dysbiosis and fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and yoghurt can help rebalance the microbiome. A daily dose of these probiotic containing foods can be enough to ward off any growth of bad bacteria and toxins in the gut.6 By nurturing our friendly gut bacteria we cultivate a happier gut and stronger immune system making us overall healthier individuals.