5 Common "Gut-Friendly" Foods That Can Actually Trigger IBS

Soz to break it to ya, but you might wanna rethink your kombucha.

gut health
Image: iStock

Say the words ‘gut health’ and you’d be forgiven for rattling off things like kombucha and sauerkraut. Don’t get us wrong, whilst they certainly can assist with boosting the good bacteria in your gut and simultaneously help you de-bloat, in some people, they can actually have the opposite effect.
Take me for example. As much as I’d like to get on board the ‘buch bandwagon, fact of the matter is, I can’t. It just doesn’t sit well with me, and every time I’ve tried to drink it, I’m left feeling—well, bloated, which is obviously not the desired outcome.
I don’t follow a low FODMAP diet as such nor am I a real IBS-sufferer, however I have learnt to identify some triggers that my stomach doesn’t necessarily like, and this is definitely one of them.
So if you too are feeling like you eat all the ‘right’ foods and still experience digestive discomfort, read on as Chloe McLeod, Dietitian, Owner of The FODMAP Challenge and Co-Owner of Health & Performance Collective shares with us some other common culprits that come with a ‘gut-friendly’ stamp of approval but instead, may be triggering IBS-like symptoms due to their high FODMAP content.

#1 Kombucha

Whilst kombucha can be a godsend for some people due to the fermentation process, and presence of probiotics, for some people with IBS, it can actually be a trigger. Consume more than 180mL/day and you may find symptoms, due to the presence of FODMAPs in larger serves of this popular drink!

#2 Yoghurt

Whilst yoghurt is full of healthy probiotics, it still contains lactose. If you know your FODMAPs, lactose is the ‘D’, disaccharide, and is one of the most common triggers of IBS. Instead, choose a lactose free, or have a smaller portion of a goat yoghurt (less than 170g).

gut health
Image: iStock

#3 Sauerkraut

Similar to those above, fermented cabbage is a popular choice for many who want to improve their gut health. However, more than 1tbsp per day can be a trigger for some people, due to the FODMAP content of larger serves.

#4 Chickpeas

Chickpeas and other legumes are often recommended due to their fibre content, however for many people this group of foods aren’t digested all that well, and result in bloating and other symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.

#5 Prebiotic-rich foods

Prebiotics are the fibres that provide food for all those healthy bacteria in your gut. Unfortunately, many of these prebiotic rich foods are also rich in FODMAPs. For example, onion, garlic and asparagus (and the legumes mentioned above) are all great sources of prebiotics, and are also rich in FODMAPs. Aim to choose lower FODMAP prebiotics instead; you can find more info on this here.

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