Purition can be a beneficial addition to a healthy, balanced diet for most people living with IBS, and we also had positive feedback from our customers with IBS that they get on very well with Purition.
Of course, like with any medical conditions, there are some things to take into consideration, which we will discuss in detail below:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition of the digestive system and is a collection of gut symptoms that can vary from person to person both in range and severity.
It is a rather common condition that is affecting approximately 20% of the adult population. Most people living with IBS experience physical symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps or pain, diarrhoea, and constipation. These often come and go over time and flare-ups of these symptoms can persist for varying lengths (from days to even months at a time).
IBS flare-ups can often happen for no obvious reasons, however there are some well-known triggers such as alcohol, caffeine, certain foods (spicy or fatty foods such as chips, pizza, crisps, sausages…etc) as well as stress and anxiety.
As a first step, it is vital to get a medical diagnosis of IBS to best manage it and especially to rule out other medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), coeliac disease or to find any underlying food intolerance that may cause IBS.
Once diagnosed, although there is no single diet (or medication) that works for everyone, there are several helpful guidelines that can help ease symptoms and manage the condition.
The recommendation of a healthy, balanced diet that IBS sufferers are advised to follow is not dissimilar to the guidance that is recommended for everyone. Such a diet needs to predominantly consist of real, unprocessed (and minimally processed) whole foods that mainly contain heathy, unsaturated fats, are a natural source of fibre and contain adequate amounts of protein from good quality sources. Foods such as these will keep your body functioning well and are healthier than processed alternatives.
Purition is real food that is made of whole food ingredients, and it can be a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet as it is a base recipe of approximately 70% seeds and nuts (Almonds, Golden Linseed, Sunflower Kernels, Coconut, Chia Seeds, Sesame Seeds & Pumpkin Seeds), some additional protein and only natural food ingredients to flavour gently.
For people living with IBS, the below, additional recommendations are also made by leading health authorities (BDA, NHS,AfN):
- Eat regular meals and do not rush at mealtimes, take the time to chew the food well and enjoy it.
- Reduce the intake of manufactured and highly refined foods and instead use fresh, whole food ingredients as much as possible.
- Keep a diary to record foods eaten and symptoms experienced. This will help pinpoint any specific food triggers.
- Exercise: Walking, cycling, and swimming all count - it does not have to be a strenuous activity.
- Find ways to relax as this can help reduce anxiety. Try yoga, meditation, or any other relaxing activity.
- Hydrate well: Drink 6-8 cups of water or non-sweetened, non-fizzy and caffeine free liquids (such as herbal teas) per day.
- Do not eat more than 3 servings of fruit per day - The high sugar (fructose) content can worsen symptoms for some. Go for berries as they are the lowest in sugar.
- Cut down on alcohol and aim for at least 2-3 alcohol free days per week.
- Cut down on tea and coffee intake – do not have more than 3 cups a day as these may stimulate colonic spasms.
- Reduce the intake of fizzy drinks as these can cause bloating.
- Reduce the intake of the sugar substitutes ‘polyols’, such as Sorbitol (E420) which can cause diarrhoea when consumed in larger quantities.
In addition, to help manage symptoms experienced during flare-ups, there are some specific advice to take into consideration, depending on the symptoms experienced:
1., To help ease bloating, cramps, and flatulence:
- The consumption of flaxseeds (up to one tablespoon per day) is highly recommended and a (40g) serving of Purition contains approximately 4g of flaxseed, and along with the other nutritious nuts and seeds present in our recipe, Purition is a great source of fibre. A serving contains approximately 7g of fibre per serving, so it can be greatly beneficial to help ease the above symptoms! (For some, however, this high level of fibre can take a few days to a week to adjust to and so, we’d suggest that for the first week or so have half a serving (20g, instead of 40g) of Purition per day or every other day and build up to a full serving over time.)
- Eat oats (porridge) regularly.
- Avoid foods that are high in resistant starch such as pulses, sweetcorn, chips, crisp, potato waffles, part-baked and reheated breads (such as garlic bread, pizza base), processed and ready meals containing pasta or potato.
- Seek professional, medical advice on medicines that may help.
2., To help ease diarrhoea:
- It may be recommended by health professionals to temporarily reduce fibre intake and consume fewer high fibre foods, such as nuts, seeds, and wholegrain foods. In such cases, it would be advisable to avoid having Purition until the flare-up resolves. Once the flare-up has resolved, you should be able to reintroduce fibre gradually; you will then be able to enjoy Purition yet again.
- Avoid polyols (such as sorbitol).
- Trying probiotics may also be helpful; go for live ‘probiotic’ yoghurts, supplements or fermented drinks/foods such as kimchi, kombucha or kefir and take them daily for at least one month at the dose recommended by the manufacturer to see if they are likely to help.
- Avoid foods high in fat, such as chips, fast foods, burgers and sausages, crisps, and cakes.
- Seek professional, medical advice on medicines that may help.
So, although unfortunately there is no single advice that works for everyone and there is no way of telling with absolute certainty if Purition will work everyone, for most people living with IBS and for the most part, it can be a beneficial addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
Purition is even suitable when following a Low FODMAP diet (when prescribed by a dietitian for a short period of time).
Of course, everybody is different, so the best way to see how Purition works for you is by trying some samples and creating a discovery box.
See also : Can Purition help with my IBS?
If your GP or dietitian made specific recommendations for you to follow to manage your diagnosed IBS, please refer to them for further advice. It is also vital that you consult them before making any changes to your diet or embarking on a weight-loss journey.
Article written by Barbara Usak - ANutr (Registered Associate Nutritionist)
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