What Should I Eat with Crohn's and Colitis?
What Am I Supposed to Eat?
When you have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, it might be difficult to know what meals will best nourish your body. With inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diet and nutrition are extremely important, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Not only can nutrition have an impact on IBD symptoms, but it also has an impact on your general health and well-being. The symptoms of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis can lead to major problems if you don't get enough nutrients, such as vitamin deficits, weight loss, and malnutrition.
We have various suggestions for a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet. These suggestions are solely for educational reasons. To help you build a specific food plan, work with your doctor or a nutritionist who specializes in IBD.
Meal Planning and Food Preparation
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to meal planning, the following guidelines can help you improve your daily nutrition:
- Every day, eat four to six modest meals.
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water, broth, tomato juice, or a rehydration solution to keep your urine light yellow to clear.
- Slowly sip your beverage and avoid using a straw, which can lead you to ingest air and induce gas.
- Prepare meals ahead of time and keep items that you tolerate well on hand in your kitchen (see list below).
- Use simple culinary methods such as boiling, grilling, steaming, and poaching.
- Keep track of what you eat and any symptoms you may be experiencing in a food journal.
Eating When your in a Flare
When you have an IBD flare, there are some foods you should avoid and others that can help you acquire the correct amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals without aggravating your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend an elimination diet, in which you avoid particular foods in try to figure out which foods cause your symptoms. Using this method, you can discover typical foods to avoid during a flare. Elimination diets should only be followed under the guidance of your healthcare team and a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients you require.
Cramping, bloating, and/or diarrhea may be caused by certain meals. Many trigger foods should be avoided if you have a stricture, which is a narrowing of the intestine caused by inflammation or scar tissue, or if you've just had surgery. Certain foods are easier to digest and offer your body with the nutrition it requires.
Foods that may act as a triggers (AVOID):
Foods with insoluble fiber that are difficult to digest: Raw green veggies (particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, or anything with a peel), whole nuts, and whole grains.
Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar present in dairy products such as milk, cream cheese, and soft cheeses.
Non-absorbable sugars include sorbitol, mannitol, and other sugar alcohols found in sugar-free gum, confectionery, ice cream, and several fruits and juices like pear, peach, and prune.
Sugary foods: pastries, candy, and juices
High fat foods: butter, coconut, margarine, and cream, as well as fatty, fried, or greasy food
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks: beer, wine, liquor, soda, and coffee
Spicy foods: “hot” spices
Foods IBD Patients May Tolerate (Caution):
Bananas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and cooked fruits are low-fiber fruits. This is usually advised for people with strictures or who have just had surgery.
Lean protein: fish, lean cuts of pork, white meat poultry, soy, eggs, and firm tofu
Refined grains: sourdough, potato or gluten-free bread, white pasta, white rice, and oatmeal
Fully cooked, seedless, skinless, non-cruciferous vegetables: asparagus tips, cucumbers, potatoes, and squash
Oral nutritional supplements or homemade protein shakes: ask your doctor or your dietitian about what supplements may fit your nutritional needs
What to Eat When in a Flare
When you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and are in the midst of a flare, it's critical to stay away from foods that may exacerbate your symptoms and instead eat foods that are healing and nourishing.
Eating When You are in Remission
Even if you're in remission and your symptoms have faded or vanished, it's critical to maintain a varied and nutrient-dense diet. Slowly introduce new meals. Remember to drink plenty of water, broth, tomato juice, and rehydration products to stay hydrated. Before making any dietary changes, speak with your doctor or a dietician.
These foods will keep you hydrated and healthy:
Unless you have an ostomy, intestinal narrowing, or your doctor instructs you to continue on a low-fiber diet due to strictures or recent surgery, eat fiber-rich foods like oat bran, beans, barley, almonds, and whole grains.
Protein-rich foods include lean meats, fish, eggs, almonds, and tofu.
Fruits and vegetables: eat as many different "colors" as possible, and remove the peel and seeds if they irritate you.
Collard greens, yogurt, kefir, and milk are all calcium-rich foods (if you are lactose intolerant, choose lactose-free dairy products or use a lactase digestive enzyme)
Yogurt, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and tempeh are all probiotic foods.
Eating When in Remission
When you're in remission with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it's critical to focus on eating a varied, nutrient-dense diet.