People with ulcerative colitis must be mindful of what they eat. Many food groups and items can trigger symptoms like diarrhea, cramps, pains, and rectal bleeding, and some can cause relapse and severe complications. Frequent bouts of diarrhea could leave one exhausted and dehydrated, so one should identify foods that are not just safe but also nutritious. Here are some foods to provide ulcerative colitis patients with enough nutrition and soothe the symptoms:
1. Lean meat
When recovering from a bout of ulcerative colitis or relapse, one needs protein to regain stamina. With red meat and lentils being harmful, patients can get the required protein from other alternate sources like poultry and fish, but poultry must be skinned. Other suitable lean meat choices are ground beef turkey, pork loin, and sirloin. One can start on lean meat only when all the symptoms have completely subsided.
While choosing fish, one should opt for non-fatty fish or those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, albacore, and tuna, as they can help relieve inflammation in the colon. One should start with small portions and bake or steam the fish with mild spice and salt to prevent relapse.
Yogurt is packed with probiotics or live bacteria that can promote gut health. These bacteria help control bad bacteria that contribute to digestive issues. One can try to set a bowl of yogurt every day at home or buy yogurt without added sugar to prevent flare-ups. Other safe dietary sources of probiotics include kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso.
This fruit is among the most effective foods to soothe ulcerative colitis. It is rich in monounsaturated fats and can help patients with frequent flare-ups who are at risk of malnourishment. Avocados are also high in calories and can help one gain weight faster.
Many varieties of squash, like butternut, spaghetti, acorn, zucchini, are ideal as they are full of fiber, beta carotene, antioxidants, and vitamin C. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation in the colon. While most patients can tolerate squash despite the fiber content, it’s best not to eat them raw and discard the peel.
Eggs are packed with vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. They can help replenish the body with the required nutrients after a flare-up, and eggs fortified with omega-3 fatty acids are also easily digestible.
7. Olive oil
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and can help one gain weight, but it’s best to avoid it during a flare-up since it has high fiber content. Instead, one can use it when the symptoms are inactive.
One can make applesauce at home without sugar and consume it both during and after a flare-up. This food can soothe ulcerative colitis symptoms and can help replenish essential minerals like zinc and potassium.
Oatmeal is easy to make and is quite filling. One can choose instant oatmeal as it is low on fiber, and smaller quantities are preferable during a flare-up. Oatmeal is also easily digestible and beneficial for colon health.