It is estimated about 15% of adults suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. IBS is not a disease but a group of symptoms affecting the large intestine. Although digestive discomfort is experienced more frequently by those with IBS, it affects us all. By establishing regular eating habits and consuming a balanced diet rich in fiber and lower in fat, minimizing stress, and maintaining an active lifestyle we can positively impact our digestive health.
Digestive Health Nutrition Tips
Try Eating Small Meals and Stick to a Consistent Eating Schedule
Larger meals can bring discomfort, so trying smaller meals with snacks in between can be helpful.
Focus on the Quality of Foods You Eat
The Reasor’s Registered Dietitians recommend consuming fiber-rich foods and foods that are lean or lower in fat.
- Recommended Fiber Needs:
- Women 50 and under need 25 grams of fiber each day.
- Women 51 and over need 21 grams of fiber each day.
- Men 50 and under need 38 grams of fiber each day.
- Men 51 and over need 30 grams of fiber each day.
When it comes to fluids, a good rule of thumb is to drink half of your weight in ounces, plus any weight lost during exercise or physical activity. For example, if an individual weighs 200 pounds they would need to consume about 100 ounces of fluid each day (including beverages and fluid from foods such as fruits and vegetables). In another example, if an individual exercises and loses one pound during a workout they would need to consume an additional 16 ounces of fluid (since there are 16 ounces in one pound).
Enjoy a Variety of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Your Diet
Probiotics are live, helpful strains of bacteria in our food that help maintain a healthy and protective balance of bacteria in our gut. They offer this protection by helping prevent pathogens from sticking in our gut, producing secretions to inhibit the growth of pathogens, competing with pathogens for essential nutrients, and encouraging our immune systems to respond to pathogens.
Prebiotics are fibers in foods that cannot be digested but instead nourish the probiotics living in our gut. When the probiotics are properly nourished, they can multiply to help maintain the healthy balance of bacteria in our gut as previously discussed.
Digestive Health Shopping List:
Fruit & Vegetables:
Frozen, no sugar or sodium added
Canned fruit, in 100% fruit juice
Canned vegetables, no sodium added
Dried, no sugar added
Rice, brown or wild
Tortillas, corn or whole wheat
Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Cereal, low-sugar
Whole Grain Pasta
Lean Proteins & Dairy:
Beans and peas, dried or canned
Greek yogurt, low-sugar and low-fat or fat-free
Meat, lean cuts
Milk, low-fat or fat-free
Nuts and seeds
Yogurt, low-sugar and low-fat or fat-free
Not only does Reasor’s offer several foods to help promote digestive health, but they have Registered Dietitians on staff that are here to help you achieve your nutrition and digestive health goals through a variety of services. They can show you how to navigate Reasor’s stores to find and select foods that are great for your digestive system, talk with you one-on-one about your digestive health, and develop a meal plan customized just for you!
Information included does not constitute medical advice and should only be used as a general recommendation for a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. Reasor’s Registered Dietitians’ opinions and recommendations are their own; they are not paid to endorse any products or services.