Bloated? You Might Have IBS
Do you feel crampy after meals? Do you need to run to the loo after eating certain
foods? Is your fridge full of digestive aids to improve your chronic constipation?
You may be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is estimated to affect
70% of women in the Western World .
So what can you do about it?
Identifying and eliminating the cause of your discomfort is an important first step. It might be stress, leaky gut , or a food allergy – which I have talked about in previous articles.
However, adding foods back in to your diet might be as important as cutting the culprits out.
Studies show our ancestors diet was 20 times more varied than ours; they also ate
nutrient dense, real food.
How many vegetables did you eat today?
Spinach, parsley, rocket, watercress and celery are packed with enzymes to boost digestion, while garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, Jerusalem artichoke and bananas are all sources of prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Try Natasha’s Jerusalem Artichoke Soup , which contains most of these foods.
Having healthy gut bacteria can even determine how many calories you burn, according to a study from the University of Lowa . Oh, and it’s OK to have the occasional glass of red wine too! It contains chemicals called polyphenols, which feed the healthy microbes in your digestive tract.
Note; we’re aiming for balance here, not blowouts. Drinking too much will only irritate an already sensitive stomach.
As a nutritional health coach, I regularly see clients with IBS, desperate for a solution
to their daily stomach struggles. After taking a detailed health history of the person, I
create a bespoke program, which might involve taking proteolytic enzymes, switching
to unpasteurized milk, or simply eating lunch away from their desk. Everyone is
different, so there is not one solution for IBS. However, there are steps you can take to
bring your stomach back to normality.
Three Steps to Improve IBS
- Monitor how you feel after every meal. Does bulgur wheat salad make you feel bloated? Does cauliflower rice not agree with you? If so, eliminate that food for two weeks and notice if you see any improvement.
- Start each morning with a green juice or smoothie, containing a minimum of five vegetables. As you drink it, imagine the all the phytonutrients and enzymes setting you up for perfect digestion throughout the day.
- Choose something for lunch you wouldn’t normally eat. By consuming a wide variety of foods, you boost bacterial diversity.