Top 20 Best Sources of IBS-Friendly Soluble Fiber

20 Foods That Keep Your IBS Symptoms at Bay

Foods rich in soluble fiber can ease irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Soluble fiber comes from plant-based foods such as:

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanuts

This type of fiber is called soluble because it dissolves in water. It then forms a gel-like substance and absorbs water as it travels through your intestines. That helps relieve diarrhea, so it's ideal for people with diarrhea-predominant irritable IBS (IBS-D).

This article lists 20 good examples of soluble fiber foods that can help you avoid or reduce IBS symptoms. It also covers why some types of soluble fiber foods are better than others for IBS.

Soluble Fiber and FODMAPs

Not all soluble fiber is created equal. Certain short-chain soluble fibers—mostly types of sugar—can ferment as you digest them, which increases gas and bloating. These foods are broadly classified as FODMAPs, which stands for:

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides (and)
  • Polyols

By contrast, long-chain soluble fibers are low in FODMAPs and less likely to produce gas. Low-FODMAP foods are preferred when you're managing IBS-D symptoms.

1

Carrots

Orange Carrots in a Basket

Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Nutritionists recommend eating colorful fruits and vegetables and for good reason. They're high in plant-based compounds called phytonutrients that offer many health benefits.

Carrots contain a type called carotenoids that are good for the eyes. Your body also uses them to make vitamin A.

Carrots are a no-FODMAP food and contain a healthy mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. Cooking them makes them more digestible than eating them raw.

2

Green Beans

sauteed green beans

Gumawang Jati / EyeEm / Getty Images

Green beans are an inexpensive, easy way to add soluble fiber to a meal. They're a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants that help prevent long-term cell damage.

You can eat green beans raw, but they're easier to digest when steamed, stir-fried, or roasted in the oven.

Serving size is important when eating green beans. They contain sorbitol (a type of polyol), and eating more than a half-cup serving triggers IBS symptoms in some people.

3

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Aberration Films Ltd / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

Many people avoid Brussels sprouts out of fear they will make them gassy. And, while it is true that too many Brussels sprouts can cause gas, they're low enough in FODMAPs that most people can eat a small portion—about 1.5 ounces—without any problem.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber. A single serving packs enough vitamin C to meet your daily needs.

If you're adding Brussels sprouts to your diet, you might be less gassy if you start with a very small portion and gradually increase them. Cooking Brussels sprouts makes them easier to digest.

4

Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Francesco Perre / EyeEm / Getty Images

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are packed with protein, other nutrients, and soluble fiber. While most legumes are high in FODMAPs, you can enjoy chickpeas on a low-FODMAP diet if they're:

  • Canned
  • Well-rinsed
  • Limited to a small portion (about one-fourth of a can)

Chickpeas are also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate, providing around 14% of your daily needs with each 1-cup serving.

Chickpeas can be sprinkled on salads, added to soups and sauces, or roasted in olive oil for a tasty snack.

FODMAP Stacking

Be sure not to combine multiple low-FODMAP foods, such as avocado and chickpeas in one meal. Even in low-FODMAP-friendly portions, eating more than one of these at a time may give you enough FODMAPs to cause symptoms.

5

Lentils

Yellow lentils

Silvia Elena Castañeda Puchetta / EyeEm / Getty Images

Like chickpeas, lentils are a legume that, within limits, you can enjoy on a low-FODMAP diet. Opt for canned, well-rinsed lentils, and limit yourself to a half-cup portion.

This will provide you with the soluble fiber and protein you need without having to worry about an IBS attack. You can enjoy them as a side dish or add them to soups.

Canned lentils are lower in FODMAPs than dried lentils that you soak and cook.

6

Potatoes

Raw Russet Baking Potatoes Root Vegetables
Liza McCorkle / Getty Images

Potatoes are nutritious, delicious, and a perfect part of a low-FODMAP diet, as they contain no FODMAPs. This not only includes baking potatoes but red-skinned, yellow-skinned, and purple potatoes as well.

Potatoes are also an excellent source of:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium

Potatoes are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. To reduce your intake of insoluble fiber, peel and discard the skin.

7

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Laurence Mouton / Getty Images

Sweet potatoes are another great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while enjoying the benefits of soluble fiber and nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium.

Unlike potatoes, however, sweet potatoes contain a type of sugar known as mannitol. Mannitol is an oligosaccharide similar to sorbitol that can trigger IBS symptoms if eaten in excess.

To stick to a low-FODMAP diet, limit yourself to a half-cup serving.

8

Summer Squash and Zucchini

Zucchini and Other Summer Squash

Image Source / Getty Images

Summer squash is an excellent source of soluble fiber and is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. It's also low in FODMAPs.

You can mix squash with no-FODMAP food like carrots and potatoes to make a satisfying cream soup or a healthy side dish of roasted vegetables.

Zucchini is also a nice addition to an IBS-friendly diet, but it contains a bit more fructan than its yellow-skinned cousin. To avoid IBS symptoms, limit your intake to around a half cup.

9

Eggplant

Eggplant, whole and halved
Joan Ransley / Getty Images

Eggplants are low in FODMAPs and an ideal choice for any IBS-friendly diet. They're also low in calories and a good source of manganese, folate, and potassium.

Eggplants contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. You can reduce some of the insoluble fiber by peeling the skin.

Roasting eggplant in olive oil makes it both tasty and easy to digest. You can even puree it into baba ganoush.

Avoid breading or deep-frying eggplant, which is likely to trigger IBS symptoms.

10

Okra

okra

Charles Imstepf / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Okra is a great source of soluble fiber and a host of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and calcium. As with green beans and Brussels sprouts, okra needs to be consumed in moderation to avoid IBS symptoms.

Okra is relatively high in fructans and may cause IBS symptoms if you eat more than a half cup. Well-cooked okra is easier to digest.

Low or No FODMAP Vegetables
No FODMAP Low FODMAP Serving Size
Carrots   
Green Beans  1/2 cup
 Brussels Sprouts ✓  1.5 ounces 
Chickpeas  1/4 cup 
 Lentils 1/2 cup
Potatoes   
Sweet Potatoes  1/2 cup
Summer Squash  1 cup 
Zucchini  1/2 cup 
 Eggplant 1/3 cup
Okra 1/2 cup
11

Avocados

A knife sits next to organic avocado slices, bread, and a bowl of organic greens

Kirk Mastin / Getty Images

Avocados are a great source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and soluble fiber. They do contain some FODMAPs, but one-eighth of an avocado is considered safe on a low-FODMAP diet.

You can add avocado slices to salads, toast, or sandwiches. They can even be frozen in portion sizes to add to smoothies.

Avocado oil is a different story, though. Even though it's made from avocados, it's FODMAP-free because it contains no carbohydrates.

12

Blueberries

Part of wickerbasket with blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) on wooden table
Westend61 / Getty Images

Blueberries are on the list of fruits considered IBS-friendly. High in soluble fiber and low in FODMAPs, blueberries may even help settle your stomach during an IBS attack.

Blueberries are best when eaten fresh but also can be also frozen and still retain their nutritional value. They're easy to eat on their own or add to cereal, smoothies, or yogurt.

People who are sensitive to fructans should only have 1/4 cup of blueberries at a time.

13

Bananas

Fruit Stills: Banana
Floortje / Getty Images

Bananas have a lot of great qualities: They're readily available, portable, high in soluble fiber, and low in FODMAPs—as long as they're not too ripe.

Bananas make great snacks between meals and, like blueberries, are great for smoothies or slicing into your cereal.

However, be careful to choose bananas that are not too ripe or soft. As a banana ripens, it accumulates a type of FODMAP called oligofructan. If you're sensitive to FODMAPs, this can make your IBS worse.

High-FODMAP Fruits

These fruits are considered high-FODMAP and may make IBS symptoms worse:

  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Mangos
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Watermelon
  • Dried fruits
14

Kiwi

Kiwis (Actinidia deliciosa) and pocketknife on wooden table

Westend61 / Getty Images

Kiwi fruit is considered a low-FODMAP food. Kiwis are high in:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Folate
  • Potassium
15

Oranges

oranges

Maximilian Stock Ltd. / Getty Images

Oranges are readily available, extremely portable, and low in FODMAPs. They're also an excellent source of soluble fiber and one of the best all-around sources of vitamin C.

For both high fiber and low FODMAP content, whole fruit is much better than juice. Most experts recommend limiting yourself to one whole orange.

16

Raspberries

fresh raspberries
lacaosa / Getty Images

Raspberries are a great source of soluble fiber and vitamin C. They contain a bit more fructan than blueberries but are generally well tolerated in IBS. For a low-FODMAP diet, limit your intake to a quarter cup.

You can enjoy raspberries as a snack, sprinkle them on your oatmeal, or add them to smoothies.

You can buy fresh or frozen raspberries in most supermarkets.

17

Strawberries

bowl of strawberries

Deborah Pendell / Moment / Getty Images

Strawberries are relatively low in FODMAPs and are an excellent part of an IBS-friendly diet. But they do contain some fructan, so as with most fruits, you need to avoid eating too many.

Most people with IBS can safely consume a half cup of fresh sliced strawberries.

You can eat strawberries plain or add them to salads, ice cream, or cereals. Frozen strawberries are excellent in smoothies.

  Serving Sizes for Low-FODMAP Diet 
Avocados 1/8 avocado
Blueberry  1/4 - 1/3 cup
Banana  1 banana (less ripe) 1/3 banana (very ripe)
 Kiwi 2 medium kiwis
 Oranges 1 whole orange 
Raspberry  1/4 cup
Strawberry  1/2 cup
18

Oatmeal

bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and almonds

ArxOnt / Moment Open / Getty Images

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber. They are also relatively low in FODMAPs when eaten in moderation.

Because oatmeal contains fructan, a type of oligosaccharide, you should limit yourself to a 1-cup serving if you're FODMAP-sensitive.

A nice thing about oatmeal is that it can be prepared ahead for a quick and easy meal when you are on the go. On a bad IBS day, oatmeal can even work for dinner.

If you add fruit to your oatmeal, make sure it's a no-FODMAP type.

19

Peanuts

bowl of peanuts

Adam Gault / OJO Images / Getty Images

Looking for something to satisfy those late-night munchies? Look no further than peanuts.

Portable and delicious, peanuts are packed with nutrients like folate and contain a healthy blend of soluble and insoluble fiber. Peanuts are also great in an IBS-friendly diet as they have lower amounts of FODMAPs than tree nuts like cashews and pistachios.

Even so, you should limit yourself to a serving size of one ounce. Anything more exposes you to higher amounts of fructan.

Peanut butter is also a great option as long as you buy types that don't contain added sugar. Read labels carefully.

20

Sunflower Seeds

High Angle View Of Sunflower Seeds In Bowl On Table
Luis Benitez / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sunflower seeds also make a great portable snack. They're packed with:

  • Soluble fiber
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium

Still, most experts recommend that you limit your intake to around three tablespoons if you have IBS. Sunflowers contain fructan that can cause an IBS attack in some people.

In addition to snacks, you can also sprinkle sunflower seeds on cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, or salads for a nice, nutty crunch.

   Serving Sizes for Low-FODMAP Diet
Oatmeal  1 cup
Peanuts  1 ounce
Sunflower Seeds  1.5 ounces

Summary

People with IBS are often sensitive to foods containing sugars known as FODMAPs that ferment in the gut and cause bloating and cramps.

To avoid IBS symptoms, choose foods that are high in soluble fiber and low in FODMAPs such as fructan, sorbitol, and mannitol. This includes potatoes and carrots, which contain no FODMAPs.

It is also important to note that certain low-FODMAP, IBS-friendly foods, like green beans, sweet potatoes, blueberries, oranges, oatmeal, and peanuts can cause symptoms if eaten in excess. Watch your serving sizes to avoid IBS symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber?
    • Soluble fiber: Dissolves in water, turns into a gel-like substance that makes stools softer, slows the digestion of fat and carbohydrates, can help lower cholesterol
    • Insoluble fiber: Absorbs fluids, makes stools bulkier
  • How much fiber should you eat if you have IBS?

    Ideally, you should eat between 20 milligrams (mg) and 35 mg of fiber per day. If you're not getting enough, try eating foods rich in soluble fiber. Be careful not to increase your fiber too quickly as this can make your IBS symptoms worse.

    As you increase fiber intake, increase fluid intake as well.

    If you have trouble eating enough soluble fiber, you may want to consider a fiber supplement.

16 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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Additional Reading

By Barbara Bolen, PhD
Barbara Bolen, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and health coach. She has written multiple books focused on living with irritable bowel syndrome.