The Best Low FODMAP Salad Recipes

The Best Low FODMAP Salad Recipes

Let me introduce you to my favourite low FODMAP salad recipes!

Summer and salads go hand in hand, so I’m always grateful for the fact that it’s fairly easy to make low FODMAP salads. I’d like to share some of my favourite ones with you now. They’re all easy to make, but pack a real punch in terms of flavour.

As with any salad, you can make these low FODMAP salads as side dishes to accompany a low FODMAP barbecue or simply increase the quantity to make them into a more substantial main meal.

So, let’s crack on and see what low FODMAP salads are out there!

My Favourite Vegan and Vegetarian Low FODMAP Salad Recipes:

One of my favourite low FODMAP salads is the Tomato Salad with Cucumbers from Fun Without FODMAPs. I’m not going to lie, it’s quite basic, but as a result of that, it’s wonderful because it celebrates the simple flavours of produce that’s perfectly in season. After all, summer is exactly when tomatoes and cucumbers are at their best, so why not combine the two into a perfect little salad?

Low FODMAP Tomato Salad with Cucumbers from Fun Without FODMAPs:

Another vegan salad I’m a huge fan of is the Asian Inspired Quinoa Salad from Monash. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always got quinoa languishing in the kitchen cupboards that I never seem to do much with, so this is a perfect recipe to use it in! Both the colours and flavours of this low FODMAP salad are bright and fresh. (The recipe asks for fish sauce, but just use soy sauce to keep it vegan.)

Monash’s Asian Inspired Quinoa Salad:

 

Okay, you’re going to have to trust me on this one. It’s a Low FODMAP Strawberry Salad from Rachel Pauls and it’s incredible! It combines spinach, pecans and strawberries and coats them in a zingy low FODMAP poppy seed dressing. I know in Britain we generally don’t put fruit in our salads, but this really works! Please try it and let me know what you think.

Rachel Pauls’ Low FODMAP Strawberry Salad:

 

My Favourite Fish and Seafood Low FODMAP Salad Recipes

I love fish in salads and I also love potato salad, so in my book you can’t go wrong with FODMAP Everyday’s Low FODMAP Salmon Potato Salad with Green Beans. Essentially, it’s a clever low FODMAP take on a classic French Tuna Salade Nicoise, but it uses salmon instead. I think it’s absolutely divine!

Low FODMAP Salmon Potato Salad with Green Beans from FODMAP Everyday:

 

A seafood recipe I’m particularly fond of is Fody’s Chipotle Shrimp Salad with Low FODMAP Dressing. Yes, it uses their ready-made chipotle BBQ sauce, but it’s worth it because it’s a genuinely delicious sauce and it makes my life easier because I don’t have time to make a batch of it myself. (I’m not getting paid by Fody to write this, by the way.) Plus, at the rate my kids go through it I’d be making vats of it on a weekly basis! Give this recipe a whirl yourself and see what you think.

Fody’s Chipotle Shrimp Salad with Low FODMAP Dressing:

 

 

My Favourite Meat Low FODMAP Salad Recipes:

One of the best low FODMAP chicken salad recipes I’ve ever tried is the Low FODMAP Chinese Chicken Salad from Fun Without FODMAPs. It’s a substantial main dish that’s made with grilled chicken, lots of colourful salad veg and is served with a cracking sesame and ginger dressing. If you’re a fan of Asian flavours, give this a go!

Fun Without FODMAPs’ Low FODMAP Chinese Chicken Salad:

 

 

I love a good lean steak, so this Steak & Millet Low FODMAP Grain Bowl salad from Fody was always going to appeal to me. I like it because you can play around with the quantities to get the right balance for your own needs. Want more salad leaves? Add them. Want more steak per portion? Go for it! Fody use their own low FODMAP salad dressing in their recipe, but I’ve made this salad before using my own homemade low FODMAP salad dressings and it’s been just as nice. My husband can’t get enough of this low FODMAP steak salad!

Fody’s Steak & Millet Low FODMAP Grain Bowl:

 

Another big low FODMAP meaty salad favourite in my household is the low FODMAP Frisée Salad with Poached Egg, Bacon & Sourdough Croutons from FODMAP Everyday. We often make this on a Sunday morning during summertime because it’s the perfect combination of a tasty fry-up and a fresh salad. Bonus points must be given to it for not leaving us feeling as bloated as a greasy fry-up usually would too!

Low FODMAP Frisée Salad with Poached Egg, Bacon & Sourdough Croutons from FODMAP Everyday:

 

My Favourite Low FODMAP Fruit Salad Recipe:

Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easy to overdo the FODMAPs and, as a result, we need to ‘reset’ our gut by sticking to a FODMAP-free diet for a few days while things calm down again. However, that doesn’t mean we need to miss out on good, nutritious, tasty food. This No FODMAP Fruit Salad from FODMAP Everyday is a particularly tasty one for times like these. I often like to add fresh mint leaves too because it increases the fresh taste of the salad.

No FODMAP Fruit Salad from FODMAP Everyday:

 

So, that’s my round-up of my favourite low FODMAP salad recipes. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you make any of these salads, so please get in touch! I’ll also be sharing some of my go-to homemade salad dressings on my social media pages this month, so keep your eyes peeled! I hope you enjoy your summer, folks!

How to Make Low FODMAP Salads

How to Make Low FODMAP Salads

In summer, there’s nothing more refreshing to eat than a delicious, fresh salad. Although many types of cuisines can be difficult to make low FODMAP, thankfully salads aren’t one of them! There are loads of salad vegetable options for you to create the perfect low FODMAP salad and I’m going to share some of them with you here.

Low FODMAP Salad Veggies:

Let’s start with the basic building blocks of your low FODMAP salad. The veggies!

Alfalfa Sprouts: These delicate immature sprouts of the alfalfa plant add a lovely raw nuttiness to low FODMAP salads.

 

 

 

Bean Sprouts: I know this might seem a bit off-base, but I had an Asian-inspired low FODMAP salad in a restaurant once that was out of this world! (To clarify, the salad was out of this world, not the restaurant!) The raw bean sprouts added a lovely crunch to the salad and a real freshness in taste. They’re low FODMAP, so where’s the harm in trying them?

 

 

Carrots: Almost everyday I thank the gods that carrots are low FODMAP because they’re such a versatile veg. Carrots are fantastic used in low FODMAP salads because you can grate them, thinly shave them along the length of the carrot or cut them into batons. They add crunch and sweetness to a low FODMAP salad.

 

 

Chives: Yeah, I know chives are a herb, but I’m including them here because they work really well in low FODMAP salads because they add an oniony flavour without adding any FODMAPs. You can leave the stems long or you can finely chop them and scatter them into your salad. It’s all up to you. (They also work brilliantly in salad dressings!)

 

Choy sum: Is a leafy vegetable that’s commonly used in Chinese cooking, but it’s also lovely finely sliced and served in a salad. It adds a deep flavour that’s similar to that of spinach.

 

 

Cornichons: (Aka baby gherkins.) Cornichons are baby cucumbers which have been pickled in seasoned vinegar. I love both them and pickled gherkins sliced and served in a low FODMAP salad because they add a sharp, but sweet, kick to the background flavours.

 

 

Cucumber: In my opinion, a salad ain’t a salad unless it’s got cucumber in it. It’s a staple FODMAP-free veggie that adds crunch, moisture and a lovely fresh flavour to any low FODMAP salad.

 

 

Jalapeño: I love the hot spiciness of a pickled Jalapeño in a low FODMAP salad. They’re FODMAP-free, so if you enjoy a bit of heat in your meals then give them a go!

 

 

 

Kale: Many people think kale is only eaten when cooked, but it’s actually very tasty in a low FODMAP salad. I always pinch the green kale leaves off the stalk and discard the stalks because they’re too tough to eat raw, but the kale leaf itself is lovely in a salad. It’s a very robust leaf and adds an earthiness to a low FODMAP salad.

 

 

Lettuce: Lettuce only contains trace amounts of FODMAPs, so you can easily have a generous portion without suffering any ill-effects. I always think it’s good to change the leaves I use in my salads because it keeps them interesting! There are so many varieties of lettuce out there to add to your low FODMAP salads, but here are a few of my favourites:

 

 

Cos lettuce: (Aka Romaine lettuce. A crisp lettuce most commonly used in Caesar salads. It has a crunchy texture and a mild taste. A good all-rounder to use in low FODMAP salads.)

 

 

 

Endive: (A slightly bitter lettuce which adds interest and a terrific yellow colour to a low FODMAP salad.)

 

 

 

Frisée: (Aka Curly Endive. A delicate green and yellow salad leaf that has a slightly bitter taste.)

 

 

 

Hot house lettuce: (Aka Butter lettuce. A soft leaf lettuce that has a lovely tender texture and a very mild ‘grassy’ flavour.)

 

 

 

 

Iceberg lettuce: (A robust, firm lettuce that is very crisp, but isn’t terribly strong tasting. A great all-rounder lettuce leaf.)

 

 

 

Red Leaf lettuce: (Aka Red Coral lettuce. A crisp lettuce that has a dark red colouring and a slightly sweet, earthy taste.)

 

 

 

Rocket: (Aka Arugula. A small leaf lettuce that packs a real punch of ‘grassy’ flavour along with a peppery aftertaste. One of my favourites!)

 

 

 

Mushrooms: Now, I’m not a fan of raw mushrooms, but a lot of my family members love them served thinly sliced in a salad. If you’re a fan of raw mushrooms then try sliced oyster mushrooms in your low FODMAP salads and see what you think.

 

 

Olives: Both black and green olives are FODMAP-free and are ideal for adding to a low FODMAP salad in order to add saltiness and soft textures.

 

 

 

Peppers: Red bell peppers are FODMAP-free, so they’re perfect for adding to your low FODMAP salad and they add a beautiful pop of colour too.

 

 

 

Radishes: You can’t go wrong with the humble radish because it’s FODMAP-free, adds a lovely crunch to salads, has a beautiful white and red colour and brings a real pepperiness to a low FODMAP salad. I can happily eat them anytime!

 

 

English Spinach: Spinach used to be perceived as only edible when cooked, but thankfully that is now changing. It’s a great tender leaf to add to low FODMAP salads because it’s deep, earthy and is incredibly nutritious. (Baby Spinach is higher in FODMAPs, so try to stick to the large leaf English Spinach variety in your low FODMAP salads instead.)

 

 

Spring Onion Tips: (Aka Scallions. The green tips of the spring onion plant are a saving grace for anyone on the low FODMAP diet because they are FODMAP-free. (Just remember that the white part of the plant is not FODMAP-free though, so stick to the greens only!)

 

 

Common Tomatoes: Yeah, I know it’s technically a fruit, but we all view it as a veggie, so let’s just go with it. I love common tomatoes (they’re the large standard tomatoes we generally use in sandwiches). You can serve them as wedges or sliced in a salad and they bring a light sweetness to the dish. I’m ever thankful that they’re FODMAP-free!

 

 

 

So, that’s a run-down of low FODMAP vegetables you can use in your low FODMAP salads. I’d love to know what kind of salads you like making in the summer, so please get in touch! Also, keep an eye out for my next blog in which I round-up my favourite low FODMAP salad recipes! I’ll also be sharing my favourite low FODMAP salad dressings with you on my social media pages too. We’re going to have an awesome low FODMAP summer, folks!

Lactose Intolerance, Milk Protein Intolerance & Dairy Milk Allergy. What’s the difference?

Lactose Intolerance, Milk Protein Intolerance & Dairy Milk Allergy. What’s the difference?

Many people get confused about the differences between lactose intolerance, milk protein intolerance and dairy milk allergy, so in this article I’d like to help explain these conditions.

Dairy Milk Allergy

Dairy milk allergy is one of the most common allergies people suffer from, especially children and babies. It is caused by an immune system response to the allergens present in dairy milk and any products which contain dairy milk.

If you have a dairy milk allergy and you consume dairy milk your body identifies the proteins in the milk as dangerous which causes it to react by releasing histamine and other chemicals which cause allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of a dairy allergy can vary, with many of them presenting similarly to lactose intolerance, such as:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

However, dairy milk allergy can also create more severe allergic reaction symptoms affecting the lungs and skin, such as:

  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling
  • Throat tightness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting

If you suspect that you might suffer from a dairy milk allergy it is important to get an official diagnosis from your GP. This is done through a simple blood test. As long as you do not have severe allergic reactions to dairy milk, it is important to get a correct diagnosis from your GP before you begin to remove milk and dairy products from your diet. This is because in order to get a positive allergen result, the blood test needs to detect the presence of antibodies which are produced by the body upon contact with dairy milk.

If your result confirms that you do have a dairy milk allergy you will need to avoid all dairy and products which contain dairy. This means you will need to thoroughly read all food ingredient labels to make sure they do not contain any milk or milk products.

Unfortunately, milk proteins are widely used in food manufacturing and can be found in foods which you would not expect, such as in some bread and even some potato crisps!

It’s also important to note that lactose-free products cannot be eaten if you have a diary milk allergy because although they do not contain lactose, they are still made from the milk protein which causes the actual allergy.

However, even if you have a dairy milk allergy it’s still really important to ensure you are getting enough calcium in your diet. Calcium is a mineral which is found in dairy milk and dairy foods, along with other sources, such as tinned fish with bones, mussels, oysters, kale, baked beans, spinach, broccoli, sushi nori sheets and almonds.

It is extremely important to include calcium in our diets because it promotes bone strength, muscle movement, healthy blood clotting and sustains healthy heart function. If we do not get enough calcium in our diet to maintain our blood calcium levels, the body removes calcium from our bones to normalise the levels. However, over time this can lead to our bones becoming brittle and more prone to breaking. This is known as osteoporosis.

The recommended daily calcium intake for adults are:

  • A female aged 19-50 is 1000mg per day.
  • A female over the age of 50 should take 1300mg per day.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 14-18 should have 1300mg per day.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women aged 19-50 should have 1000mg per day.
  • A male aged 19-70 is 1000mg per day.
  • A male over the age of 70 is 1300mg per day.

It is easier for the body to absorb calcium from food sources than in supplement form, so if you have a dairy milk allergy you should opt for non-dairy milks and non-dairy foods which have been fortified with added calcium. You should also try to include regular portions of calcium-rich foods in your diet.

A 300mg serving of calcium can generally be found in:

  • 250ml of fortified non-dairy milk.
  • 200g of fortified non-dairy yoghurt.
  • 40g of fortified non-dairy cheese.
  • 80g of tinned salmon with bones.
  • 45g of tinned sardines with bones.
  • 100g of firm tofu set with calcium carbonate.

If you think you might struggle to eat 1000mg of calcium a day you could also consider taking a calcium supplement. They are widely available now, can be purchased quite cheaply and are often available in a chewable form. If you do opt to take a supplement, to maximise their absorption try to eat them with food. So, if you’re having 2 a day, try to take one in the morning with breakfast and one in the evening with dinner.

It might also be worth considering taking a vitamin D supplement alongside your calcium supplement because it helps to promote calcium absorption. (In fact, many calcium supplements come with vitamin D in them too.)

Milk Protein Intolerance

Milk protein intolerance is caused when the body has an adverse reaction to the protein in cow’s milk. It is not the same as dairy milk allergy because it is not an immune system allergic reaction to milk. It is caused by the gut having an adverse reaction to the protein found in the milk because it cannot be tolerated.

Common symptoms of milk protein intolerance include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Abdominal cramping

The symptoms of milk protein intolerance can be avoided by avoiding eating all dairy and products which contain dairy. As with a dairy milk allergy, this means you will need to thoroughly read all food ingredient labels to make sure they do not contain any milk or milk products.

Also, as with dairy, lactose-free products cannot be eaten if you have a milk protein intolerance because they are still made from the milk protein which triggers the intolerance.

However, even if you have a milk protein intolerance it’s still really important to ensure you are getting enough calcium in your diet, so you should opt for non-dairy milks and non-dairy foods which have been fortified with added calcium. You should also try to include regular portions of the calcium-rich foods listed above in your diet.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common digestive issue and occurs when the body is not able to digest lactose, a natural sugar which is found in milk and dairy products. Normally people naturally digest lactose by producing a substance called lactase.

However, people with lactose intolerance do not produce lactase, so the lactose sugar remains in the digestive system and is fermented by the gut bacteria. As a result, gas is produced which causes the symptoms related to lactose intolerance, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Stomach rumbling

Lactose intolerance can be temporary, which is often the case in children, or it can be permanent, which tends to be the case for adults who develop the condition. Many people also tend to find that their symptom severity is linked to the amount of lactose they consume. For instance, some may not be able to tolerate a dash of milk in a hot drink whereas others can tolerate a small glass of milk without experiencing any symptoms.

As you have read, the symptoms of lactose intolerance can be similar to dairy milk allergy and milk protein intolerance, so it is important to get a correct diagnosis from your GP before you begin to remove milk and dairy products from your diet. It also enables you to rule out other health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

If your GP diagnoses a lactose intolerance they will recommend that you remove all milk and dairy products from your diet for at least 6 weeks. You will then slowly try reintroducing dairy back into your diet in order to identify what you can potentially tolerate and how much of it you can have.

This reintroduction stage (also sometimes called a ‘challenge phase’) is often best done under the care of a dietitian because they can help you through the process to ensure the reintroduction is done correctly. They can also make sure your diet remains nutritionally sound throughout the elimination and reintroduction stages, so you do not become calcium deficient.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance can simply be avoided by not eating any products which contain lactose. This means you will need to thoroughly read all food ingredient labels to make sure they do not contain lactose. However, many dairy products are now available in lactose-free forms, so to ensure you are meeting your calcium nutritional needs, just opt for lactose-free options instead when you’re shopping.

You can also purchase lactase supplements in tablet or liquid forms which you can take alongside lactose-containing foods to help you digest the lactose. This is handy if you really enjoy certain foods which contain lactose, but they are not available in a lactose-free form, such as speciality cheeses etc.

If you suspect you have a lactose intolerance, dairy protein intolerance or a dairy allergy get in contact with me at hello@lesleyreiddietitian.co.uk to discuss your issues further.

My IBS Diversity Challenge

My IBS Diversity Challenge

What is diet diversity?

The term ‘diet diversity’ relates to the range of different fruits and vegetables we eat within our diet. The reason diet diversity is important is because it’s been shown that eating as wide a range of fruit and vegetables as possible has excellent health benefits.

As this way of eating can be hugely beneficial to the digestive system I thought I’d encourage you to try a fun diet diversity challenge where each day you and your family will try to eat a rainbow of different coloured fruits and vegetables to encourage variety within your diet.

Why should I try the diet diversity challenge?

Eating a wide variety of rainbow-coloured foods benefits us because the colour pigments found in fruit and vegetables occur as a result of the different phytonutrients they are made of.

Some examples of these nutrients include:

Anthocyanins – found in purple and blue fruit and vegetables, such as blackcurrants, blackberries, blueberries, aubergine skin, red cabbage, cranberries, cherries and grapes.

Carotenoids – found in yellow and orange fruit and vegetables, such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, papayas, and apricots.

Lycopene – found in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes and tomato products, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, and papaya.

Allicin – found in white foods, such as onion and garlic.

Folate – found in dark green leafy vegetables, such as turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus, brussels sprouts and broccoli.

Indoles – found in green vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and turnips.

Saponins – found in legumes, such as soya beans, beans, peas and lentils.

How will the diet diversity challenge benefit me?

If you choose to have a go at my diet diversity challenge (and hopefully adopt it into your diet long-term) you’ll gain a number of health benefits because research has shown that diet diversity improves:

Mood and brain cognition

It’s been found that eating a diet that’s high in a wide range of fruit, vegetables and nuts leads to improved mental health, mood and brain cognition. It’s believed that this may be due to the fact that many plant foods are natural sources of neurotransmitters which may positively influence the nervous system.

Weight management

Fruit and vegetables tend to be low calorie due to their high fibre content. As a result, when compared with high calorie foods (such as burgers, pizza or biscuits) we can eat much more fruit and vegetables for the same amount of calories. This makes us feel fuller for longer. Therefore, eating a diverse diet can be beneficial for weight management.

Another great reason to try my diet diversity challenge with your family is that it’s been found that offering a wide range of vegetables to children increases the amount of veg they will actually eat. It’s also been proven that it leads to them eating fewer unhealthy high calorie foods too.

Reduced fall and fracture risk

Eating a diet high in diverse vegetables has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of falls and fractures in the elderly.

A longer healthy life

Research has shown that the diet diversity challenge principles are a brilliant way to help increase longevity of life, but it also increases the likelihood of living those years in a state of good health.

It benefits the gut microbiome

It’s been found that eating a diverse diet filled with fruit and vegetables positively impacts the gut microbiome (the micro-organisms which are found in the digestive system) due to the amount of fibre consumed. In fact, people who eat a wide range of plant foods have much wider diversity in their gut microbiome.

So, how do I do the diet diversity challenge?

If you’d like to have a go at my diet diversity challenge I’d recommend that you simply start ‘adding in’ more fruit and vegetables to your diet.

For instance, if you usually have cereal for breakfast try adding a handful of blueberries on top. If you have toast, add a sliced banana.

If you usually have a sandwich and a packet of crisps for lunch why not leave the crisps and add a small side salad? Or if you have salads for lunch you could add a sprinkling of seeds on top.

For dinner you could add a vegetable you’ve never tried before to your plate.

As always, if you’ve got IBS I’d recommend checking the Monash app to make sure that the fruit or vegetable you’re thinking of having is suitable for FODMAPs.

It’s all about keeping the diet as diverse as possible because the greater the variety of plant foods you eat the more benefits you’ll gain.

Also, here’s a link to a really handy printable diet diversity challenge sheet that’ll help make it a fun challenge for all the family. Kids love ticking off each fruit or vegetable they eat!

https://www.bio-kult.com/eatarainbow

If you decide to try my diet diversity challenge I’d love to hear how you get on, so please get in touch!

Why Eating Seasonally Can Help IBS

Why Eating Seasonally Can Help IBS

Eating seasonally has been a popular concept for a long time, but did you know that eating seasonally can help IBS symptoms too? In this article I’d like to champion the case for eating seasonally where possible and tell you about some of the benefits of eating this way.

Seasonal eating centres around the idea that we should try to mainly eat fruit and vegetable produce that’s in season at that particular time of the year in our own country.

Now the operative word here is try because I’ve never been an advocate of over-restricting food. It’s also a bit unreasonable to assume that everything we base our diets around will be something that’s grown in our own country.

So what is it about seasonal eating that’s so beneficial and why am I saying that eating seasonally can help IBS?

The environment

One of the main reasons that eating seasonally is popular is due to the fact that it’s better for the environment because the produce that’s grown in our own country hasn’t been transported for thousands of miles to get to us. As a result, it has a much lower carbon footprint.

Avocados, for example, have a huge carbon footprint because they’re predominantly grown in Central and South America. That’s a very long distance for it to reach your plate!

Also, due to the popularity of avocados in recent years, it’s led to them being grown as cash crops which means that local farmers cut down massive areas of land to create new plantations. This deforestation contributes to climate change and increases the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere.

However, the fact that the produce comes from so far away means the produce is kept in transit for a long time, so how do they prevent it rotting before it reaches our shop shelves?

Freshness

In order for a lot of this produce to reach our shores without rotting it’s often sprayed with preservatives and other chemicals to keep it ‘fresh’.

Another aspect of preventing it rotting is that the produce is often harvested a long time before it’s fully ripe. This means that it can be stored for a long, long time before reaching our supermarket shelves. For instance, apples are often harvested and then kept in storage for up to 12 months in advance before being put out for sale!

As a dietitian, my main problem with this method of harvesting from other countries is that the nutritional value of any produce begins to decline after it has been picked. Therefore, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the same health benefits from eating produce from abroad as you would if it came from a farm in Britain.

I’d also like to strongly make the case for eating seasonally due to the matter of how it tastes!

Taste

If you’ve ever grown your own tomatoes in the summertime you’ll know that there are few taste explosions better than eating a fresh ripe tomato plucked straight from the vine. It has a natural sweetness that’s simply unparalleled.

The same goes for homegrown carrots. That’s why many local farm shops now sell locally grown ‘dirty’ carrots. Even something as simple as the humble turnip or swede tastes infinitely better when it’s grown in this country as opposed to being transported over a long period of time from abroad.

This taste difference comes down to the fact that the produce isn’t being stored for ages. It’s not been shipped for ages. And its taste and nutritional content isn’t being diminished over time.

But there’s another very important reason why it could benefit you to eat more seasonally and that’s the cost of the produce.

Cost

Any food that’s imported into our country has to be picked, sorted, wrapped and transported and that comes at a cost to us, the consumer. Food producers know it’s not cheap to import these goods, so that cost gets added onto the prices we pay for their products.

Food that’s grown in our own country seasonally is significantly lower priced because it’s not having to jump through as many hoops to reach the consumer.
For example, at the time of writing this article a pack of 6 Pink Lady apples imported from abroad costs £2.80 in Sainsbury’s. A pack of 6 Braeburn apples grown in the UK for sale in the same shop costs £1.20. Isn’t that incredible?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Pink Lady apples as much as the next person, but knowing how far they’ve travelled and how long they’ve probably been in storage throughout that process I’d be happier to stick to the homegrown Braeburns. (My bank balance will be happier for it too!)

However, you’re probably wondering by this point how eating seasonally can help IBS. Well, it can help your IBS because of the simple fact that a huge majority of the food we grow in season within the UK is low FODMAP!

Low FODMAP seasonal food

I’m a big believer in eating seasonally because our ancestors did too. In the past the people who came before us ate a much less processed diet that was based around the produce which was in season at any given time of the year.

As a result, the food was freshly harvested and went quickly from farm to shop to table. Or in a lot of cases it went from garden to kitchen to table. This meant that the food was eaten at its best nutritionally.

Now, I realise that in today’s modern world many of us are too busy to consider the hassle of preparing every aspect of our meals from start to finish, but we can make the choice to predominantly cook and eat seasonal produce where possible.

It also helps that a huge majority of seasonal produce is low FODMAP! Let me show you the abundance of fruit and veg that’s low FODMAP during our seasons. (Also, bear in mind that although you might be sensitive to a certain FODMAP group others may not be.)

Spring

Fruit: Granny Smith Apples, Pears, Rhubarb.

Vegetables: Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chillies, Cucumber, Elderflowers, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Morel Mushrooms, Mushrooms, New Potatoes, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Radishes, Rocket, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Squash, Swedes, Turnips, Watercress.

Summer

Fruit: Blackberries, Blueberries, Blackcurrants, Cherries, Gooseberries, Greengages, Loganberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries.

Vegetables: Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Elderflowers, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mangetout, Marrow, Mushrooms, Parsnips, New Potatoes, Onions, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress.

Autumn

Fruit:  Apples, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Cherries, Damsons, Elderberries, Greengages, Loganberries, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries.

Vegetables:  Aubergine, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash.

Winter

Fruit: Apples, Cranberries, Elderberries, Pears.

Vegetables: Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Red Cabbage, Swede, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash.

So, as you can see, there is loads of low FODMAP seasonal produce that you can use to make soups, salads, main meals and sides with and that’s exactly why eating seasonally can help IBS.

Have fun and experiment with different fruits and vegetables in each season!

Common Mistakes on the Low FODMAP Diet

Common Mistakes on the Low FODMAP Diet

In the course of working as a dietitian I have found that there are a number of common mistakes people make when following the low FODMAP diet. So, to help you avoid making them yourself I’ll share them with you here.

Staying in the elimination phase for too long:

When people first start the low FODMAP diet they begin by eliminating all high FODMAP foods from their diet in order to reset their gut back to its baseline. In doing so, this enables us to test the body’s tolerance levels to high FODMAP foods when the time comes to reintroduce them.

However, a common mistake on the low FODMAP diet is that people find symptom relief in the elimination phase and then don’t bother reintroducing high FODMAP foods back into their diet.

Although I completely understand that it is a massive relief to finally have our symptoms quieten down, it’s really important to go through the reintroduction phase for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it allows us to identify exactly what foods are our IBS triggers which gives us control over our symptoms. For instance, if you don’t test each FODMAP group properly you’ll never know whether it was the wheat bread or the sliced avocado which caused you problems after lunch.

Secondly, it can allow us to reintroduce some high FODMAP foods back into our diet that we previously believed we couldn’t tolerate. For a long time prior to going through the low FODMAP process I was convinced that I couldn’t tolerate apples or dairy, but in actual fact, after fully testing them it turns out I’m absolutely fine with them! Also, many high FODMAP foods are very healthy and help to maintain good digestive health.

Thirdly, over-restricting too many foods from our diets in the long-term can lead to serious nutritional deficiencies. Therefore, it’s really important to find out exactly what we’re intolerant to and what we’re not intolerant to, so we can bring things back into our diet.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, testing our tolerance to high FODMAP foods and then reintroducing some of them back into our diet enables us to eat a much more diverse diet. This is massively beneficial to our gut health as well as our overall health. It also makes for a much tastier eating experience! After all, very few of us want to eat the same boring foods day in, day out.

Limiting fibre intake

Another common mistake often made on the low FODMAP diet is cutting down the amount of fibre eaten. Many people find that their IBS symptoms lessen when they reduce their fibre intake, but fibre is a really crucial component of our diet.

Fibre is a type of carbohydrate which the body can’t break down and digest. Fibre keeps our digestive system moving and it’s this movement which helps to clear toxins and waste from our digestive system. Without adequate fibre we’re at risk of becoming constipated and sluggish.
Fibre also plays an important role in regulating our body’s use of sugars which helps to keep our blood sugar and hunger on an even keel.

It’s recommended that adults try to eat at least 30g of dietary fibre a day because it’s been shown to lower the risk of strokes, heart disease, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Not being prepared

Another common mistake made by people who start the low FODMAP diet is that they’re not properly prepared before they begin and this is one of the main reasons that it is recommended that you consult a dietitian to help guide you through the three stages of the diet.

The low FODMAP diet is a long process. If you follow the three stages properly it can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to complete.

However, it’s worth it because by completing the FODMAP diet process properly you can find out exactly which FODMAP groups are causing your symptoms and take back control to help you manage your IBS.

This knowledge, along with helpful apps, such as the Monash FODMAP app, puts you in the driver’s seat and can help you to manage your condition long-term.

I hope you’ve found this article useful and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like my help in going through the FODMAP diet process. I’m always happy to talk!

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