For some people, avoiding high-FODMAP foods doesn't provide complete relief of IBS symptoms. That's understandable, since IBS isn't yet curable and tends to be cyclic, with periods of greater stability and calm interspersed with flare-ups and times of symptom exacerbation. There often isn't any explanation for why the condition gets better or worse if a person's diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits haven't changed. It appears to just be the nature of the beast.
If a low-FODMAP vegan diet hasn't helped to resolve your IBS symptoms as significantly as you'd like, you could try an adjunct or alternative approach: a vegan diet high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water, forming a gel-like substance that slows digestion, softens stools, and helps to improve elimination. Conversely, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water but instead passes directly through the digestive tract essentially intact. Insoluble fiber increases stool bulk, which helps to keep bowel movements regular and prevent constipation. We need both soluble and insoluble fiber in our diets, and most whole plant foods contain both in varying proportions. The aim of a remedial approach for IBS that emphasizes soluble fiber is to center the diet around foods that provide more soluble fiber than insoluble fiber and make them the foundation of every meal.
Be aware that such a diet typically isn't gluten-free and generally contains some high-FODMAP foods. But if these specific foods aren't problematic for you and don't trigger your symptoms, they might actually help calm your irritable gut.
Foods high in soluble fiber are particularly welcome when we're craving something soft and soothing. Please be aware that many people with IBS also feel better when they consume mostly cooked foods (rather than raw vegetables, raw fruits, and salads), as these are often easier to digest and create less gas and fewer symptoms. A high-soluble-fiber diet is based primarily on foods that are naturally soft and somewhat gelatinous when cooked (such as oatmeal and barley) and not visibly fibrous. It excludes foods with skins that can't be removed (such as grapes and legumes) and minimizes raw, fibrous, and hard, tough foods (such as stringy vegetables and fruits, whole grains and bran, nuts, and seeds).
The following lists feature items that are high in soluble fiber and/or those that are naturally soft and comforting. As long as these foods don't trigger your symptoms, you might want to experiment with gradually adding more of them to your diet. (Note that "HF" indicates a high-FODMAP food, "LF" indicates a low-FODMAP food when limited to certain portion sizes, and "G" indicates a food that contains gluten.)
Breads and Pasta
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