What is a good breakfast for irritable bowel syndrome?

What is irritable bowel syndrome?

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) include recurrent abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements that may be accompanied by either diarrhea, constipation, or both. In such cases, however, there may be no outward signs that your digestive tract is sick or damaged.

What is a good breakfast for irritable bowel syndrome?

People suffering from IBS can make dietary and lifestyle changes to better manage their gastrointestinal symptoms, improve their quality of life, and improve their digestive health.

People with IBS often experience gastrointestinal symptoms after eating certain meals, and what triggers symptoms in one person may not necessarily cause discomfort in another. Anyone suffering from IBS can benefit from some general measures, but finding out which ones work best for you requires an individualised strategy. Eating a balanced IBS breakfast is the best way to manage symptoms.

Low FODMAP breakfast

A low FODMAP diet is recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols are called FODMAPs. These are short-chain carbohydrates found in a variety of foods that tend to ferment, resulting in an increase in the amount of fluid and gas in the small and large intestines.

There are five different types of FODMAPs:

  • Fructans (found in onions, garlic, barley, cabbage, wheat and broccoli)
  • Fructose (found in honey, fruit, and high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Galactooligosaccharides (found in beans and legumes)
  • Lactose (found in dairy products)
  • Polyols (contained in sweet potatoes, apples and celery)

The 10 best FODMAP breakfast ideas

  1. Banana oatmeal and peanut butter
  2. For a yoghurt parfait, simply layer vanilla yoghurt, granola and fruit in a jar.
  3. Cottage cheese without lactose and a gluten-free muffin
  4. Muesli. For IBS, choose a cereal with a high fibre content. A high fibre intake keeps the colon slightly distended, which can help reduce or relieve muscle cramps associated with IBS.
  5. Tacos for breakfast. One of the easiest low FODMAP breakfast dishes you can make yourself is breakfast tacos.
  6. Low FODMAP pancakes
  7. Fried potatoes in an omelette
  8. French toast
  9. Chia seed pudding
  10. Mini egg muffins or frittatas

The best ingredients for breakfast at IBS

Care must be taken when choosing the ideal IBS breakfast. To manage the symptoms of IBS, you need to include meals that are high in fibre and other necessary elements in your breakfast. The ingredients listed below in your IBS breakfast will help prevent IBS triggers and speed up the healing process if you suffer an IBS attack:

  • Oatmeal
  • Whole grain cereal: A bowl of gluten-free cereal and lactose-free milk can be enjoyed as a snack by people with IBS. It is the best breakfast for IBS diarrhea.
  • Fruits
  • Fish
  • Lean meat
  • Water
  • Green leafy vegetables

What should you eat for breakfast when IBS flares up?

Foods you are sensitive to may not bother others, because everyone is different. However, many meals have a good chance of improving your digestive health without worsening IBS symptoms. Below are some of the best breakfasts for when your IBS flares up:

  1. A lean meat breakfast: Most lean meat is made up of protein. Protein is digested quickly and does not ferment in the intestines, so IBS is less likely to flare up. White meat of turkey, chicken, pork and lean beef (loin, topside, eye skin, lower skin) can be included  in the list of lean meats.
  2. Eggs: Eggs are the least expensive high-protein FODMAP breakfast and a safe option for people with IBS because they digest quickly. Eggs can be eaten scrambled, poached, hard-boiled or soft-boiled. If you are eating out, omelettes and frittatas are a fantastic option for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  3. Salmon and other omega-3 fish: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids could be helpful, as inflammation may be contributing to your IBS symptoms. Wild-caught salmon, herring, mackerel, rainbow trout, sardines, white fish, anchovies and black cod are some of the best sources of omega-3s.
  4. Low FODMAP vegetables and greens: eating more leafy greens in addition to vegetables will benefit your gut flora. Leafy greens are among the low FODMAP foods because they are rich in nutrients and cannot trigger fermentation in the gut.
  5. Low FODMAP fruits: bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, kiwi, lemons, limes, tangerines, olives, oranges, papaya, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries are the best fruits for relieving IBS flare-ups.
  6. Nuts: Almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts and hazelnuts (up to 10 pieces) are the best nuts for IBS.
  7. Seeds: Of all the seed types, chia seeds and flax seeds seem to be the most helpful for people with IBS, especially for those who are prone to constipation. Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber are present in large amounts in both types of seeds.

What can I take for morning irritable bowel syndrome?

Mornings are the worst times for IBS. The motility of the colon increases when you wake up, and this can lead to IBS. Stress affecting bowel motility could be one of the possible causes. Below is a diet you can follow if you have increased IBS symptoms in the morning:

  • Breakfast: a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, without any added sugar or sweetener.
  • Lunch: Baked sweet potatoes without butter and grilled or baked fish or chicken.
  • Dinner: spinach salad with grilled chicken or another lean protein (prepared without oil)
  • Protein shake or protein bar as a snack: high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners can significantly increase the risk of diarrhea, so read the label and stay away from foods containing these substances.

What can I put on my toast if I have irritable bowel syndrome?

The most popular option is toast with jam or peanut butter on it. You can also eat lean meat or an omelette on toast if you have IBS.

What are the worst triggers of IBS?

Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods is an important part of a healthy diet. However, for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), some meals can cause unfavourable digestive symptoms. Each person has a different set of specific triggers that cause IBS.

Triggers of IBS Diarrhea

  1. Fried foods
  2. Fatty foods
  3. Dairy products (especially if you're lactose intolerant)
  4. Foods made with wheat (if you're gluten sensitive)
  5. Excess fiber, especially from fruit and vegetable peels
  6. Carbonated beverages
  7. Chocolate
  8. Caffeine
  9. Alcohol

Triggers of IBS constipation

  1. Packaged foods (cookies, French fries)
  2. Processed grains (white flour)
  3. Dairy products (especially cheese)
  4. Excess protein
  5. Carbonated drinks
  6. Caffeine
  7. Alcohol

Elimination is a good strategy if you aren't sure which foods are causing your symptoms.

Is brown bread suitable for irritable bowel syndrome?

Brown bread is bread made with a lot of whole wheat flour, mainly wheat. Brown bread can cause bloating, aggravate constipation and increase diarrhea. There are bread types such as gluten-free white bread, millet bread, sourdough white bread, wheat sourdough bread, spelt sourdough bread, spelt bread, rye bread or rye sourdough bread.

How to deal with IBS constipation?

There is no one method that is best for treating IBS constipation. Often, sufferers combine a variety of therapies to calm down. Dietary changes, exercise, stress reduction and medication are some of the measures that can help.

The main goal of treatment is not only to relieve gastrointestinal problems. It is also to relieve bloating, discomfort and abdominal pain, which are common side effects of IBS constipation. Foods you should limit or avoid include:

  • Apples
  • Garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Milk, rye and wheat bread
  • Asparagus

Supplements such as wheat bran, corn fiber and psyllium can sometimes help with constipation. Also, try the following:


Exercise is fantastic for our health and mood, and moderate exercise has been shown to help with IBS symptoms like constipation. A meta-analysis titled "Exercise Therapy in Patients with IBS: A systematic review of randomised controlled trials," published in the journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility, found that a variety of sports, including yoga, hiking and mountain climbing, dramatically reduce IBS symptoms.

The right kind of fiber

Numerous foods such as oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, avocado and Brussels sprouts contain soluble fiber. Eating these foods more often can ensure that stools are soft and pass easily and painlessly.

Peppermint tea

For years, peppermint has been recommended as a natural remedy for digestive and other health problems. A recent meta-analysis published in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, titled "The impact of peppermint oil on the irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of the pooled clinical data," found that regularly taking a peppermint oil capsule with meals helps reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, such as bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

Stay well hydrated

Everyone needs to drink enough fluids, but if your IBS is prone to constipation, you should pay special attention to your water consumption because water aids digestion. If you are dehydrated, the intestines will draw moisture from your stool. This can cause or worsen IBS constipation by hardening and drying out your stool.

Last words

Don't be put off by the lists of foods that can be harmful to people with IBS. Don't think that you can never eat any of them again; the foods that each person finds unpleasant are individual.

Test the food groups that are high in FODMAPs or try an exclusion diet. To make sure you're getting all the important elements of your diet, eat as many different foods as possible. It can be difficult to stick to a particular diet at first, but with time and practice, you'll manage and feel better.


Rej, Anupam, and David Surendran Sanders. “Gluten-Free Diet and Its ‘Cousins’ in Irritable Bowel Syndrome.” PubMed Central (PMC), 11 Nov. 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6266983.

Alammar, N., Wang, L., Saberi, B. et al. The impact of peppermint oil on the irritable bowel syndrome: a meta-analysis of the pooled clinical data. BMC Complement Altern Med 19, 21 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-018-2409-0

Zhou, C, Zhao, E, Li, Y, Jia, Y, Li, F. Exercise therapy of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2019; 31:e13461. https://doi.org/10.1111/nmo.13461.

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