Is Kefir Good for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Kefir is good for IBS. Because it has probiotics, protein and calcium and they can balance your gut flora, repair your intestinal lining and regulate your bowel movements.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your large intestine.

In IBS, your body has problems with the movement and sensitivity of your bowel.

This can lead to various health problems, such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation.

One of the key factors in managing IBS is diet.

What you consume can affect your gut bacteria, which can impact your IBS symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage IBS, you should consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir and avoid high-FODMAP foods like garlic, onion and wheat.

Now, kefir is a fermented milk drink that contains many different types of beneficial bacteria and yeasts.

People usually drink it as a beverage or use it in smoothies, soups or sauces.

Kefir is good for IBS because it contains probiotics, protein and calcium.

Probiotics can help balance your gut flora, reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Protein can help repair your intestinal lining and prevent muscle loss.

Calcium can help regulate your bowel movements and prevent osteoporosis.

One cup of kefir can give you about 10 grams of protein, 30% of your daily calcium needs and billions of probiotics.

Probiotics can positively affect IBS by enhancing your immune system, preventing infections, modulating pain perception and reducing stress.

Protein can positively affect IBS by strengthening your intestinal barrier, reducing permeability and preventing leaky gut.

Calcium can positively affect IBS by stimulating the release of hormones that regulate your bowel contractions and fluid secretion.

Furthermore, kefir is a low-FODMAP food and low-FODMAP foods are good for IBS.

Because, FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea in some people with IBS.

You can drink one to two cups of kefir per day safely.

More than that can cause some side effects, such as bloating, gas or loose stools.

Because, your body may need some time to adjust to the high amount of probiotics and lactose in kefir.

Also, you shouldn’t drink kefir if you have a severe milk allergy or a compromised immune system to prevent an allergic reaction or an infection.

Because, kefir contains milk proteins and live microorganisms that can trigger these conditions.

You can buy fresh kefir in your local supermarket or health food store or order it online.

Always choose organic, plain and unsweetened kefir.

Because, organic kefir has higher quality and quantity of probiotics, plain kefir has no added sugars or artificial flavors and unsweetened kefir has lower FODMAP content.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing IBS effectively.

I always recommend my IBS patients to follow a low-FODMAP and probiotic-rich diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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