You’ve read it a million times, fruit is a key component to a balanced, healthy diet. However, IBS and fruit are not exactly the best pair. Fruit contains many beneficial nutrients, but not all of them are IBS-friendly. The good news is, you don’t need to avoid all fruit, just the fruits that irritate your IBS.
Since each person’s IBS triggers are different, it’s important to identify which fruits cause your symptoms… if any at all! There are also fruit preparation methods that decrease the likelihood of a flare in symptoms. Check out our tips to managing IBS and fruit intake below.
Peel your Fruit
Peeling fruit can be a great way to decrease the likelihood of a symptom flare. The skin on fruit is full of insoluble fiber, which the human body does not digest efficiently. Insoluble fiber can be especially irritating to IBS-D, but people with all IBS types can use this trick to manage symptoms. Fruits that you can peel include apples, pears, mangos, kiwi, oranges, and melons.
Avoid Fruit Juice
Fruit juice can be high in compounds that trigger IBS symptoms. Fruit juices high in fructose (sugar) can be especially irritating. Examples of these fruits include apples, mangoes, pears, and watermelon. Make sure to read nutrition labels on fruit juices to ensure there are no added sweeteners (natural or artificial), such as high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol.
Be Cautious with Dried Fruit
Dried fruits, similar to fruit juices, are extremely concentrated. Concentrated forms of fruit contain higher levels of fiber, fructose, and other bothersome ingredients than fresh fruit, even at smaller portion sizes. We recommend limiting dried fruit and getting most of your fruit intake from fresh fruit sources.
Cook your Fruit
Although you may typically opt to eat fresh fruit, cooking fruit enables your body to digest irritating ingredients more efficiently. Cooking fruit may sound silly, but we’ve got some ideas to make cooked fruit your new favorite snack.
First and foremost, apple sauce is a great way to get all of the flavor of apples without the irritation. When making applesauce, apples are peeled and cooked down. Both processes help to reduce the likelihood of triggering IBS symptoms.
In addition, we also suggest baking fruit in the oven! For a healthy, IBS-friendly dessert, try baking a sliced banana in the oven with a sprinkle of cinnamon and adding a small scoop of dairy free ice cream or cool whip on top.
Stick to low FODMAP Fruit
If you’ve been researching IBS management, you’ve likely come across the low FODMAP diet. If you have not, FODMAPS are short-chain carbohydrates that your gut may have trouble digesting. The low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet that helps people with IBS identify the foods that trigger their symptoms. Even if the low FODMAP diet is not perfect for you, people with IBS may still benefit from sticking to low FODMAP fruit options. Examples of low FODMAP fruits include bananas, oranges, raspberries, strawberries, and grapes.
Our favorite IBS-friendly Fruit Recipes
Banana Pancakes: https://app.onpoint-nutrition.com/recipes/banana-pancakes/
French Toast: https://app.onpoint-nutrition.com/recipes/french-toast/
Peanut Butter and Banana Steel Cut Oats: https://app.onpoint-nutrition.com/recipes/peanut-butter-and-banana-steel-cut-oatmeal/
Chocolate Protein Banana Shake: https://app.onpoint-nutrition.com/recipes/chocolate-protein-banana-shake/
To read more about foods to avoid, foods to eat and how to make easy changes to your IBS diet to mitigate your symptoms, download our IBS Nutrition Guide.
Kaitlyn Willwerth is a Registered Dietitian at OnPoint Nutrition. Kaitlyn's work focuses on providing individualized health and lifestyle coaching and, most importantly, support. She is a Certified LEAP Therapist and has also completed the Monash University 'Low FODMAP Diet for IBS' online training course for health professionals.