One of the most common questions I get asked on the low fodmap diet is about cruciferous vegetables. This is such a confusing topic for most people starting off on the low fodmap diet simply because there is so much conflicting information available on the internet. I have been following this diet for 3 years now and I thought this is a great topic to write about so that I can share with you an outline of what has been researched and what is, as yet, undetermined.
Firstly, to answer the question: are cruciferous vegetables low fodmap?
Well, YES and NO.
Cruciferous vegetables have a long tradition and reputation for being regarded as vegetables that may cause gas and discomfort, but it is good news for us IBS sufferers that not all cruciferous vegetables are off-limits.
This is my list below, although it isn’t conclusive.:
- Arugula or Rocket – low fodmap *
- Bok Choy – should be OK up to 1 cup. Large servings (2 cups) contain high amounts of Polyol (sorbitol), so limit the servings size if this is a problem for you *
- Broccoli – should be OK up to 1/2 cup. Large servings (1 cup) contain high amounts of Oligos (fructans, GOS) and Polyol (sorbitol) so watch your serving size *
- Brussels sprouts – should be OK up to 2 sprouts. Avoid large servings (6 sprouts) which contain high amounts of Oligos (fructans) and moderate amounts of Polyol – sorbitol *
Cauliflower – No! Even small servings have high amounts of Polyols (mannitol) * (Read about my personal experience with cauliflower here)
- Choy sum – low fodmap *
- Collard greens – unsure. They are closely related to kale (which is safe) so they may also be safe. Best to avoid initially and then re-introduce and monitor your symptoms.
- Chinese broccoli (gai-lan or kai-lan) – unsure. Best to avoid initially and then re-introduce and monitor your symptoms.
- Common cabbage – should be OK in servings up to 1 cup. Larger servings contain high amounts of Polyol (sorbitol). Best to limit your servings if you know sorbitol is a problem. * (I personally find that I don’t tolerate cabbage very well)
- Savoy cabbage – in servings up to 1/2 cup are OK for most people with IBS. Servings of 1 cup contain high amounts of Oligos (fructans) *
- Daikon – unsure. I suspect it is probably low fodmap. Best to avoid initially and re-introduce to monitor your symptoms.
- Horseradish – unsure. Best to avoid initially and re-introduce to monitor your symptoms.
- Kale – in servings up to 1 cup is low in fodmaps! * So go ahead and enjoy it! (I love it sauted in butter or coconut oil, either plain or as the main ingredient in scrambled eggs)
- Kohlrabi – unsure. Best to avoid initially and then re-introduce and monitor your symptoms.
- Radish – low fodmap. *
- Rutabaga or Swede – I believe this has been tested in the USA as low in fodmaps but I am unsure of the safe servings sizes. ª
- Wasabi – unsure. As it is generally eaten in such small amounts I suspect that it would be OK.
- Watercress – unsure. I suspect that it is low in fodmaps.
I hope this helps guide you on making low fodmap choices. While the diet does restrict a lot of these vegetables there is still a good variety to choose from especially if you watch your serving sizes.
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!
* Monash University Low Fodmap App
ª K. Scarlatta at http://blog.katescarlata.com/