Soothing IBS Symptoms with Food – Recipe Included!

Do digestive issues keep you from doing things you love? Do you know where all the bathrooms are, just in case? Did you have dinner and movie plans only to rush home straight after dinner and miss the movie? How often have you checked the menu online before going out with friends to determine a safe choice but still felt nervous while eating? 

Are you thinking – how does she know?  I know this because, it was how I lived for many years. I knew all the tricks and very rarely made it to the movies!

If you’ve experienced the above, you know I’m talking about having digestive issues. Particularly Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Which can include diarrhea, constipation, or both. In addition, many people experience gas and bloating, abdominal pain, urgency, anxiety, and depression.

People who suffer from IBS don’t appear to have any structural or biochemical abnormalities, which makes diagnosing difficult.

Some common contributing factors include infection, food and food sensitivities, antibiotics, stress, unknown reasons, and body systems not working properly, like the nervous system, bowel mobility, and intestinal muscles.

When I’m not feeling well, I crave soup broth. The warm liquid feels gentle and soothing. Unfortunately, back in the day, I didn’t have the cooking skills I do now, so I bought a popular canned chicken noodle brand from my local supermarket. I’d drain the broth into a mug and just sip it slowly.

Thanks to my wellness training and The Academy of Culinary Nutrition, I learned how to create healing and therapeutic foods, including a lovely soothing soup I wish I had instead of canned soup. However, I am happy to share it with you now. I don’t even strain this soup. Instead, I gobble it up, soaking in all the nourishing healing properties.

In this article, I’ll focus on food as a possible cause for IBS.

Although it is not fully understood, many people have IBS symptoms when they consume food they might be intolerant or sensitive to, like wheat and dairy. Therefore, understanding the difference between food intolerances and sensitivities from food allergies is helpful.

A food allergy comes on quickly, usually within minutes of eating, and may need medical attention. In comparison, food sensitivities can take 2-3 days to show symptoms making it difficult to pinpoint the culprit. For this reason, it can be helpful to keep a journal to learn what works and what doesn’t.

What works for one may not work for another. 
You know your body best!

When it comes to IBS, there are specific healing and irritating foods, but it’s good practice to learn what works for you because what works for one may not work for another. For this reason, it’s essential to use the information I’m sharing with you as a guide. You know your body best!

In the image above you’ll see ginger, sprouts, bok choy, peppermint, radishes, turmeric, oats, olive oil, and psyllium husk. My Gut Healing Chicken soup includes: 

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy fat that helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K and are beneficial for gut health.
  • Ginger root is an anti-inflammatory and reduces bloating, cramping, gas, and indigestion.
  • Turmeric’s main property is curcumin which has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-depressant effects and is unique because it reaches the gut almost unaltered, benefiting gut health. 
  • Bok choy & Radishes are excellent substitutes for onion and garlic which may cause discomfort. They are also high in fiber, promoting healthy bowel movements. 
  • Plus many other yummy and gut-healthy ingredients.

The foods above could cause irritation, and you won’t find any of them in the Gut Healing Chicken Soup, and I’ll tell you why. Let’s start at the top with sugar.

  • Sugar and Sugar Substitutes like sucrose, fructose, lactose (in dairy products) Sorbitol, and Xylitol can be used as additives and also found naturally in foods like berries, apples, honey, avocados, cauliflower, and more… some of these foods are healthy and shouldn’t be avoid if they are ok for you.
  • Beans & Legumes like baked beans, chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans can cause gas and stomach upset due to high amounts of indigestible saccharides.
  • Gluten  can be found in barley, rye, wheat, malt, and farro to name a few. Some IBS sufferers have a non-celiac intolerance to gluten and have increased symptoms when eaten. People who removed gluten strictly reduced pain, bloating, and anxiety.  
  • Fried Foods are often made with unhealthy oils and can be hard to digest resulting in increased IBS symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Everything pictured above may cause some IBS sufferers inflammation, bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, stomach upset, and increased anxiety. However, not all the foods listed are unhealthy, and many have healing properties, like garlic, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. This is why it’s crucial to find out what works for YOU.

When nurturing our bodies via food leads to diarrhea or constipation, it can make the eating process and food, in general, seem like the enemy, in turn creating psychological issues like anxiety and depression and can even lead to eating disorders.

Because of this, it is essential to be cautious when restricting food choices. A good relationship with your primary care provider is vital when suffering from digestive issues. Please check in with them during your healing journey.

As for today, incorporating healthy eating habits will be a great start. Some healthy habits include establishing regular eating patterns, sitting down and relaxing, chewing food thoroughly, disconnecting from electronics, and being grateful for what you are about to eat.

Please give this delicious soup a try. I would have been very grateful to have it when I was suffering, and I am so happy I can share it with you now.

Gut Healing Chicken Soup

Serving Size:
60 minutes


  • 1 lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs cubed, remove most fat
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp to drizzle
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root peeled + grated 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 large tomato cubed
  • 2 large carrots chopped into 1/2 moon
  • 1  cup sweet potato, cubed
  • 1  cup medium white potato, cubed
  • 1 large bell pepper, cubed 
  • 1 cup of the white parts of bok choy
  • 1/2 cup radish, sliced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup bok choy greens
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon zest


  1. Add olive oil to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat approximately 1 minute. Add the spices – pepper, thyme, ginger, turmeric, cumin seed, and optional cayenne. Add the brown rice. Stir until fragrant, approximately 3 minutes, and then turn the heat to medium low. 
  2. Stir the chicken and mix well before adding the tomato, carrots, sweet potato and white potato, bell pepper, white of bok choy, and radish into the herbs and spices. Mix well 
  3. Add water, bay leaf, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Increase heat to medium high, cover and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce the heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are cooked fully. 
  5. Remove from the heat. Add bok choy greens, parsley, cilantro, lemon, and lemon zest. Reserve a small amount of parsley for garnish. Put the cover back on and let sit for 5 minutes. 
  6. Remove the bay leaf and drizzle the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil. Give it a final stir. 
  7. Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with a small amount of parsley. 


Katrina is originally from NH but has lived in the Charleston, SC area since 1998. She is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and animal lover. Katrina loves being in nature. She is passionate about health and wellness, continuing her education, becoming an expert, and sharing what she has learned with you!  To learn more about Katrina click here.

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