- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
IBS Blues? You CAN Have Your Salad and Eat It Too!
Don't Let Salad Scare You. Try These Tips.
Green salad is a huge trigger for many who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. The good news is that you may be able to add salad to your diet without suffering the usual gas, cramping, or diarrhea. This article explains how.
(c) Copyright Kathy Steinemann
If any of the following tips mention foods that are triggers for you, please use your own IBS-friendly substitutes.
• It's important to keep hydrated. However, don't drink water within an hour before or after a meal.
• If you order something to drink when eating out, try a stomach-friendly tea like chamomile without sugar, and sip it slowly as you eat.
• Don't eat salads during high-stress periods. The combination could trigger an IBS attack.
• Never eat raw greens or uncooked vegetables on an empty stomach. Consume with or immediately after your meal. At the very least, have some rice, pasta, baked potato, and/or a bread product before nibbling on your greens.
• Another method that works well for some IBS sufferers is a salad that incorporates a protein such as chicken or tuna; or a cheese like Parmesan or Romano.
• Begin small if you are introducing or reintroducing salad to your diet. Try a half portion to see how it agrees with you. This tip should also be applied to other foods. Always test in small amounts when trying to incorporate something new in your diet.
• Chew well. And I say it again: Chew well. This advice pertains to all foods, but it's especially important for salads and raw vegetables.
• Experiment to find the greens that agree with you. Iceberg lettuce is a trigger for most people. Spinach greens are probably better—and they're more nutritious. Avoid gas-producing veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and onions.
• Aim for meals that incorporate foods high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber bulks up stool, lengthens the time that food remains in your stomach, and helps digested products slide through the intestinal tract without irritation.
• Choose a simple dressing like oil and vinegar. For variety, try flavored vinegar such as balsamic. Avoid dressings that contain honey, sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, onions, garlic, or chemicals.
• Try sprinkling your salad with an herb medley product that doesn't contain IBS triggers.
• In a restaurant, ask for dressing on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing and then spear a forkful of salad.
Do you have more tips that might help other people with IBS? Your comments are appreciated.
Kathy's books about IBS can help you in your battle:
The IBS Compass: Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tips, Information, Fiber Charts, and Recipes. This guide will steer you through the complex information about IBS.
IBS-IBD Fiber Charts: Soluble & Insoluble Fibre Data for over 450 Items, Including Links to Internet Resources. Whether you're shopping, dining in a restaurant, or planning a menu at home, this book will help you calculate the fiber in your diet.