Anyone on the low fodmap diet will be happy to know that beets are low fodmap in the appropriate portion size, depending on whether beets are raw, canned, or pickled.
Beets quickly become high fodmap unless they are canned or pickled. Even though beets can quickly become a high fodmap food, they are also one of my top superfoods for IBS and SIBO. Beets promote antimicrobial bile flow, which prevents small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
People with irritable bowel syndrome frequently experience IBS symptoms such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and abdominal pain after eating high fodmap foods. Fodmaps are rapidly fermentable and trigger digesting symptoms in people with IBS, which can be due to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine fermenting upon the fodmaps!
It is also important to note that studies suggest that the low-fodmap diet can be beneficial short term to help manage symptoms but detrimental long term for the gut microbiome. A healthy microbiome in the colon relies upon prebiotic fibers, including those found in high fodmap foods.
It’s a bit of a catch-22 problem, especially when bacteria have overgrown in the small intestine, where they should not be in large numbers. But that is where beets are part of the solution, even though they contain high fodmap contents in larger amounts.
Beets are a fantastic root vegetable that supports a sluggish gallbladder and increases bile flow. A sluggish gallbladder and low bile flow are underlying causes of SIBO and IBS.
Plus, diarrhea is a common symptom of IBS, which can also be caused by fat malabsorption due to a sluggish gallbladder.
Are beets low fodmap?
According to testing done by the Monash university, a low fodmap serving size of fresh beetroot is 25 grams, equal to 2 thin slices per meal.
Beets contain moderate amounts of the GOS and fructan fodmaps in 32-gram serve.
One serving of fresh beetroot is equal to 75 grams (1 small or ½ of a large beetroot) and is high in fodmaps. Anyone intolerant to the GOS and fructan fodmaps should be mindful of portion sizes when eating beets.
While fresh beets quickly become high fodmap, you can consume canned and pickled beets in larger portions before becoming high fodmap.
Are pickled and canned beets low fodmap?
A 75-gram serve of pickled beetroot or 2/3 cup is low fodmap and can be enjoyed freely according to appetite.
Canned beets are low fodmap in 60 grams or a serving size of half a cup. Canned beets are a medium fodmap food in amounts of 1 cup per meal or 120 grams.
In quantities of and above 1 1/3 cups, beets become high in the fructan fodmaps.
While beets contain fodmaps in larger quantities, they are also a fantastic root vegetable to address a fundamental underlying cause of SIBO and IBS. This post is all about a sluggish gallbladder, low bile flow, and SIBO.
Cooking, canning, or pickling beets lowers the amount of fodmap found in beets and is a great way to prepare beets for IBS.
Ways to use beets on the low fodmap diet
Batch cook these oven-roasted beets with a touch of olive oil, then serve with small amounts of goat cheese or feta cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a delicious fodmap-friendly recipe.
Grate small amounts of beets into salads and serve with a low fodmap dressing.
Garnish any meal with a side of pickled or canned beetroot.
Answering the question are beets low fodmap or good for IBS has many variables depending on how beets are prepared and the portion size.
But because beets are one of the best superfoods for increasing antimicrobial bile flow to prevent SIBO, I highly recommend eating beets often, even though they are high fodmap in larger quantities.
Some people may even experience healing and die-off reactions just from eating beets, as they are so good at cleansing a sluggish liver and gallbladder. It is always essential to come off the low fodmap diet after 4-6 weeks due to the negative effects of a low fodmap diet on the gut bacteria. When coming off the low fodmap diet, it is best to reintroduce small amounts of fodmap-containing foods to restore beneficial bifidobacteria in the digestive system.
Eating small portions of beets daily is great for people with SIBO and IBS as it will help optimize bile flow and prevent bacteria from overgrowing in the small intestine. Yet the natural fiber and fodmaps in beets can help to restore beneficial gut bacteria in the colon.
Someone who has IBS and is intolerant to GOS and fructose fodmaps, which are natural sugars found in beets, is best to stick to the appropriate low fodmap portion size when eating beets, especially raw beets!
Fodmap friendly recipes with beets:
Beets are nutrient-dense food with many health benefits, including:
- promotes healthy bowel movements and bile flow. A pale stool color indicates a lack of bile flow.
- improves cognitive function
- has a protective effect on the liver and kidneys
- antioxidant activity to fight chronic inflammation
- improves phase 3 liver detox for weight loss
- can help lower blood pressure
- improves exercise performance
The phytonutrients in beets have been proven to improve overall health and treat many chronic health conditions. You can delve into all the science in the following article:
To keep track of the high fodmap contents found in foods, the Monash app is a great resource to quickly check whether a food is low or high fodmap. What portion sizes are low fodmap and the fodmaps present in larger portions or high fodmap foods.
Additional references and resources: