Treat IBS by Eating Foods That Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that affects up to 45 million people with its symptoms of chronic abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. The role of diet in the development and treatment of chronic disease is undervalued by the medical profession and the public. Doctors are trained to treat disease with medicine and surgery but, there is no medical cure for IBS. One of the most important management techniques for those diagnosed with IBS is eating a healthy diet that reduces pain from chronic inflammation and bloating in the gut. Foods that reduce inflammation include polyunsaturated fatty acids rich in omega-3 oils (such as wild salmon and olive oil) and thick Greek Yogurt, which is loaded with good bacteria that help promote intestinal health. Fresh peppermint leaves have been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. Processed foods, including wheat and sugar, are trigger foods causing chronic inflammation and should be avoided.

For a quick delicious meal of whole foods that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS, try the Roasted Fish Filet with Tzatziki Sauce (containing fresh peppermint) below. Both recipes can be made in less than 30 minutes. Serve the fish with mixed greens and walnut oil vinaigrette.

For more gluten-free, good health recipes visit Dr. Claudia Pillow is coauthor of The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook: the Delicious Way to Strengthen Your Immune System and Neutralize Inflammation. (Agate Surrey, 2010).


Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds fresh fish fillet (with or without skin, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F.

2. Line a medium sized heavy baking sheet with foil and lightly brush with olive oil.

3. Put filet on baking sheet (skin side down, if applicable) and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

4. Place baking sheet in center of oven and roast for 10 minutes per 1-inch filet thickness. (If filet is 1 1/2 inches, bake time is 15 minutes).

5. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving plate. (Lift the fish from the skin, if applicable).

Serve hot with tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce

1 cup seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh peppermint

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Purée cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender until almost smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in peppermint and dill and chill, covered, until serving.