Indian Diet for IBS Diarrhea

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the colon, characterised by irregular bowel patterns. The exact cause of IBS is unknown, food sensitivities, food allergies, gut dysbiosis, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) could be some of the reasons.

The major symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, and bloating accompanied by bouts of diarrhea and/or constipation. These symptoms tend to come and go.

Foods that can be consumed in IBS diarrhea

Diet and lifestyle changes are beneficial for managing IBS. Before starting to change, you must understand your body. Try to keep a 7 -10-day record of everything you eat and drink and at what time of the day.

Consume insoluble-fiber-containing foods. Insoluble fiber helps to relieve diarrhea whereas soluble fiber helps to relieve constipation. Fiber intake increases the abundance of Bifidobacterium (good bacteria) in the gut. These bacteria not only help with gut motility, but also immune insulin resistance, immune function, and weight maintenance.

But, remember to not overload on fibre. Starting with 25 grams of fibre per day and slowly building your way up to 60 grams is ideal.

Follow low FODMAP diets that contain easy-to-digest foods which help in re-building the good bacterial population of the gut and reduce IBS symptoms. You can slowly introduce high FODMAP foods after a few weeks to increase bacterial diversity in the gut and facilitate healing. FODMAP stands for ‘Fermentable Oligo Di Monosaccharides and Polyols.

  • Limit fruit intake to 2 to 4 per day and veggies to 3 to 4 servings per day.
  • Fruits that you can consume include bananas, oranges, papaya, prunes, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, passion fruit, kiwi, muskmelon, and pineapples. Try the prune, grapes, and muskmelon salad to make up for your fruit intake.
  • Vegetables you can consume include carrots, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, zucchini, potatoes, olives, spinach, lettuce, radishes, mint, celery, turnips, kale, and watercress. You can increase flavour in foods by adding lemongrass, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram.
  • Seeds you can consume include flax seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds.
  • Nuts you can consume include Brazil nuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, and pine nuts.
  • Rely on whole grains such as oats, barley and quinoa. Try simple variants such as Ragi roti and quinoa pancakes.
  • Drink plenty of water. In the case of IBS diarrhoea, the water lost needs to be replenished.  Drink at least two liters of water daily.
  • Try prebiotics and probiotics. They enhance the colonies of “good” bacteria, and they help the gut become healthy.
  • Have your dinner early.

Foods to avoid by IBS diarrhea patients

  • IBS patients must avoid consuming chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, asparagus, sweet corn, capsicum, onions, beetroot, garlic, baked beans, cannellini beans, and black beans.
  • Limit intake of fruits such as cherries, apricots, mango, plums, figs, pears, dates, blackberries, watermelon, and peach.
  • Avoid fruit juices since they lack fiber and are high in fructose.
  • Avoid processed foods such as semolina, maida, and rye.
  • Cut down on your fat intake. Restrict the use of butter, cheese, mayonnaise, and ghee. Replace ricotta and cream cheese with cheddar, cottage, mozzarella, feta, Swiss, or parmesan cheese.
  • Keep a check on your intake of wheat and dairy products. Preferably consume low-fat, lactose-free, almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk.
  • Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, and sugar substitutes since they contain sorbitol which can cause diarrhea and bloating. Limiting honey may also be beneficial since it contains fructose in high amounts. Avoid consuming stevia, jaggery, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, isomalt, and xylitol.  Switch to golden syrup or maple syrup and try using brown or castor sugar instead.
  • Avoid consuming meat such as fish and poultry which have high fat content and are relatively difficult to digest. Lean meats such as turkey and chicken contain a lot of growth hormones and toxins, which can cause hormonal imbalances.
  • Limit consumption of eggs since they have high sulphur content, leading to the rise in inflammatory bacteria in the gut. They also have high cholesterol content.
  • Try to avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, aerated drinks, chocolate, chocolate powder, vinegar, cashews, pistachios, and chewing gum.
  • Avoid consuming large meals, skipping meals, and irregular meal timings.

Breakfast options: Oats Porridge, green smoothie, banana smoothie, oats Pongal, quinoa and lentil dosa, millet upma and fruit bowl, vegetable vermicelli bowl with buttermilk, peanut butter sandwich, oats and spinach chilla, vegetable poha, cooked daliya with potato.

Lunch options: Brown rice, sweet potatoes with multigrain roti and cucumber raita, besan chilla with stir-fried bean sprouts, tofu paratha, toor dal with bajra and soy bean phulka, Soba noodle salad with tomato soup, palak besan vegetable, moong dal with multigrain roti and buttermilk, mashed potatoes, paneer paratha

Dinner options: Quinoa and lentil soup with carrot porriyal, brown rice pulao with roasted eggplant and tomato soup, sweet potato patty and sprouted white peas ragda, oats, and mixed vegetable khichdi with vegan kadhi, bajra phulka with mixed vegetables and spinach or beetroot raita, idli sambhar, sabudana khichdi, pumpkin soup


In addition, exercise regularly and engage in activities such as swimming, cycling, or walking, and reduce stress levels. Avoid consuming excessive antibiotics since they can deprive the gut of good bacteria, in addition to eliminating the bad ones. Also, it is best to follow such a plan under the guidance of a gut health professional.