What to eat and what not to eat with ulcerative colitis is a common question for those who suffer from this condition. Daily diet has a significant impact on the health of the digestive system in general and the colon in particular. By using food correctly, patients can improve their symptoms of inflammation quickly. Learn the scientific dietary recommendations for those with ulcerative colitis below.
Principles of building a diet for ulcerative colitis patients
What to eat and what to supplement in the diet for those with ulcerative colitis? All should be based on the principles of building a detailed diet. According to specialist doctors, depending on the symptoms and extent of damage in the colon, patients adjust their diet to suit their needs. However, it is necessary to apply the following requirements to supplement adequate and reasonable nutrition. You should:
Adding more calories: Patients with ulcerative colitis have difficulty absorbing nutrients compared to normal individuals. Therefore, they are prone to sudden weight loss, leading to a risk of malnutrition. Adding more calories per day is a necessary measure to maintain and control weight.
Avoid eating raw food: The habit of eating cooked food and drinking boiled water should be maintained by patients. If they consume raw food, the bacteria in the food can easily attack the body, disrupting the balance of the intestinal microbiota. In that case, patients will experience abdominal pain and frequent bowel movements.
Divide meals into smaller portions: Patients with ulcerative colitis and gastric ulcers should not eat too much at once. Instead, they should divide their meals into several smaller portions throughout the day. This increases the ability to absorb necessary nutrients for the body.
Reduce fiber intake: Using too much fiber can cause patients to feel bloated and have abdominal discomfort. The risk of diarrhea is also high, causing them to lose water. Additionally, fiber can cause friction and serious damage to the mucosa. Therefore, eating too much fiber will negatively affect the condition of ulcerative colitis.
Plan your diet: Patients with ulcerative colitis need to keep a complete food diary to monitor their nutritional intake. This is also a good way to help you always control what you should and should not eat with ulcerative colitis.
When building a diet according to these principles, preventing and treating ulcerative colitis will become easier and more effective.
What should not eat with colitis?
How to avoid aggravating symptoms of ulcerative colitis through diet? Nutrition experts suggest that there are several foods that can worsen the inflammation in the colon, and individuals with ulcerative colitis should avoid them. These include:
When dealing with ulcerative colitis, it’s best to avoid animal fats or dishes that are heavily fried in oil. Stay away from fast food, deep-fried dishes, hamburgers, and fatty meats. These are all difficult to digest and can worsen your condition.
Furthermore, when loading up on fatty foods, they are not properly absorbed by the body, which can worsen the symptoms of the disease.
Sugary foods also contribute to the problem. Chemical compounds found in sugar cause bloating and abdominal discomfort. People with the disease often experience symptoms such as heartburn, sour stomach, and difficulty digesting food.
In addition to sugar, fructose can also cause diarrhea or cramps. Therefore, patients should limit their intake of foods containing fructose, such as honey, fruit juice, and syrups.
Hot spicy food
Lastly, spicy foods should also be avoided by those with inflammatory bowel disease. Examples of such foods include chili peppers, pepper, spicy hotpot seasonings, and instant noodles. Consuming these foods can lead to digestive disorders in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. The spicy nature of these foods stimulates the mucous membrane of the colon, exacerbating inflammation.
Sashimi, a popular dish of raw seafood, should be avoided if you have inflammatory bowel disease. It is important to handle and prepare raw seafood carefully to eliminate bacteria and toxins.
Consuming uncooked seafood can cause abdominal pain and frequent bowel movements in patients with IBD. Additionally, there is a risk of harmful bacteria attacking and increasing damage to the colon.
Beer, alcohol, carbonated drinks such as soda, and even smoking can all irritate the digestive system. Therefore, IBD patients should stay away from these foods to avoid worsening their symptoms.
In addition, certain drinks such as coffee, tea, and chocolate that contain artificial sweeteners and stimulants are also foods that should be avoided by people with IBD.
Vegetables are dark green
What should you avoid eating if you have colitis? You may not know that dark green vegetables are also not good for those with this condition. The reason is that dark green vegetables contain a lot of fiber. If you have colitis and consume a lot of fiber, digestion becomes more difficult. Patients may experience abdominal pain when using some vegetables such as kale, spinach, and various types of cabbage.
Experts recommend that you choose vegetables with a soothing effect on the gut, and cook them thoroughly to allow the body to absorb essential nutrients.
What to eat to support the treatment of ulcerative colitis?
In addition to avoiding certain foods, it’s also important to focus on incorporating beneficial foods when treating ulcerative colitis. Here are some foods recommended by experts that not only provide essential nutrients but also help shorten the duration of the disease:
Fish: Some types of fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the colon. They also provide essential nutrients to improve overall health and support the immune system.
Seeds: Flaxseed and chia seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the health of those with ulcerative colitis. Patients should supplement their diet with these seeds to help improve the disease.
Avocado: Avocado is packed with essential nutrients and is recommended for ulcerative colitis patients who are at risk of losing weight. It contains high amounts of unsaturated fat that provide healthy energy for patients.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal contains a moderate amount of fiber that is good for digestion. Therefore, instant oatmeal is recommended for improving symptoms.
Squash: In addition to fiber, squash also contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, which are gentle and good for ulcerative colitis patients. Add it to the list of foods to eat, but remember to cook it thoroughly, and avoid consuming it raw as it may cause negative effects.
Eggs: The protein in eggs is abundant and good for patients with ulcerative colitis.
Lean Meat: When suffering from ulcerative colitis, doctors recommend consuming a moderate amount of meat to supplement protein. However, patients should only use lean meat and avoid fatty meat.
Probiotic Foods: Probiotics are live microorganisms that are abundant in fermented foods such as yogurt and miso. When suffering from ulcerative colitis or other digestive diseases, supplementing with probiotics can help balance the gut microbiome and increase beneficial bacteria.
In general, most of the foods mentioned above are good for the colon, with natural components that support anti-inflammatory or digestive improvement. You should consider choosing ingredients for each meal, and vary them flexibly to provide enough nutrients and avoid boredom.
Notes for patients with colitis
What to eat and avoid is very important for colitis patients and affects their health significantly. It is necessary to develop a reasonable diet to achieve the most effective treatment and prevention of relapse for patients. Experts recommend:
- How to eat and drink with colitis – First, divide meals into small portions and use cooked or boiled food to ensure food safety.
- Next, don’t forget that eating slowly and chewing well is good for digestion in general and the colon in particular.
- Then, practice eating according to your own nutritional formula. Avoid using foods that increase acid secretion, and hard-to-digest foods.
- Add some colon-soothing vegetables and limit fiber intake, do not eat raw vegetables.
- Avoid skipping meals or overeating, and have an unstable schedule.
- Do not use spoiled or contaminated food.
- Do not use moldy or fermented food as ingredients for food processing.
- After eating, sit and rest for a while, without exercising or walking immediately.
- Avoid heavy work when hungry or just after eating.
- Limit eating and working late at night, which affects digestion.
- Drink enough water every day to support digestion, intestinal peristalsis.
- Limit the use of Western medicine, especially antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Pay attention to using the right colitis medication prescribed by a doctor.
- When there are signs of inflammation in the colon or any part of the digestive system, you should go to a medical facility for examination and treatment immediately.
Therefore, what to eat and what to supplement for colitis patients must be based on general principles. Patients should follow the list of nutrient groups, foods to eat and avoid to build a reasonable menu.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.