If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may find that eating raw vegetables can make your symptoms worse.
This article will explain why raw vegetables can cause IBS symptoms and how to figure out which vegetables affect you and which ones don’t. It will also suggest some alternative ways to prepare vegetables to reduce their likelihood of causing symptoms.
Why Vegetables Can Stimulate Irritable Bowel Syndrome
To date, there is no clinical evidence that raw vegetables may or may not aggravate IBS symptoms. Still, many people with IBS complain of bloating, gas, constipation and even diarrhea after eating raw vegetables.
This may be true for several reasons. On the one hand, uncooked vegetables require more work from the digestive system. This is because it has to break down the food components and the fiber content of the product. When you cook vegetables, the heat kicks off the process, so cooked vegetables are less demanding on the digestive system.
It’s also possible that when you eat salads or raw vegetables, you’re just eating more food. According to the FODMAP diet theory, this may increase the gas and osmotic “load”. FODMAP stands for fermentable Oligosaccharidedisaccharides, monosaccharides and Polyol. These are all types of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and often trigger IBS symptoms.
The problem may not be the raw vegetables, but the vegetables you choose. Vegetables such as mushrooms, celery, cauliflower, onions, and snow peas are on the list of high-FODMAP foods that may trigger IBS symptoms.
Causes and Risk Factors of IBS
Find out which vegetables irritate your gut
Everyone is different, and everyone’s IBS is different. There’s no reason to cut any raw vegetables unless they’re giving you trouble.
If you’re not sure which vegetables are making you sick, you may want to try eliminating certain vegetables to see if that helps. It may take some time to narrow down, but by experimenting with a variety of vegetables you should get some answers. By noticing how your body responds to certain vegetables, you can begin to figure out which ones to avoid. You may find it helpful to use the FODMAPs Food List as a getting started guide.
If IBS symptoms persist despite efforts to control your diet, see a gastroenterologist. Your symptoms can be caused by many other conditions, such as celiac disease or chronic pancreatitis.
When to see a doctor about IBS pain
If you want to benefit from raw vegetables but are concerned about their effects on your body, you may want to consider juicing. While you’ll lose most of the vegetable’s fiber content, juicing may provide a more comfortable way to get the other nutritional benefits of raw vegetables.
Cooking vegetables also helps. Both cooking and juicing start to break down the food. This makes it easier for your digestive system to complete the process.
10 Things to Stop Doing When You Have IBS
Some people with IBS find that eating raw vegetables can trigger symptoms. Trying to remove certain vegetables from your diet may help you figure out which ones are responsible. Cooking or juicing vegetables can help break them down, making it easier for your digestive system.
Raw or not, vegetables are good for your digestion and overall health. If symptoms persist after changing your diet, you may need to speak with a gastroenterologist to help understand the problem.