What to eat if you want to improve your digestion

The feeling of abdominal discomfort, a bloated belly, and bowel irregularity can be debilitating for some people. It's possible to have a diet full of healthy fibre that can help you battle the bloat, restore bowel regularity, and reduce unpleasant symptoms of IBS. Dr. Joyce Johnson breaks what you need to know about IBS and the best way to incorporate fibre into your diet. 

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) is a familiar condition to many and can include symptoms that may include, but are not limited to, abdominal pain and cramps, irregular bowel movements, gas, bloating, nausea, heartburn, and various degrees of anxiety and depression.

What is fibre?

Fibre is essential for digestive health. There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves and ferments in the colon, producing gases and nutrients that support colon health. It also helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar, nourishes the bowel, and helps with the immune system.

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. FODMAPs are a group of sugars in the diet that are not absorbed well in the small intestine. As a result, they can cause gas-related pain, bloating, and constipation or diarrhea in people suffering from functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and IBS.

How much fibre you need + best way to get it

Adults 50 years and younger should aim for 25–38 g of fibre daily. Adults over 50 years of age should aim for 21–30 g daily. Children and adults with FGID and IBS typically have difficulty meeting the recommended daily intake of 21–38 g of fibre in their diets. Choose some of these low-FODMAP foods that are also high in fibre.

  • Alfalfa sprouts         
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Bok choy
  • Cucumber

How to choose a fibre supplement for IBS

If you are having difficulty reaching your daily fibre intake goals, then a fibre supplement may be the answer for you. It's important to note things such as the fibre’s solubility in water, the water holding ability and the potential to produce gas in the large intestine. Fibre supplements that contain wheat bran, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides  (GOS) may contribute to increased gas production and may make IBS symptoms worse. The Webber Naturals Fibre 4 supplements are a great choice!