Diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal pain and bloating are symptoms commonly associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This conditions affects up to 15% of individuals at some time in their life and is frequently associated with anxiety, stress and poor emotional well-being. The gut symptoms, emotional impact and inflammation associated with IBS can lead to chronic pain and a poorer quality of life in general. What is surprising is that even the fear of gut symptoms has adverse consequences and can have a significant impact on an individual’s day-to-day life.
Clients with IBS often report improvement with specific diets however, I have found working with individuals with IBS, that restrictive diets aren’t ideal for overall nutritional status in the long term and importantly they are also hard to maintain. So while they may be necessary in the short term, my aim is the ‘crowd’ out rather than ‘cut out’. By this I mean adding foods into the diet that will help to improve overall composition of the microbiota and the gut environment.
One example of a ‘gut-friendly’ fibre recipe I frequently recommend with great effect is Healing Stewed Apple. The original recipe is courtesy of Michael Ash. Consumed daily clients have reported that this simple recipe can improve bowel regularity and form, reduce bloating and the bonus is that it tastes delicious.
Healing Stewed Apple
- 6 cooking apples (Choose Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or other cooking apple as desired)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup of sultanas (optional)
Peel and core the apples and chop them into small evenly sized pieces. Admittedly I get lazy about peeling particularly organic apples so don’t bother. It is up to you, if you don’t like the added texture of the skins then peel your apples. Put all the ingredients in a covered, heavy-bottomed pan and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Cook until soft with rough shapes, no longer identifiable as apple slices. The colour should be a russet brown with the cinnamon effect.
You can also double or treble the quantities if you want to make a larger batch as this will store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
Dose – I categorise this as a medicinal food so recommend a daily dose
Eat two large dessert-spoons daily.
Author: Ananda Mahony
B.App.SC (Naturopathy), Grad. Cert. The Science of Medicine (Pain Management)
Integrated Pain Management, Chronic Skin Conditions, Wellbeing