Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, can be alleviated with foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Fiber, along with a balanced diet of healthy foods, helps improve intestinal functions and decrease bloating and pain.
In people suffering from diarrhea, soluble fiber helps slow down the digestive process so that food passing from the stomach and intestines has enough time to form into stool, states the Cleveland Clinic. Healthy sources of fiber include kidney, garbanzo, black, lima and navy beans. Oats, barley, brown rice and bran are excellent sources of fiber as are dried fruits, such as raisins.
It is important to increase fiber intake slowly until the digestive system adjusts, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Although fiber-rich foods, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, can help with IBS, they may also cause bloating and gas. Fresh fruit with skins and vegetables may be easier to digest when fully cooked. Eating smaller, low-fat meals frequently throughout the day helps the digestive process and reduces the discomfort IBS creates. Additionally, the lactose in dairy products may cause symptoms that can be alleviated by replacing them with almond, soy or coconut milk-based alternatives.