If you prefer to stick with whole foods (and your system can tolerate them), or you cannot afford to go on an elemental diet, or pay for the targeted healing supplements for IBD or IBS, then I have a few options for you that will not cost more than your regular grocery bill and should go a long way toward providing foundational healing for your digestive system and your whole body.

Ayurvedic IBD Diet

This diet was given to me in London, UK, by an Ayurvedic physician from India. A friend of mine had used one of his other diets to cure her asthma and so he came highly recommended. He told me to eat NOTHING but black bananas and live yoghurt for six weeks. By ‘black bananas’ I mean normal, yellow-skinned bananas that have been left on the counter to ripen until their skin turns black.

At the time, he didn’t explain, and I had no idea why this should work. But I went out and bought the stuff – and even managed to find home-cultured, live yoghurt at Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. I managed one day on this diet. Because I positively gagged eating those black bananas. I’m texture-sensitive and have never liked thick, slimy things. Plus, I had never liked bananas (except in muffins or pancakes) and I never ate yoghurt!

It was a classic case of “if I knew then, what I know now…”

Here’s the thing that would have made this diet work for me: Throw the bananas and yoghurt in a blender on low speed and sweeten with stevia if required. Add liquid extracts (these are elemental) of caramel, chocolate, or strawberry for extra flavor variety. Voila!

Black Bananas & Live Yoghurt

The bananas need to be black, because in this state they are naturally pre-digested and so absorption is enhanced. They are also very alkaline.

Bananas are often called a “perfect food” and have a long history of use for digestive upsets. Bananas contain tryptophan; a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. Bananas are also very high in potassium, yet low in salt, which helps with blood pressure. In fact, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke. Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system (which directly benefits the gut by lowering stress).

Live (or homemade) yoghurt contains live enzymes which help with digestion. It also contains a good level of probiotics. So this is the best way to improve your gut microbiota if you cannot afford probiotics. Conventional store-bought yoghurt will not work for these purposes. So you either need to make i