Monday, 29 October 2012

Food Gone Wild: The Gaslight Edition

After introducing you to the idea that sometimes the unhealthiest foods are the easiest to digest for some IBS sufferers, I would like to talk a little about a specific symptom - gas.  I have already covered fibre here and here and I have touched on my love-hate relationship with corn and rhubarb, but let's talk about some gas-inducing foods.

The first obvious one would be cabbage.  Can anyone honestly say that they have ever come out of a meal involving cabbage (especially raw) completely unscathed?  This is on my Do Not Eat List, and if you have trouble with gas as an IBS symptom, I would recommend adding this to your list as well.

Another obvious one is turnip, and I know I am not alone here.  I know a couple of moms who do not give their baby turnip because of the flatulence that ensues.

Broccoli.  A lot of people hate this vegetable, personally, I love it.  Unfortunately, as is often the case with IBS, it does not always love me.  But, if you steam the heck out of it, broccoli can be quite digestible and you should avoid any serious side effects.  I keep bags and bags of it in the freezer as a quick side to a meal.

Next vegetable... peppers.  These vegetables are tied with cabbage at the very top of my Do Not Eat List.  The colour does not matter and it can be a regular or hot pepper, there is absolutely no difference.  I can honestly say I have not willingly eaten one of these in roughly a decade.

The general rule with fruits and vegetables is - if it has a peel, peel it.  I do realize that a lot of the nutrients and fibre are contained in the peel, but, unless you want to fart your way through life and feel like a hot air balloon, I would strongly suggest that you follow this key step.  When I began to do this it was absolutely life changing.  This one small change has allowed me to eat zucchini, cucumber (small amounts) and apples again - and to eat them raw!

Other gas-inducing foods in the not-so healthy category are:

  • Frozen pizza/regular pizza
  • Cheese
  • Rice cakes (especially the flavoured kind)
  • Kraft Dinner
  • Munchies Mix
  • Ice cream

The final category worth mentioning are beans and lentils, which are problematic for most people, I believe.  They are so notorious, in fact, that they have been made digestively famous by many a rhyme ... beans, beans, make you... and every family has a story about the after-effects of chili night at their house!

So, to recap a few of the golden rules for a blissfully gas-free (or reduced) existence:

  • Peel it if you can
  • Steam your veggies
  • Try to avoid eating raw fruits and veggies 

For an excellent example of what you can do to relieve your gas, check out this post - but be warned, try this at home if you are having a bad IBS day!  In addition, if anyone else has recommendations of what to avoid or how to prepare, please, share your experiences so that we can learn from each other!

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