Q. You’ve pointed out that coconut macaroons are great for IBS and moderate colitis, but they’re pretty expensive, not easy to find and a little hard to make from scratch.

I’ve found something cheaper, easier and just as effective: a daily Mounds candy bar! (I remind myself that the dark chocolate coating is healthful, too.) Two cups of peppermint tea round out my daily gut-soothing regimen.

A. You are not the first one to tell us that Mounds candy is an easy and appealing way to take a daily dose of diarrhea-controlling coconut. The downside, of course, is that the candy bar has sugar (21 grams) and calories (230).

Some people have found that simply adding unsweetened shredded coconut to their breakfast cereal is also an effective and affordable substitute for coconut macaroons. A recent review in the Journal of Medicinal Food (Dec., 2013) determined that the fatty acids in virgin coconut oil, especially lauric acid, can slow the growth of nasty gut bacteria called Clostridium difficile (C diff).

The essential oils in mint also have antibacterial activity (BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Nov. 28, 2013). Peppermint oil has been identified as a safe, effective short-term treatment for IBS (Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, online Oct. 4, 2013).



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  1. Dean C.

    Two peppermint pills a day and peppermint help.

  2. s.e.y.

    I had to start taking metformin for a higher than normal sugar count (diabetes type 2). I immediately got diarrhea. How many people mistake a drug side effect for some other disease that causes diarrhea? Many people I know have the same problem. Doctors don’t seem to have an answer.

  3. pjk

    I have found using organic shredded coconut from a bag drizzled with a little chocolate syrup solves the coconut urge plus the chocolate craving – I have not computed
    the sugar grams, but am sure it’s less than a Mounds bar.

  4. Judy K. Warner

    Here’s a healthier way to eat coconut and dark chocolate. Melt 3/4 cup coconut oil at very low heat in a small saucepan. Add 1-1/2 cups of unsweetened cocoa and mix well. Add honey — start with 2 tablespoons and add more according to your taste. Add a dash of salt. Then mix in finely shredded coconut, as much as you like.
    You can also mix in vanilla, finely chopped nuts, and anything else you think would be good in it.
    Pour the mixture into a foil-lined pan — 9×9 works well. Refrigerate it and when it’s hard score lines in it and break it in pieces. Keep it refrigerated because coconut oil melts at room temperature. This is the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever eaten and I keep it on hand all the time.
    If you can’t find unsweetened cocoa at the store, you can buy it at Amazon.

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