Are Sweet Potatoes Good for IBS? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Sweet potatoes are good for IBS. Because they have fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium and they can improve your bowel movements, reduce inflammation, and prevent dehydration.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects your digestive system, especially your large intestine.

In IBS, your body has abnormal contractions of the intestinal muscles, which can cause pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.

This can lead to various health problems, such as malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss or gain, and anxiety.

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 fiber-rich foods like oats, beans, and fruits and avoid fat-rich foods like fried foods, cheese, and butter.

Now, sweet potatoes are root vegetables that have a sweet taste and a starchy texture.

People usually eat them boiled, baked, steamed, or fried.

Sweet potatoes are good for IBS because they contain soluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

Soluble fiber can help regulate your bowel movements, reduce inflammation, and feed your beneficial gut bacteria.

Vitamin A and C can support your immune system and prevent infections.

Potassium can help balance your electrolytes and prevent dehydration.

One medium-sized sweet potato (150 grams) can give you 4 grams of fiber (16% of your daily needs), 14,187 IU of vitamin A (283% of your daily needs), 22 mg of vitamin C (37% of your daily needs), and 541 mg of potassium (15% of your daily needs).

Fiber can positively affect IBS by improving your stool consistency and frequency, easing your abdominal pain and bloating, and enhancing your gut microbiome.

Vitamin A can positively affect IBS by protecting your intestinal lining from damage and infection, and modulating your immune response.

Vitamin C can positively affect IBS by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in your gut, and boosting your immunity.

Potassium can positively affect IBS by preventing dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can worsen your diarrhea or constipation.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes are a low FODMAP food and low FODMAP foods are good for IBS.

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

You can eat one to two servings of sweet potatoes per day safely.

More than that can cause excess vitamin A intake, which can lead to nausea, headache, and liver damage.

Also, you shouldn’t eat sweet potatoes if you have kidney problems or take blood thinners to prevent hyperkalemia or bleeding.

Because, high potassium levels can affect your kidney function and blood clotting.

You can buy fresh sweet potatoes in your local market or can order them from online.

Always choose firm, smooth, and unblemished ones.

Because, they are fresher and have more nutrients.

You can store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for up to a month.

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 diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

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

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