• Yasmin Norazharuddin

IBS and vegan: how to's

Most IBS diets and guides will advise cutting down on certain carbohydrates due to the available short carbohydrates that may not be well tolerated in the IBS gut. Getting enough protein may also be one of the major concerns since most of the sources may cause disturbance in the gut, for example, soybeans and legumes. But did you know that the type of soy matters? Did you know that cooking methods also play a role? My dear vegans, fret not. Here are ways for you to enjoy veganism with fewer worries.


  1. Shop for firm tofu. Soft tofu contains high galactooligosaccharides, a short-chain carbohydrate that causes gas, bloating, and pain for those who are intolerant. So if you notice that soft tofu makes your gut uncomfortable or if you are intolerant of soy, switch to firm tofu as it contains lesser galactooligosaccharides.

  2. Soy proteins over soybeans. Foods that use soy proteins instead of soybeans are a safer option due to the absence of beans.

  3. Fermented soy products. Tempeh, soy sauce, tamari, and miso paste are easier for IBS guts since the fermentation process decreases the galactooligosaccharides

Beans and legumes

  1. Cook them until they are soft. This helps to break down the indigestible fiber and less work for the gut

  2. Have small amounts. Reduce your current intake to 3 tablespoons.


  1. Protein-loaded seitan is good for IBS sufferers as it is made up of wheat and it can go up to 23 grams per ¼ cup. The only downside - not the best option for people who can't tolerate gluten well.


Grains also contain protein where vegans can add to their meal for a boost of protein since beans, legumes, and soy need to be reduced.

1 cup of cooked quinoa contains up to 8g of protein

1 cup of cooked teff contains up to 9.75g of protein

1 cup cooked wild rice contains up to 6.5g of protein


Apart from being a powerhouse healthy fat, seeds also contain protein. Sprinkle some of these seeds into your salad or rice bowl for extra crunch and protein.

Hemp seeds contain 9.5g of protein per 3 tbsp

Sunflower seeds contain 6.2g of protein per 4 tbsp

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