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  • Yasmin Norazharuddin

6 IBS-friendly foods you must try during a flareup

The worst period for IBS individuals is during a flare-up and especially harder to motivate yourself to eat due to the pain, worry and fear. During a flare-up, there are certain foods that you have to be careful with like allergens, high fibre food and pro-inflammatory food.


Here are a few meal ideas that you can try to fuel your body and at the same time not bother the gut during this period.


1. Rice porridge


You can never go wrong with simple rice porridge. Rice is one of the safest foods to eat when someone has an IBS flare-up, diarrhoea or the stomach flu. Use unsweetened dairy-free milk as a safer option even if you are not lactose intolerant as lactose may be harder to digest during a flare-up or after diarrhoea. To sweeten it, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup or plain ol’ brown sugar. You can also top it off with ¼ cup of cut strawberries or kiwi.



2. Tumeric fruit smoothie


Turmeric contains curcumin which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, supplementing your gut with turmeric or curcumin can be helpful in modulating the gut microbiota and suppress further oxidative stress reaction.


Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to your morning smoothie of ¼ cup of strawberries, ¼ cup of pineapple, 1 cup of unsweetened dairy-free milk and ice. This smoothie will perk your morning up!






3. Egg drop soup


A clear broth made with carrots, potatoes and tomatoes is not only warming but also high in potassium and vitamin A which are essential nutrients especially following a period of diarrhoea. Eggs are also a source of omega-3 which has shown to help with reducing inflammation in the body and a source of other nutrients like B vitamins which are essential for the immune system.


Prepare your broth with only ½ teaspoon of garlic, 1 teaspoon of ginger and vegetables. Make sure you cook the carrots, potatoes and tomatoes until tender soft. Add eggs when water is boiling like poaching an egg.



4. Potato and pumpkin mash


This sweet and savoury mash is an easy dish to serve. Potato is high in potassium which is an important electrolyte in the body that is easily lost if having diarrhoea. Replenish again with a simple plain homemade mashed potato and pumpkin. By adding pumpkin you are also adding Vitamin A which is the main vitamin to fight oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Don’t forget to add salt! Sodium, which is available in salt, is another electrolyte you will need to regain.




5. Salmon with white rice


Fishes are safe proteins to choose from for people with IBS. Once your gut is ready to include a heavier meal, steamed salmon is a great choice. Packed with protein and polyunsaturated fat, salmon and fatty fishes have been seen to provide protective actions to our gut. The fat has seen to be a favourite food for our friendly bacteria to thrive on.


Adding more oil when cooking might disturb the gut and may give a queasy feeling when swallowing. Steam the salmon or poach it with ginger, spring onion (green part only) and a bit of soy sauce. Serve over simple white rice and cooked spinach.


6. Water!


Hydrating your body is key during this period. The cells in your gut need oxygen to regenerate and heal. If you experience diarrhoea, water needs to replenish the osmotic balance in the gut.


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