One in seven adults suffers from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition characterised by symptoms such as gastrointestinal wind, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Although more women than men are affected by IBS, the condition is common throughout the world, including; Australia, the US, Europe as well as many Asian countries.
Now, thanks to the research team at the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University, a smartphone application has been created which provides accurate information about foods that trigger IBS reactions in order to help sufferers manage their symptoms. The launch of the app came in response to an increasing number of requests about the FODMAP content of food. “We had a growing database and wanted to make this information available” says Dr. Jane Muir. “A smartphone application is an ideal way of delivering information to where it’s needed-to IBS patients, health professionals and scientists in the field.”
Having suffered from IBS for the past two years, I personally decided to give the FODMAP diet a try. My dietician recommended that I download the Monash University smartphone app to use as a resource. Priced at $12.99 the app is not cheap, however is great value for money. It contains a FODMAP food database which lists over 600 foods, a traffic light system to guide people to low FODMAP food choices, a recipe book with over 77 recipes and meal ideas and a bowel symptom and food diary that can be used in discussions with your health care professional. More importantly however, all proceeds from the sale of the smartphone app goes towards the Department of Gastroenterology at Monash University to fund further research, and create significant regular updates to the smartphone app.
Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app does not require internet access, therefore you can rest easy knowing that you can always have access to the information even in those pesky dead spots in supermarkets. Simply open the app on your smartphone, find your ingredients in the Food Guide and crosscheck against the traffic light system.
The traffic light system is used to inform users of the tolerance of foods and correct serving sizes. Red foods are high in FODMAPs and should be avoided, orange foods are moderate in FODMAPs and may be tolerate by some people while green foods are low in FODMAPs and are safe for consumption. Once clicking on the desired food, you can view the specific food serving sizes. For example, 3 cherries may be tolerated, however more than this may cause IBS symptoms. The app also allows you to star and make notes under each food listed in the Food Guide section to taylor the diet specifically to your symptoms.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the information and struggling to create meals that are FODMAP friendly then look no further than the recipe guide within the app. Here users can choose from 77 different FODMAP friendly recipes that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snack recommendations. With a wireless connection you can even print these recipes at home to help you with the creation of your shopping list.
Finally, the smartphone app provides a space for you to record a food and symptom diary. Here you can enter your meals consumed throughout the day including the key ingredients. You can also record your symptoms including abdominal pain/discomfort, bloating, wind, tiredness and lethargy and nausea on a 10 point scale from excellent (none at all) to the worst it has been (really awful). I found this particular useful when speaking with my dietician as it gave her a clearer picture of what foods might be triggering my IBS symptoms.
You can download the smartphone app in the iTunes Store.
It is available for iPhone, iPad and Android users.
Low FODMAP Baked Orange Chicken with Coriander and Quinoa Couscous
2 skinless marylands
30g polyunsaturated margarine
1 sprig Rosemary
6 oranges, zest and juice
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1/4 bunch mint, roughly choppe
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 bunch chives, chopped
4 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup white wine (dry)
Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste
Olive oil spay
1. Preheat over at 190 Degrees Celsius.
2. Wash and pat dry the chicken.
3. Rub margarine over the outside and season with salt and pepper. Scatter the rosemary over the chicken and place in an oiled baking tray.
4. Pour the juice of three oranges over the chicken and scatter the zest of three oranges.
5. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, basting the chicken with the juice.
6. Whilst the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce and quinoa. Blanch the rind of the three remaining oranges in boiling water and drain.
7. Place the quinoa in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the grain. Simmer until cooked. Set aside to cool in a large bowl.
8. Add cherry tomatoes to the quinoa and toss through the mint, parsley and chives. Add the lemon juice and season to taste.
9. Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and rest for 5 minutes. Remove any fat from the pan and add the juice of three oranges, blanched rind and wine. Simmer over a medium heat, stirring to combine.
10. Serve the quinoa and chicken on a plate and pour over the sauce.
References (check these out for more information):
1. Monash University. 2012. Low FODMAP Diet App. [ONLINE] Available at: http://med.monash.edu.au/news/2012/fodmap-app.html. [Accessed 14 March 16].
2. Itunes Apple. 2016. Itunes Preview: The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet App. [ONLINE] Available at: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/monash-university-low-fodmap/id586149216?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4. [Accessed 14 March 16].
3. Monash University. 2016. The Monash University LOW FODMAP diet (Version 1.6) [MOBILE APPLICATION SOFTWARE]. [Accessed 14 March 16].
A woman with an ambitious heart and big dreams, Nicole’s mission is to inspire people to seek freedom from disordered eating and poor body image to lead an authentic and passionate life. Having suffered from an eating disorder for eight years, Nicole’s story of hope, freedom and recovery inspired her to found Life in The Aftermath, an online community for woman in recovery. Her stories of hope, mindful eating, positive body image, self-care, anxiety management and recovery will inspire and encourage you to love and accept who you are and make positive steps towards living an authentic life.