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Is Cauliflower Bad for IBS?

Is Cauliflower Bad For IBS?

Yes, cauliflower is bad for IBS. Cauliflower contains a certain type of polyol or sugar alcohol known as mannitol. Mannitol substance is not well absorbed in patients suffering from IBS or irritable bowel syndrome. If you restrict yourself from foods that contain mannitol you will alleviate your IBS symptoms.

In most cases IBS patients suffer from the side effects of trying to take healthy meals by including a lot of vegetables in their diets. They do this by trying to alleviate their IBS symptoms without knowing that some vegetables such as cauliflower contains short chain fermentable carbohydrates like mannitol, sorbitol, fructans and fructose that may worsen IBS condition. These substances may cause pain, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, bloating, flatulence and abdominal discomforts.

Is Cauliflower Bad For IBS?

What Other Foods are Bad for IBS?

Other types of foods which are bad if you have IBS are:

  • Garlic and Onions: Garlic and onions contains high contents of fructans, which is a molecule made up of a fructose chain which ends with a glucose chain. Fructans molecule is poorly absorbed in most IBS patients thus increasing the symptoms. You should avoid meals that have garlic or onions. Always read labels of packaged food, this is because most of the processed foods frozen entrees, vegetable juice and tomato sauce contains small quantities of onion. Also avoid any powder, sauce or juices made of garlic or onions.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli vegetable is rich in nutrients but contains high levels of fructans. IBS patients with fructans issues should avoid broccoli for sometimes to prevent worsening of their symptoms. After your symptoms have subsided you can try reintroducing little quantities of broccoli to check if your tolerability has improved.
  • Brussels & Sprouts: Brussels sprouts contain high fructans that can be fermented by the bacteria in your intestines, which can cause abdominal problems. Conditions of most IBS patients improve after eliminating broccoli, but you can reintroduce Brussel Sprouts in small portions after some time.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus also contains high fructose contents than most vegetables as well as fructans levels. Fructans and fructose can worsen your IBS condition. You can restrict Asparagus intake for some weeks to see if your condition will improve.
  • Artichoke: Artichoke just like asparagus has fructose levels in excess and high fructans content. Stop taking artichoke and your symptoms will improve.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms contains high contents of mannitol. Stop eating mushroom for a certain period of time if you suffer from IBS. After you have recovered, you can try to reintroduce little amounts of mushrooms in your diet to check if you can tolerate them.
  • Peas: Both sugar snap peas and snow peas contains mannitol and fructose. This makes them unsafe for consumption in IBS patients.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are considered healthier over white potatoes. However, sweet potatoes have mannitol substances in them. Small amounts of sweet potatoes 1/2 a cup and lower are safe for some IBS patients whereas larger quantities pose high risks to IBS patients.
  • Avocado: Avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable. But most people consume it as a vegetable and it contains high sorbitol content. Some IBS patients can tolerate small amounts of avocado. If your IBS condition cannot withstand avocado fruit, you should avoid it for some time.


  1. International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders – Living with IBS: https://www.aboutibs.org/living-with-ibs.html
  2. US National Library of Medicine – Evidence of Low Fermentable Oligosaccharide, Disaccharide, Monosaccharide and Polyol Diet Improving Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25267209/
  3. Cleveland Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Diet: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9463-irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-diet
  4. Stanford Health Care – The Low FODMAP Diet for IBS: https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-treatments/l/low-fodmap-diet.html
  5. Monash University – The Low FODMAP Diet and IBS: https://www.monashfodmap.com/ibs-central/i-have-ibs/getting-started/

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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