By Natasha Jha
IBS or irritable bowel syndrome comes with a host of symptoms ranging from bloating and constipation to diarrhea, abdominal cramping and very frequent bowel movements. Because the symptoms are so varied, IBS is often not diagnosed. IBS symptoms may also change over time, so you may experience constipation followed by a bout of diarrhea.
Not easy to figure out, right? One easy way to know if foods are affecting you is to be mindful about how you feel after you eat a certain food/food group. You may feel digestive discomfort immediately after your trigger foods, or within an hour after eating or drinking There's a good chance your IBS is triggered by food if:
You're feeling constipated after consuming:
Junk food, deep fried food or processed food
Baked goods made with refined grains (such as maida)
Sugary sodas and alcohol
You're experiencing diarrhea after consuming:
A large amount of cruciferous vegetables
Raw vegetables or fruit
Caffeinated drinks, alcohol and artificially sweetened beverages
Dairy and gluten containing foods
Along with food, stress is a major IBS trigger. This is because stress causes our food to move too quickly through our digestive tract, leading to gas and diarrhea. We also tend to reach for sugary snacks, junk food and 'comfort foods' when stressed, which can make the problem worse.
A combination of diet and stress management is essential to a healthy gut and digestive system. Here's a few tips to help you:
Eat whole foods and avoid packaged foods.
Consume as little sugar as you can.
Have a balanced diet that contains healthy carbs, omega-3 fats, a protein source, and fiber from vegetables and fruits.
Include probiotics and fermented foods in your diet. Explore our kombucha flavours here.
If you lead a stressful life, make a conscious choice to incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine.