For approximately 15 percent of the population, irritable bowel syndrome is a fact of life. Symptoms of IBS often include chronic diarrhea, abdominal cramping and occasional constipation. More people are being diagnosed because of increased awareness of intestinal disease. However, doctors also attribute rising rates of gastrointestinal illnesses to poor gut health habits, many of which developed in childhood.
Most Americans do not eat enough fiber. In fact, many doctors recommend that patients with IBS symptoms integrate insoluble fiber foods, such as bran, into their diet to stimulate the bowel.
However, for some patients, adding insoluble fiber is not the best solution. For individuals who have slow transit constipation, in which the nerves and muscles do not work adequately to move waste through the intestines, insoluble fiber can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. This kind of fiber can make even more work for the bowel and slow things down even further.
A better solution is reducing or entirely eliminating foods that contain processed white flour, such as white pasta, white fluffy bread and cookies. These foods do not contain rough fiber, which is what the bowel needs to become effective. Better alternatives to add into the diet to relieve constipation contain soluble fiber. Foods that are rich in soluble fiber include dried and fresh fruit and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts.
Another problem for many people is poor gut health. While adding the correct type of fiber can help with constipation problems, other digestive problems can be linked to insufficient healthy gut bacteria. Gut bacteria is necessary to maintain a healthy intestinal system to rid the body of waste products. However, gut bacteria is also linked to immune system function.
Eating probiotic foods can provide needed nutrients to help good gut bacteria thrive. Foods that contain live bacterial cultures are the best probiotic foods to eat. Examples include yogurt and kefir. Many fermented foods also contain healthy bacterial cultures that will improve your gut health. Miso, microalgae, tempeh, pickles, kombucha tea and kim chi are all fermented foods that are excellent sources of probiotics.
If you are having gastrointestinal issues, it may be linked to your diet. Try adding soluble fiber and probiotics to your daily food consumption and see if it makes a difference. You might be surprised at the results.
Do you eat probiotic foods? What about high fiber foods?
– The Alternative Daily