Figs – beautiful juicy purple figs. Why had I not thought to try one before? As I walked in to my office I observed one of my co-workers slicing up a delicious looking fig and placing it in her mouth. She closed her eyes and moaned. Immediately my thoughts went to the old classic movie “When Harry Met Sally” and I thought to myself “I want what she is having”.

The very next evening as I was pushing my shopping cart around my local supermarket I got a vivid flashback to the day before and my brain decided that I must try a fig. With the careful precision driving that comes from years of grocery shopping for my family, I entered the fruit and veg section. And there they were – all purple and glistening in their packet. I placed them gently in my cart and went on my merry way.

Preparing dinner I took the figs from their container and washed them gently- almost salivating at the thought of eating them. I sliced them according to my co-workers instructions and blithely tossed them in to our dinner salad. Sitting at the dinner table with my family, using my fork, I dived into my salad. The experience was everything I imagined. The flavours burst on my tongue and I looked at my husband with amazement and screeched “OMG, why have I not had these before”. My teenage daughter snapped out of her “teenland” reverie for a moment; startled like a deer in headlights by my excitement. She picked up her own fork and tasted the fig in her salad. She smiled and proclaimed “they’re alright’ and retreated back to “teenland”, continuing to eat her dinner swiftly so she could return to Snapchat.

After that fateful evening, figs made an appearance in almost every meal. That is, until the IBS symptoms returned. IBS is a very unwelcome bowel disorder that is made worse by eating foods which contain FODMAPS. My symptoms had been well managed and under control for approximately 8 months and I am very aware of FODMAPS.  I even have an app on my iPhone to assist me with food choices, hence I was stumped as to why the symptoms had returned. Sometimes comfort can be the start of complacency. As I racked my brain as to what I’d been eating that was different I came to a startling revelation. My beloved figs have turned on me. With a heavy heart I checked my Gut Feelings online program . And there it was in black and white – the F Word. The word I was dreading to see. Figs!!!! On the HIGH FODMAP list indicating that they are not allowed!!!!!!

online IBS diet programs

And hence begins yet another learning journey in the FODMAP world. Not only did I learn that figs exacerbate irritable bowel, I learnt a few other lessons along the way.

  • Complacency is not my friend. With a chronic health issue I need to use the tools provided to me (particularly the Gut Feelings online IBS diet programs and FODMAP SWAPP app) to ensure that I don’t become ill.
  • Check new foods before trying.
  • Don’t covet thy co-workers figs.
  • Follow my GUT instincts.

Blogged by Shauna Wissink – March 2016

(Instagram: Fodmap_Girl)

2 Responses to Figs and FODMAPs

  1. lori_vt

    Thanks for your post about figs! I do not have the app, but I’m wondering if using figs to ferment my water kefir along with lemon, will cause the enzymes to enter the kefir, or if it would be safe. I am loving my water kefir and have never made it without figs before.

    • Hi Lori,

      The water kefir using figs should be fine, as it is the carbohydrate part of the figs that are troublesome with FODMAPs and this would be minimised through the fermentation process. And remember, if a food has never given you trouble, don’t cut it out!!


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