A low-FODMAP diet can be a total life changer for those with sensitive stomachs. So if you’re feeling bloated, uncomfortable and like you can’t ever eat out or socialize, a low-FODMAP diet may be the solution.
First, we’ll discuss everything you want to know about what FODMAP is and where this diet came from. Then, we’ll cover eight fantastic benefits you’ll enjoy after cutting high-FODMAP foods from your diet.
What Is FODMAP?
FODMAP is an acronym for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Don’t let these big words intimidate you. They’re just types of carbohydrates. The issue with them is they may be poorly absorbed in the small intestine in some people. When these carbohydrates aren’t properly absorbed, they travel down to the large intestine, where they’re fermented by bacteria. This fermentation process can cause gas, bloating, pain and diarrhea.
So a low-FODMAP diet means cutting out or limiting foods that contain these fermentable carbs to help reduce these symptoms. There are many different ways to follow a low-FODMAP diet, but the basic idea is to avoid foods high in FODMAPs.
This can be a challenge, as many common foods contain high levels of FODMAPs. They’re found in many common foods, including wheat, milk, beans and some fruits and vegetables. You can also find them in artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol. However, there are also many delicious and nutritious low-FODMAP foods available. And you can sign up for a low-FODMAP meal delivery service to help make following a low-FODMAP diet easier. With some effort and help, following a low-FODMAP diet can help to improve your digestive health.
The History of the Low-FODMAP Diet
The low-FODMAP diet was first developed by Monash University in Australia. They noticed that many of their patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) had symptoms triggered by certain foods. After further research, they found that a diet low in FODMAPs could help to reduce these symptoms.
The low-FODMAP diet has been shown to be an effective treatment for IBS and other digestive disorders. It’s also thought to be helpful for those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. The diet may also be beneficial for those who don’t have any specific diagnosis but still experience digestive issues.
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Low-FODMAP Diet Benefits
1. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Bloating
Bloating is a frequent digestive issue that can be induced by various factors, including high-FODMAP meals. In addition, bloating may be distressing and even painful for those who have sensitive stomachs. By avoiding foods known to cause bloating, a low-FODMAP diet might assist in alleviating issues.
2. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Gas
Gas, like bloating, is another common digestive issue that may be caused by ingesting high-FODMAP meals. Gas may be distressing and even embarrassing for individuals with sensitive stomachs. By removing FODMAPs from your diet that cause you gas, a low-FODMAP diet might help relieve this symptom.
3. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Diarrhea
Diarrhea is a typical digestive problem caused by many different triggers, including eating foods high in FODMAPs. Diarrhea can be uncomfortable and even dangerous if left untreated. A low-FODMAP diet can help control diarrhea by avoiding foods that cause it, namely those high in FODMAPs.
4. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Constipation
Constipation can occur when eating high-FODMAP foods because they can slow down the movement of food through the digestive system. This can lead to hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. A low-FODMAP diet may help alleviate constipation by avoiding foods known to cause this specific problem.
5. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Acid Reflux
Many people think acid reflux and heartburn are the same. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, but not everyone who has acid reflux will experience heartburn. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest, but it can also lead to other symptoms like difficulty swallowing, coughing and wheezing. In theory, a low-FODMAP diet doesn’t seem like it would help acid reflux. However, studies show a considerable overlap and connection between individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and acid reflux. This suggests that the foods that trigger IBS symptoms are likely to trigger acid reflux.
6. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Stomach Pain
Stomach pain can range from mild discomfort to sharp, debilitating pain. It’s often caused by inflammation in the digestive system and can be triggered by many different things, including high-FODMAP foods. A low-FODMAP diet may help eliminate stomach pain by avoiding foods that trigger this issue in your body.
7. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Symptoms
IBS is the condition that drove researchers to discover the low-FODMAP diet in the first place. IBS is a chronic digestive disorder that affects the large intestine. It’s characterized by abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. A low-FODMAP diet can help to control — or at least reduce — IBS symptoms by avoiding foods that are known to trigger them.
8. A Low-FODMAP Diet Can Help to Improve Overall Digestive Health
Digestive health is essential to homeostasis, which means your overall health. There are links between your gut and immune system, brain health and mood. By keeping your gut healthy, you’re also promoting your overall health. A low-FODMAP diet is one way to improve your digestive health by avoiding foods that can trigger digestive issues.
Final FODMAP Thoughts
If you have a sensitive stomach, following a low-FODMAP meal plan may benefit you. By avoiding high-FODMAP foods that cause digestive problems and create that so-called sensitive stomach, you can help to reduce your symptoms and improve your overall digestive health.
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