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11 Best IBS Foods To Eat For Breakfast + Fast, Convenient Options

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11 Best IBS Foods To Eat For Breakfast + Fast, Convenient Options

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 11% of the worldwide population.
  • Diet changes, including a low FODMAP diet, can drastically improve symptoms.
  • If you want support, meet with a dietitian and try some of these 11 IBS-friendly breakfast foods to start your day.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal (GI) disorder affecting 11% of the worldwide population.

Common symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and altered bowel movements (diarrhea and/or constipation). 

In people with IBS, 60% report that what they eat causes unpleasant side effects and impacts their quality of life.

Treatment is multi-component, including dietary changes, stress management, and strategies to regulate bowel movements and reduce pain. 

Growing evidence supports using a low FODMAP diet to manage IBS symptoms compared to other diets (gluten-free, lactose-free, or low-fat). 

A large meta-analysis from 2021, including 14 studies, concluded that a low-FODMAP diet has been shown to reduce IBS severity by 66% and improve quality of life by 42% compared to a control diet. 

Keep reading for 11 simple, low FODMAP, and IBS-friendly breakfast foods to start your day off with fewer IBS side effects. 

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What are FODMAPs?

FODMAP is an acronym for common foods that worsen IBS symptoms. FODMAP stands for:

  • F - fermentable
  • O - oligosaccharides
  • D - disaccharides 
  • M - monosaccharides
  • A - and 
  • P - polyols

Intake of these FODMAPs (small, hard-to-digest, and fermentable carbohydrate foods) can trigger IBS symptoms of gas, bloating, pain, and bowel movement irregularity. 

In the beginning, you’ll eliminate all FODMAP-rich foods.

If IBS symptoms improve, then you reintroduce specific groups of foods to determine exact triggers. 

The low FODMAP diet is meant to be used temporarily to develop a customized long-term diet that improves IBS symptoms.  

Working with a registered dietitian (RD) trained in GI health can be life-changing. They can help you follow the low FODMAP diet successfully and healthfully, as it is a restrictive diet.

Together, you can build a sustainable eating plan to get IBS symptom relief. 

11 Best Foods to Eat for Breakfast to Manage IBS 

This list of foods is low FODMAP and can help you reduce your IBS symptoms. 

The list includes protein, healthy fats, and low FODmap vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Monash University, the world’s foremost authority on FODMAPs, provides lists of foods low in FODMAPs.

1. Oats

Oats are a low FODMAP whole grain worth including in your diet because they’re whole grain and nutrient-dense.

Oats are versatile and can be made into a bowl of oatmeal with toppings or oatmeal energy bites.

One half-cup of rolled or old-fashioned oats contains 4 g of fiber (13% of your daily needs), 2 g of soluble fiber, and 5 g of protein.

Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar.

Regularly eating oatmeal can improve gut bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Most protein sources are considered low-FODMAP as they contain no carbohydrates, including eggs. 

2. Eggs

Eggs are an affordable protein, easy to digest, and full of beneficial nutrients.

In the past, egg consumption was linked to heart disease, but most research finds no link between cholesterol in eggs and increased blood cholesterol.

One large egg provides 6 g of protein, 40% of the daily value (DV) of iodine, 15% of riboflavin, 20% of vitamin B12, and 30% of vitamin D. 

3. Cheese

Cheese is a surprise food that can fit into an IBS diet.

Often, individuals with IBS avoid lactose-containing foods as they can trigger symptoms.

Hard cheese such as cheddar, Colby, mozzarella, or Swiss cheese are lower in lactose and are tolerated well. 

Incorporating cheese can be a great way to eat more calcium and boost the protein content of a meal to stay full longer. 

One slice of cheddar cheese contains 6 g of protein and 20% DV of calcium.

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4. Quinoa

Quinoa is another high-fiber carbohydrate food with the bonus of protein.

Quinoa also contains B vitamins like riboflavin, folic acid, and thiamine. 

You can use pre-cooked quinoa and rewarm to save time in the morning.

Top with cinnamon and fruit, and eat similar to oatmeal.  

Three-quarters of a cup of cooked quinoa provides 6 g of protein, 3 g of fiber (10% of your daily needs), and 10% DV of iron.

5. Corn Flakes

Sometimes, an easy option is needed for busy mornings.

Corn flakes with almond milk will provide an IBS-friendly morning breakfast with no preparation time. 

One cup of cornflakes provides a small amount of protein and fiber.

6. Almond Milk

Almond milk is naturally lactose-free.

Many people with IBS struggle with lactose-containing products. 

Almond milk is slightly lower in calories, carbohydrates, and protein than dairy milk.

Manufacturers of almond milk add calcium, vitamin D and A to match or exceed the amounts of those nutrients found in dairy milk. 

One cup of unsweetened almond milk provides 35% DV of calcium, 10% of vitamin A, 50% of vitamin E, and 25% of vitamin D.

7. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with nutrients and won’t irritate your IBS.

A one-cup serving of berries provides 6 to 8 gm of fiber (25% of your daily needs). 

Try pairing your berries with your favorite protein option (hard cheese, nuts, or yogurt) or add to cooked oats or quinoa for a warm breakfast.

8. Lactose-free Yogurt

Lactose-free yogurt is an excellent way for someone with IBS to consume dairy.

Dairy is a good source of calcium, protein, and probiotics.

Many lactose-free options are available in stores. 

Six ounces (¾ cup) of lactose-free yogurt provides you with 7 g of protein, 1 g of fiber, and 15% DV of calcium.

Add berries on top for some more fiber and nutrients.

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9. Bananas

A banana is a portable, affordable, and easy option to add to your breakfast. 

Ensure you choose less-ripe bananas (firm and yellow rather than brown with spots).

As bananas ripen, they contain more FODMAPs.

One medium (firm and not too ripe) banana contains 1 g of protein, 2 g of fiber, 10% of vitamin C, 22% of vitamin B6, and 12% of manganese.

10. Sweet Potatoes

Adding sweet potatoes to breakfast is a unique way to eat more vegetables. 

Limiting your serving size to one-half cup of sweet potatoes ensures it is low FODMAP.

Increasing to ⅔ of a cup serving size will contain more FODMAPs and possibly cause IBS symptoms. 

A half cup of sweet potato provides 2 g of fiber and 77% DV of vitamin A.

Vitamin A is needed for healthy vision and immune function.

Try a sweet potato hash with eggs or sliced like toast and warm in your toaster.

11. Walnuts

Walnuts and other nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and pecans can be enjoyed on an IBS-friendly diet.

Limit your portion to one ounce. 

Walnuts are larger, so this equates to 10 nut halves and will provide you with 4 g of protein, 2 g of fiber (7% of your daily needs), healthy fats, and an excellent source of copper and manganese.

Walnuts (and most types of nut intake) are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Takeaway

Choosing foods and drinks that improve your IBS symptoms can greatly impact your health and quality of life. 

Following a low FODMAP diet under the guidance of a dietitian can improve your symptoms.

At first, it might feel difficult to choose low-FODMAP foods, but these 11 IBS-friendly options can get you started with breakfast. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

Working with an IBS registered dietitian can fast-track your symptom improvement.

They can help you follow the low FODMAP diet and develop a customized long-term IBS diet that meets your nutrition needs and accommodates your health conditions. 

Find a dietitian near you to better understand how to manage your IBS through diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods help settle IBS?

Choosing low-FODMAP foods helps reduce IBS symptoms and their severity.

Choose foods off of this list or seek the guidance of a registered dietitian for personalized IBS advice.

Are scrambled eggs OK for IBS?

Scrambled eggs are a low FODMAP food and are usually tolerated well by people with IBS.

After following a low FODMAP diet, if you still have issues with eggs, it could be related to an allergy or intolerance (unrelated to IBS).

What kind of snacks can I eat with IBS?

Snacks containing low-FODMAP foods are a great fit for people with IBS.

You can repurpose these breakfast foods into snack foods.

References

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