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Bowls of White rice with rice grains on a watercolor background.

White Rice is My IBS-D’s Best Friend

Throughout my IBS journey, my trigger foods have come and gone. At one point, tomatoes were an absolute no-go for me. Now, they are alright. Pumpkin, on the other hand, now sends me straight into a whirlwind of misery, which wasn't always the case.

There are few foods that remained constant over the years. Sushi saved me multiple times but also made me sick. Gluten has been my frenemy for a long time. Even potatoes don't always work. My number one friend, though, the safe choice I can always rely on is white rice.

Plain white rice is great on flare-up days

Whenever I have a mild IBS flare, the kind where I'm still eating but can't stomach anything fancy, plain white rice is usually my food of choice. It doesn’t cause any bloating. It helps regulate any diarrhea I might have (especially when overcooked). And most of all, I know that it will not trigger any additional IBS symptoms.

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Most people only eat plain white rice while they're recovering from the stomach flu. Eating rice by itself is a common occurrence and a good indicator that my digestive system isn't doing too well.

This or That

Is rice a big part of your diet?

Rice balances out other meals

Once in a while, I indulge in meals that aren't the easiest to digest. Of course, nothing containing trigger foods, but I do love a good duck with potatoes. Or a salad. Or any vegetables that aren't carrots, for that matter.

These foods don’t exactly make my IBS-D flare-up, but they do leave me a bit bloated. And I know perfectly well that eating too many of those foods will upset the digestive system. So, I always make sure to balance them out with rice. If I had a salad (or duck, or vegetables) for lunch, I'd just eat rice and chicken for dinner. Or something like that. It helps reset my digestive system and usually avoids any flares.

Rice makes other foods safer

Not all foods become safe when paired with rice. But some of them do, at least for me. For instance, I could never eat peas on their own because they make me incredibly bloated. But a couple of peas with rice are usually fine. Semi-safe vegetables or raw vegetables are easier to digest for me when I eat rice with them, too.

I'm not sure why that is, but ever since I started relying heavily on rice-based meals, there are many more foods that I can eat. I have to introduce them in small doses and be sure not to overdo it.

Rice is cheap, gluten-free and available everywhere

If you're like me and don't eat gluten, you might feel like all your food options are super expensive. I'm not sure about other countries, but in France, where I live, gluten-free pasta, bread, and so on is incredibly pricey. They’re also only available at certain grocery stores and offer very limited options.

Instead of buying gluten-free anything, I have learned to just opt for rice. Many pasta-based recipes can be cooked with rice, and they'll still be good. Plus, you don't have to check the ingredients list every time since not all gluten-free foods are created equal!

Not only does my rice-based diet save me from spending too much money or having too many flares, but it's also something I can get anywhere. Whether I'm spending a weekend at my in-laws or traveling somewhere: rice is available wherever I go.

What is your ultimate safe food?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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