What To Eat To Beat Ulcerative Colitis
by Executive EditorLouis Hansel
If you’re dealing with ulcerative colitis, you don’t need anyone to tell you how painful it is. Inflamed walls of the large intestine riddled with raw sores known as ulcers is no one’s idea of a picnic. Its no wonder that 70% of people suffering from UC, a type of inflammatory bowel disease , have tried elimination diets in an attempt to figure out how to ease the discomfort during flares. In fact, research suggests that the removal of certain foods from your daily repertoire, combined with the addition of beneficial ones, can play a big role in helping combat symptoms.
That approach is likely your best one, since the actual cause of UC remains elusive. “It is believed that a combination of factors may precipitate the onset, including genes, environmental factors like diet, stress, and smoking, immune system dysfunction, and imbalances in the gut microbiota,” says Ryan Warren, R.D.N. a clinical nutritionist at the Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian. “Diet can play an important role in managing symptoms as well as maintaining adequate nutrition.” Heres what to eat to stay one step ahead of this painful disease.
Foods To Eat During An Ulcerative Colitis Flare
Avoiding certain foods is only half the battle. Heres how to get the nutrients you need during an ulcerative colitis flare.
If you have ulcerative colitis, you may already know which foods worsen your flares. But figuring out what to include in your diet is equally important, because the right foods will provide you with key nutrients without aggravating your symptoms.
Most experts recommend that you limit your fiber intake when youre having an ulcerative colitis flare. A general rule is to replace high-fiber foods, such as nuts, seeds, and raw fruits and vegetables, with more easily digestible fare. Here are eight foods to eat during an ulcerative colitis flare and the reasons they can help.
1. Applesauce: Since your gastrointestinalsystem is experiencing a lot of irritation during a flare, you may want to stick to soft, easily digestible foods like applesauce. Be sure to choose an unsweetened variety though, because added sugar can cause more inflammation. You can also make your own sugar-free applesauce by cooking peeled, sliced apples with some water and then pureeing the mixture.
3. Cooked vegetables: Soft, cooked veggies like carrots and spinach can provide important nutrients, such as vitamins A and K. Just make sure the vegetablesare thoroughly cooked until they can be mashed with a fork, Szeles says so that any potentially irritating fiber is broken down.
Additional reporting by Nina Wasserman
Did My Diet Cause Ibd
No. IBD seems to be caused by a mix of genes and things that damage the lining of the intestine. Together, these cause the immune system in the intestine to be exposed to the bacteria of the intestine more than usual. Inflammation in the intestine of a healthy person lasts for a short time, and then goes away. In people with IBD, the inflammation does not go away, and it stays inflamed.
You May Like: Is Smoking Good For Ulcerative Colitis
Foods That Cause Bloating And Gas
Some foods and drinks are more likely to cause gas and bloating.
The following are some examples of foods that may cause gas, as reported by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders:
- Sugars, such as raffinose found ni beans and asparagus, lactose found naturally in milk and milk products, fructose present naturally in fruits, artichokes, and wheat, and sorbitol found in fruit and some artificial sweetener
- Starchy foods, such as corn, potatoes, wheat, and noodles
- High-fiber foods, such as oat bran and soy fiber
Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases stated that drinking carbonated or fizzy beverages, chewing gum, and sucking on hard candy may cause gas since youll be swallowing more air.
What To Eat During Flare
Low-fiber foods are easiest to digest and are less irritating to the gut, especially with symptoms like abdominal pain or diarrhea. Choose:
- Grains/starches: White foods, instead of wheat or whole-grain, and those with less than 2 grams of fiber per serving
- Cooked vegetables: Well-cooked vegetables such as green beans, carrots, mashed potatoes without skin, steamed asparagus tips and pureed squash.Use fresh or frozen.
- Canned or soft fruits: Peeled apples, ripe bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, and canned fruit in fruit juice or light syrup
Be sure to eat enough protein — Inflammation causes increased protein needs. Choose:
- Tender, well-cooked meats: Poultry, salmon or other fish, lean beef and pork prepared without added fat
- Deli meats: Low-sodium and low-fat varieties
- Eggs: Well-cooked
- Smooth nut and seed butters: Peanut, almond or sunflower seed
Drink plenty of fluids — Aim for eight cups a day, and consider using oral rehydration beverages as needed. Try to limit caffeinated, sugar drinks and beverages made with sugar substitutes.
Limit added fats and oils — Focus on oils instead of solid fats, and limit intake to less than eight teaspoons per day.
Consume adequate calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, and prebiotics — Sources include:
Read Also: How To Know If You Have Ulcerative Colitis
You Could Develop Toxic Megacolon
If ulcerative colitis remains untreated, the inflammation can spread to the deeper layers of your colon and result in a very dangerous complication called toxic megacolon. This condition can lead to life-threatening infections, kidney failure, or a colon rupture and needs to be treated immediately.
At this point, there is really no other option for medical treatment than surgery, Bonthala says. Surgery for toxic megacolon typically involves removing all or part of your colon.
Following The Leaky Gut Diet
Fortunately, ample support exists on the internet today. There are online tribes for many variations of this diet. They include Paleo, primal, GAPS, SCD, and more. Many, many people have adapted some version of this diet and are happy to help and support others.
I dont like to give hard and fast rules as to what to eat or how many grams of carbs to eat beyond the guidelines in this chapter. Your health and your symptoms are the best feedbackgetting trapped in dogma or group-think can sabotage your ability to monitor your body and how it responds to the foods you eat. I do like people to pay attention to their blood sugar symptoms and markers and keep blood sugar stable, often a good basic guideline with which to start.
You May Like: Does Peanut Butter Cause Heartburn
Recommended Reading: Ulcerative Colitis And Renal Failure
Are Your Nuts Fresh
That leads to the second reason to avoid all commercially made almond butter, almond meal, almond flour, and blanched almond flour. All nuts have a short shelf life. They are prone toward rancidity. This is especially true of walnuts. But all nuts must be stored briefly or properly. Do we think that big factories are mindful of this truth?
Rather they are looking at mass production, mass profit, and the effectiveness of a good label to make their product look healthy and desirable, not to mention a competitive selling price.
A competitive selling price, however, is not complimentary with having a knowledgeable health advocate on the company team to make sure that all almonds are made into butter quickly after harvest and then frozen to prevent further aging of the nuts components.
Nor are most nut companies these days soaking and sprouting their nuts before creating their meals and butters, although we are beginning to see a few companies do this who sell from health food store shelves.
Whats wrong with a good rancid nut? Until youve eaten lots of GOOD soaked, sprouted and dehydrated nuts you wont necessary taste the difference.
But rancidity in food is not something to ignore.
Paul Pitchford of Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition writes that possible complications from eating rancid nuts include,
Hummus With Pita Chips
This chickpea-based dip packs in a lot of plant-based protein, iron, and folate. Chickpeas are usually well tolerated during ulcerative colitis flares, even though theyre a good source of fiber.
Hummus is also high in healthy unsaturated fat. The right types of dietary fat can help you gain back any weight you might have lost during an ulcerative colitis flare.
You should also avoid high fiber whole-wheat chips if youre in the middle of a flare. Use pretzels or pita chips for dipping instead.
These versatile legumes are loaded with protein, folate, iron, and a type of soluble fiber called raffinose. Bacteria produce the fatty acid butyrate in your digestive tract when they break down this fiber.
Butyrate helps bring down inflammation in the colon. Research suggests that people with inflammatory bowel diseases , like ulcerative colitis, may not produce as much of this gut-healthy fatty acid.
To make this crunchy treat, toss one can of chickpeas in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Dust with a little bit of garlic powder.
Place the coated chickpeas on an oiled cookie sheet. Brown them in the oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes.
rich in potassium . People with irritable bowel disorders, like ulcerative colitis, are often deficient in this mineral.
Blend one cup of low fat milk with one cup of yogurt, a ripe banana, and ice. Choose a dairy-free alternative if youre sensitive to lactose. Youll get a filling and nutritious snack that you can take with you on the go.
You May Like: Natural Ways To Heal Esophageal Ulcers
Are Bananas Good For Colitis
If youre experiencing an ulcerative colitis flare, bananas are high on the list of healthful foods to consume. Theyre low in fat and high in potassium, making them a good choice for diabetics. The mineral selenium is frequently inadequate in those who suffer from irritable bowel illnesses, such as ulcerative colitis. One cup of low-fat milk, one cup of yogurt, a ripe banana, and ice are blended together to make a smoothie.
What Foods Should You Avoid With Colitis
If you have UC, be on the lookout for products that might cause problems, such as the following:
- Alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, dairy items , and tobacco products are all prohibited. Beans, peas, and legumes that have been dried. Fruits that have been dried. The presence of sulfur or sulfate in foods. Foods that are high in fiber.
Don’t Miss: Foods Not To Eat With Ulcerative Colitis
Spinach Artichoke Yogurt Dip
This easy-to-make dip will help you sneak in your daily veggie servings. Artichokes are a low fiber food thats generally safe for people with ulcerative colitis. Theyre also a prebiotic. That means they feed the good bacteria in the gut and may support colonic health.
Combine one can of artichoke hearts and a package of chopped spinach with low fat yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Then bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with sliced carrots and cucumbers for dipping.
A Healthy Crohns Disease Diet
Not everyone with Crohns disease has the same food triggers, Taylor says, so you might need to do some sleuthing to figure out what works for you. Try keeping a food journal jotting down what you ate and any symptoms you notice to look for clues about the foods that make your stomach unhappy.
When you arent having symptoms, though, try to eat a balanced diet. You dont want to regularly shun healthy foods like whole grains, veggies or beans. Malnutrition can be a problem for people with Crohns disease, so only avoid these foods during a flare-up, she says.
Managing this lifelong disease can be a challenge, and a dietitian can help you manage your diet.
Crohns is different for every person, so work with someone who can help you design an individualized plan, Taylor says. If you have a dietitian in your corner, theyll be available so that when you have a problem, they can steer you in the right direction.
Don’t Miss: What Causes Mouth Ulcers On Gums
Ulcerative Colitis Diet: 7 Healthy Snack Options You Can Have Without Worrying
You can have some healthy snacks even in ulcerative colitis, here are some options you must include in your diet.
Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract of the person. A person having ulcerative colitis usually is not able to consume very spicy food or diet that cause inflammation in stomach. It is very tricky to choose diet and nutrition in terms of ulcerative colitis. This inflammatory bowel disease can occur with Crohns disease that can complicate the situation. A person having ulcerative colitis may have very limited options to eat different foods. Snacks are something we all enjoy, and that could be a major disadvantage if proper nutrition is not given. Here are some healthy snack options which you can enjoy without worrying about inflammation and health issues.
Swap Whole Nuts For Nut Butter Spread
While nuts and seeds are chock-full of fiber and healthy fats, they can be difficult to digest for people with UC. The worst offenders are the hard varieties like peanuts, almonds, and hazelnuts, but all nuts should be avoided if youre sensitive to them, especially during a flare.
Fortunately, substitutes abound for nut lovers in the form of peanut butter and other nut butters, such as almond or cashew. Keeping these in your diet is a plus, because they contain monounsaturated fats, which can soothe inflammation, says Lillian Craggs-Dino, RDN.
Recommended Reading: How Does Alcohol Affect Ulcerative Colitis
Even More On Low Fodmap
Foods to avoid include regular milk, wheat-based cereal and anything made with high-fructose corn syrup. “It can be a useful approach for dealing with gas, bloating or diarrhea.” In a study at Australia’s Monash University, 50% of UC patients following a low-FODMAP diet for three months improved their symptoms. Low FODMAP foods include kiwi fruit, cooked spinach, carrots, and peanut butter.
Best And Worst Foods For Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect your appetite and the way your body absorbs nutrients. Certain foods seem to trigger uncomfortable symptoms, at least in some individuals. Diet is an important factor in the management of this chronic disease, but theres no one-size-fits-all ulcerative colitis diet. The best and worst foods for ulcerative colitis may depend on whether or not youre experiencing an ulcerative colitis flare. It will take time and experimentation to figure out which foods you can tolerate and which you should avoid.
Recommended Reading: Can Ibuprofen Help Ulcerative Colitis
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed condition caused by increased intestinal permeability.
The digestive system consists of many organs that collectively break down food, absorb nutrients and water, and remove waste products. Your intestinal lining acts as a barrier between your gut and bloodstream to prevent potentially harmful substances from entering your body .
Nutrient and water absorption mostly occurs in your intestines. Your intestines have tight junctions, or small gaps, that allow nutrients and water to pass into your bloodstream.
How easily substances pass across the intestinal walls is known as intestinal permeability.
Certain health conditions cause these tight junctions to loosen, potentially allowing harmful substances like bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to enter your bloodstream.
Alternative health practitioners claim that leaky gut triggers widespread inflammation and stimulates an immune reaction, causing various health problems that are collectively known as leaky gut syndrome .
They believe leaky gut leads to various conditions, including autoimmune diseases, migraines, autism, food sensitivities, skin conditions, brain fog, and chronic fatigue.
Yet, there is little evidence to prove that leaky gut syndrome exists. As a result, mainstream physicians do not recognize it as a medical diagnosis.
Also Check: Where Can You Buy Align Probiotic
Keeping A Food Journal
Everyones body is different, so its possible for two people who have UC to have different trigger foods.
Logging what you eat throughout the day and when digestive issues occur can help you and your doctor narrow down your personal food triggers.
A food journal can be especially helpful if youre trying a new diet.
Don’t Miss: Natural Treatment Of Ulcer In Hindi
You Could Develop Chronic Fatigue
When you have active inflammation, your body is running a marathon, Bonthala says. You waste a lot of energy. Research backs this up: A study published in the March 2020 issue of the Journal of Crohns and Colitis found that people who were in remission reported less fatigue than people with active ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease, another type of IBD.
Foods For Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Lets face it. IBD stinks. Why make it worse by following a poor diet? If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, it may be difficult to get the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and protein that your body needs. Taking a mindful and healthful approach to your diet has the potential to improve your quality of life. Defining a diet for someone with IBD can be very difficult, as every case is specific to the person.
Foods To Avoid:
- Nuts: Nuts are difficult to digest and can irritate the lining of your intestines. Substitute creamy nut butters instead, such as almond butter or peanut butter.
- Seeds: Strawberries and raspberries, or bread with sees can create discomfort. Seeds dont get fully digested and can cause diarrhea.
- Raw Fruits and Veggies: In their raw form, fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber, which can be difficult to digest for someone with IBD. Perhaps try skinning the fruit before eating for easier digestion.
- Greasy/Fatty Foods: The fat in these foods is often not fully absorbed in the small intestine, leading to intestinal discomfort.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can dehydrate you, worsening symptoms. Alcohol sometimes interferes with medications prescribed for Crohns Disease or Colitis
Foods To Eat:
The post Foods For Inflammatory Bowel Disease appeared first on Vanguard Medical Group NYC.
Read Also: Best Way To Heal Stomach Ulcers