Looking for healthy breakfast ideas for IBS? The role of breakfast in your lifestyle cannot be underrated. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and what you eat will determine how well you are nourished and energized during the entire day. No matter how much of a rush you are in each morning, make it a priority to sit down, relax, and enjoy this meal.
Best breakfast foods to ease bloating throughout the day
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, more commonly known as IBS, affects up to one in five Britons, according to Bupa. If IBS is causing you to feel anxious about your food choices, try these gut-friendly breakfast foods to start your day without uncomfortable bloating.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic condition, which tends to flare up at various intervals – particularly when a person eats food that doesn’t agree with them, triggering their IBS.
Because IBS can affect people very differently, it is commonly suggested to keep a diary of what you eat, so you can begin to work out which foods cause flare-ups and eliminate them from your diet.
IBS causes stomach pain and discomfort, as well as changes to your bowel movements, including constipation, diarrhoea and flatulence.
If you think you might have IBS, be sure to speak to your doctor.
Your doctor will ask you some questions about your symptoms and examine you to rule out any other causes for your digestive issues.
IBS and your diet
Many people successfully manage IBS by making changes to their diet, based around cutting out their “trigger foods” and introducing some alternatives.
The low-FODMAP diet has been credited with alleviating the symptoms of IBS.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols; these are the terms for groups of carbohydrates known to trigger stomach and bowel symptoms.
Some people find eating low-FODMAP foods improves their IBS symptoms.
These breakfast foods are all low-FODMAP and could ease the painful and inconvenient symptoms of IBS throughout the day.
Porridge can be an IBS-friendly breakfast (Image: Getty)
Oats are an excellent natural whole grain full of soluble fibre. They are considered a low-FODMAP food, making them suitable for people with IBS.
Soluble fibre helps keep your digestive system working well, and can soothe constipation.
The type of soluble fibre found in oats is a substance known as beta-glucan.
Beta-glucan can also reduce your cholesterol levels and regulate your blood sugar after eating.
Yoghurt is full of gut-friendly probiotics (Image: Getty)
Eggs are high in protein, so if you eat them at breakfast you’re likely to stay full and energised until lunch.
When it comes to IBS, eggs are another low FODMAP food.
Some people with IBS prefer an egg white omelette, finding the yolk can be a bit rich for their stomach, but others are fine with whole eggs.
Add some vegetables to your omelette to make it even more flavoursome and filling.
If you want to avoid eggs altogether, because of IBS or any other reason, why not try scrambled tofu instead?
This plant-based alternative to eggs is high in protein but low in fat.
Season tofu with salt and pepper, and any other spices you can tolerate, before scrambling together in a pan with a bit of dairy-free butter.
Fermented foods, like yoghurt, can have a beneficial effect on your gut.
This is because they are full of probiotics; nicknamed ‘good bacteria’.
Make sure to choose a plain yoghurt without extra added sugar, and add some low-FODMAP fruit if you’d like to sweeten up your yoghurt, such as banana, raspberry or blueberries.
Best Foods for IBS Symptoms
You may know which foods you shouldn’t eat when you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But for many people, what often gets overlooked is which foods you should eat to ease IBS symptoms.
Everyone’s body is different, and foods you are sensitive to might not bother someone else. Still, there are many foods that are likely to have a positive effect on your digestive system without making your IBS symptoms worse.
This article lists proteins, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and other foods that are most likely to help your IBS symptoms. It also includes foods that are low in FODMAPs, meaning that they don’t easily ferment with bacteria in your colon and lead to gas, bloating, and pain.
Lean meats mainly consist of protein. Protein easily digests and gut bacteria doesn’t ferment it—which means it won’t give you gas. You should be able to eat any of the following with confidence:
- White meat chicken
- White meat turkey
- Lean cuts of beef (sirloin, top round, eye round, bottom round)
Fatty cuts may contain fats or toxins that cause inflammation in your body. Avoid dark meat chicken or turkey and marbled beef cuts if you can.
The only exception to this rule is if you are able to eat grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, or free-range poultry. Since these animals have been raised under healthier conditions, some people believe their fat content may actually benefit your gut bacteria.
Eggs digest easily and are a safe choice for someone with IBS. Eggs can be enjoyed hard-boiled, soft-boiled, scrambled, or poached. Omelets and frittatas can be your meal of choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and make a great option when eating out in a restaurant.
That said, not every person’s body responds to eggs the same. Some people are sensitive to the proteins in egg whites, while others report that the higher fat content of egg yolks causes a problem. You may need to go through some trial and error to see what works best for you.
Salmon and Other Omega-3 Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids play an anti-inflammatory role in the body. Since inflammation may be adding to your IBS symptoms, eating more omega-3s may help. Good fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Black cod
- Rainbow trout
- Wild-caught salmon
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Foods to Eat & Avoid, Benefits
Based on past experience, people who have IBS tend to avoid vegetables because eating them makes their symptoms worse. However, vegetables are very good for your gut flora, and therefore may be good for your IBS.
If this sounds like you, start by gradually eating more vegetables that are less likely to cause gas and bloating. Luckily, the FODMAP researchers from Monash University in Australia have studied and identified which vegetables fit that bill.
Ideally, you would start with the vegetables on the following list and then slowly broaden the range of vegetables that you eat:
- Bamboo shoots
- Bell peppers
- Corn (half a cob)
- Green beans
- Scallions (green parts only)
- Sweet potato
- Water chestnut
You may find that cooked vegetables are more gentle on your gut than raw vegetables. You can steam, sauté, or roast them and avoid any spices you are sensitive to.
Your gut flora will be grateful if, along with eating more vegetables, you also eat more leafy greens. Leafy greens are packed with nutrients and are unlikely to cause gut fermentation, making them low-FODMAP foods.
If you can tolerate them raw, leafy greens can be added to green smoothies, green juices, or made into a salad. But if you are like most people with IBS, you may find that your body is less reactive if the greens are cooked.
The easiest way to do this is to sauté or roast them with some olive oil.
- Arugula (rocket lettuce)
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
- Common cabbage
- Spinach (baby)
- Swiss chard
IBS Approved, Low FODMAP Breakfast Ideas
It’s a myth that you can’t create delicious breakfasts following the low FODMAP diet for IBS!
Navigating your way through how to manage IBS symptoms and eat the foods you like can be stressful, especially during breakfast time. Breakfast provides your body the first source of energy and nutrients to fuel you through the day. No one wants to start the day feeling bloated and uncomfortable. As a registered dietitians who specialize in IBS, we help people find easy and delicious meals that actually work for their busy schedules, while also managing their symptoms.
By following a low FODMAP diet there are many options to create your favourite breakfast meals!
Here are three IBS safe recipes and tips following the low FODMAP diet to kickstart your morning!
- Open Faced Omelette Sandwich
- Sunshine Breakfast Bowl
- PB&J Oats
‘FODMAPs’ are carbohydrates that ferment in the gut, contributing to IBS symptoms. Higher FODMAP foods contribute to symptoms because they ferment more rapidly. It can be challenging to start, but once you know correct portion sizing and how to include low-FODMAP fibres, making your favourite breakfasts can be easy!
FODMAP diets are successful for the majority of people with IBS, but everyone is different so if you aren’t getting relief from these options talk to your doctor or dietitian about other dietary options that may work for you.
Open Faced Omelette Sandwich
There are many low FODMAP substitutions for common breakfast items. Think you need to eliminate bread? This is a common FODMAP misconception!
Traditional sourdough and some gluten free breads, like Schar, which is certified low FODMAP by Monash University, can be a great substitution to start your day with a delicious breakfast sandwich.
Sunshine Breakfast Bowl
Starting your day with a little bit of citrus and coconut is the perfect way to brighten your morning!
Often it is seen that following a Low FODMAP diet requires elimination of foods you love, but portion size is everything! You don’t need to sacrifice your favourite flavours with the correct portion sizes. Having too much of a fruit or vegetable can trigger symptoms, but it doesn’t mean you need to eliminate them altogether.
Fibre is so important for proper gut health; it helps manage stool consistency for both diarrhea and constipation, and feeds good gut bacteria. While many high fibre foods are high FODMAP, there are still great low FODMAP fibre options too.
Incorporating low FODMAP fibre sources, such as flax seeds or strawberries into your breakfast is an easy way to provide adequate fibre to decrease gas and bloating from your meals.
Low FODMAP Breakfast Ideas: PB&J Oats & More
Easy and delicious peanut butter rolled oats with fruit
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mediterranean
- 1 pot is needed for this recipe
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp flax seed
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup strawberries sliced
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- Bring water to a boil
- Add in oats, stir and cook for 5 minutes
- Add in peanut butter and brown sugar, stir until combined
- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes
- Add flax seeds, strawberries and raspberries on top and your breakfast is ready!
Here’s your IBS-friendly day on a plate
Get your gut in order for good.
Get your gut in order for good.
Despite affecting so many Australians (five million), IBS is often misunderstood and mismanaged. For the patients I work with, restoring balance in their digestive system is the first step. It’s important to consider all of the things which will help or hinder your gut, including introducing a clinically proven probiotic into your daily routine with the help of a healthcare professional and cutting down on foods which can aggravate symptoms.
Probiotics are increasingly recognised for their role in overall health and wellbeing and in particular for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The body needs good bacteria (“probiotics”) for a number of things, however, these bacteria are often fragile. Common lifestyle issues such as diet, changes in routine, travel and stress can disrupt the natural balance of intestinal flora. For those suffering with IBS, symptoms can often be triggered by many of these factors, making the delicate balance of bacteria key to managing the illness.
Probiotics, which contain Bifantis® (Bifidobacterium infantis 35624) have been clinically proven to help relieve symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain, gas and bloating. There’s no right or wrong time of day to take probiotics, but I recommend making it the same time every day – so that it becomes part of your routine. For some, that is first thing in the morning, before breakfast; for others it is last thing at night.
When it comes to choosing foods to help with managing IBS symptoms, it’s easy to focus on everything you can’t have. However, there are still so many delicious options to include. Here’s my guide for the best gut-friendly foods to eat to beat IBS symptoms.
Lean protein and low GI carbs are still on the menu, and important for staying satisfied over the day. Scrambled eggs with zucchini and quinoa, or rolled oats with pumpkin seeds, berries and goat yoghurt are both winners.
Getting plenty of veggies in is still important at lunch, just as it is for people without IBS. This chicken salad with blueberry and walnut dressing, or smoked salmon salad with orange and rocket are both delicious, easy choices.
Consuming enough low GI carbohydrate with adequate prebiotic fibre is important, but it is also important to not overdo it. This Spinach and Basil Rice is a great choice (and a fun way to get the kids to eat more veggies) served with grilled meat and salad, or this Turmeric and Ginger Salmon is a great, anti-inflammatory option (and actually works really well with the rice dish!).