There’s a well-established connection between a person’s diet and IBS symptoms.

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common type of gut disorder that affects up to 20% of the general population. It’s characterized by symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, cramping, and gassiness.

There’s a well-established relationship between IBS symptoms and diet. One 2020 study found that up to 86% of people with IBS may find relief after implementing a low FODMAP diet.

FODMAP stands for fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. These are compounds found in a wide variety of carbohydrate-containing foods.

This article explains whether horseradish is a FODMAP-containing food, its impact on IBS symptoms, and foods people with IBS should limit or avoid.

Along with wasabi, kale, cabbage, and broccoli, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is a cruciferous vegetable.

Known for its spicy, pungent flavor and distinctive odor, horseradish is often used in small amounts as a condiment and complement to meats or seafood dishes like sushi.

Although horseradish contains health-promoting compounds like glucosinolates, eating too much of this spicy vegetable may trigger digestive symptoms similar to IBS symptoms in some people.

However, according to Monash University — the creator and champion of the low FODMAP diet — people with IBS can safely consume small amounts of horseradish.

Foods that contain FODMAPs include:

Generally, FODMAPs are indigestible carbohydrate foods that trigger gut symptoms in people with IBS.

However, according to Monash University and various research findings, not all FODMAP-containing foods trigger symptoms in people with IBS.

Some FODMAP-containing foods are safe to consume in small amounts but may trigger symptoms in larger servings. Therefore, portion sizes matter.

For example, up to 2 tablespoons (tbsp), or 42 grams, of prepared horseradish at a meal is considered a low-FODMAP food and is generally well-tolerated in people with IBS. However, it becomes a high-FODMAP food at 4.5 tbsp (90 grams).

Likewise, 1/4 cup (40 grams) of blueberries is a low-FODMAP food, but 1 cup (125 grams) is considered high-FODMAP.

If you have IBS, always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before eliminating foods from your diet.

IBS diet tip

Avoid including large servings of various high-FODMAP foods at the same meal. Instead, work with a registered dietitian to meal plan and determine the portions best suited for you.

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What spices can people with IBS use?

According to the low-FODMAP diet by Monash University, several spices are well-tolerated in small amounts.

Here are some examples of spices, and low-FODMAP serving sizes per meal:

  • Garam masala: 1 teaspoon (tsp) (2 grams)
  • Sambar powder: 1 tsp (2 grams)
  • Gourd: 1/2 cup (75 grams)
  • Black pepper: 1 tsp (2 grams)
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp (2 grams) ground or 1 tbsp (10 grams) fresh

Is prepared horseradish a low-FODMAP food?

Yes, up to 2 tbsp (42 grams) of prepared horseradish at a meal is considered a low-FODMAP food.

Prepared horseradish is typically made of grated horseradish root, combined with vinegar, sugar, and salt. Horseradish sauce may include mayonnaise or sour cream.

At 4.5 tablespoons (90 grams) per meal, horseradish contains larger amounts of FODMAPs. People with IBS should limit or entirely avoid servings of this size.

What sauces can people with IBS use?

Like spices, many sauces are considered low-FODMAP in small servings and can be enjoyed by people with IBS.

Here are some examples of sauces and their low-FODMAP serving sizes:

  • Soy: 2 tbsp (42 grams)
  • Barbeque: 2 tbsp (46 grams)
  • Pesto: 1/2 tbsp (10 grams)
  • Sriracha: 1 tsp (5 grams)
  • Sweet and sour: 2 tbsp (44 grams)

Horseradish is a cruciferous vegetable known for its pungent flavor and distinctive odor. In large amounts, this spicy vegetable can trigger digestive symptoms in some people with IBS.

Although horseradish contains indigestible FODMAPs, servings of up to 2 tablespoons are typically well-tolerated in people with IBS.

Other FODMAP-containing foods may also be tolerable in small servings and offer nutritional benefits.