List of Soluble Fiber Foods for IBS: Holiday Edition
How to increase your soluble fiber intake for better IBS management
Have you ever considered a natural remedy to help manage your IBS symptoms, especially during the festive holiday season? Adding more soluble fiber to your diet can make a big difference in how you feel. It can lessen your IBS symptoms, boost your gut health, and enhance your overall quality of life, making the holiday season more enjoyable.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut disorder worldwide. It affects 10-15% of adults in the United States, but only a small percentage have an official diagnosis.1 If you have IBS, you may experience stomach pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. These issues can disrupt your daily life and how you feel.
The exact cause of your IBS is primarily unknown. It might be related to your diet, stress, physical inactivity, and medications. A typical management option would be to address your diet first. For example, increasing the amount of fiber in your diet.2 Let's see how fiber may help with your IBS.
What is fiber?
Fiber is important for managing your IBS, overall digestion, and keeping you healthy. It's a carbohydrate that your body can't break down, so it goes through your body without changing. There are two main types of fiber in the diet. Insoluble fiber resists digestion and acts like roughage. It makes your poop bigger. It’s found in leafy greens, fruit skins, and beans. On the other hand, soluble fiber soaks up water and turns into a gel-like substance. You can find soluble fiber in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts. Many plant foods have both kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble. Looking for foods higher in soluble fiber can help manage your IBS symptoms.3
How does soluble fiber play a role in IBS management?
Soluble fiber can help control your IBS symptoms in a few ways. It can make your hard stools softer, which makes them easier to pass. It can also slow down how fast food moves through your gut, which can help with diarrhea, cramps, and bloating. Plus, it can help keep your bathroom trips more regular. Furthermore, it's like a good meal for the friendly bacteria in your gut. Here are some choices to make things easier.
Which foods are the best sources of soluble fiber?
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, dried figs, oranges, pears
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, peas
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds
- Vegetables: Avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans, kale, sweet potato
- Whole Grains: Barley, brown rice, oats, popcorn, quinoa, rye, teff
Recipe: High-Fiber, IBS-Friendly, Overnight Oats
Here’s a simple yet delicious recipe for overnight oats that may help ease your gut symptoms.
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 cup dairy alternative of your choice
1/4 cup frozen mixed berries
2 tablespoons chopped almonds or 1 Tablespoon almond butter
Using a mason jar, combine the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon, and dairy alternatives of your choice. Shake vigorously. Top with frozen berries. Store in fridge overnight. Top with sliced almonds or almond butter before serving.
Nutritional Information: 320 Calories, 38g Carbohydrates, 10g Fiber, 15g Fat, 11g Protein
Prep time: 3 minutes
Original Recipe by Robin Holliday, MS, CN, 2023. _____
Dealing with IBS can be challenging, but you can make it easier by changing what you eat and how you live. Eating a healthy diet with lots of soluble fiber is one of the best things you can do for your IBS. Discover how to manage your IBS and overall gut health by setting up an appointment at one of our clinics.
About the Author
Robin Holliday is a Dietetic Intern at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. She is passionate about functional nutrition and its profound impact on optimizing health. When she is not studying, she enjoys spending time outdoors walking in nature or meal-prepping IBS-friendly meals throughout the week.
- Cleveland Clinic Medical Professional. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Cleveland Clinic.
September 24, 2020. Accessed September 30, 2022. https://cle.clinic/45Moq5b.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. The Mayo Clinic. November 4, 2022.
Accessed September 30, 2022. https://mayocl.in/3QkKLlS.
- El-Salhy M, Ystad SO, Mazzawi T, et al. Dietary fiber in irritable bowel syndrome (Review). Int J
Mol Med. 2017;40(3):607-613. doi:10.3892/ijmm.2017.3072