For people who have Crohn’s disease, managing this condition is unpredictable. A flare-up can be acute or chronic, but either way it is painful both physically and emotionally. Dealing with this disease is not easy; however, there are several ways to help get it back into remission. Although not every factor can be controlled, one of the most important ones that can is diet. The right kind of diet can have a significant impact on improving Crohn’s disease symptoms.
The first step in using diet to help manage Crohn’s disease is to start keeping a food diary. Keeping track of what you eat and drink can allow you to monitor your eating habits. A food diary is also the best way to learn to identify your trigger foods. Trigger foods are foods that can make a flare-up worse. By learning how to identify these foods, you can start avoiding them and more easily manage your Crohn’s disease.
Although there is no one scientifically-proven diet to control Crohn’s disease, there are many foods that are known to aggravate the condition. Every person with this disease is different, however, and you will have to monitor what you eat to know for certain which of these foods, if any, have a negative effect on you. The most common foods that make flare-ups worse are:
- Fatty foods
- High-fiber foods
- Foods that produce gas, such as legumes
- Raw fruits and vegetables
- Red meat and pork
Some of these foods can be prepared differently and you can avoid them aggravating your symptoms. Vegetables can be steamed, baked or stewed. Many fruits are good baked or stewed as well. If high-fat meats make symptoms worse, use leaner cuts of meat or change from pork and beef to poultry and seafood. If nuts and nut butters do not exacerbate your flare-ups, use them as a source of protein as well.
Besides keeping a food diary and avoiding or modifying trigger foods, another beneficial way to change your eating habits to help with Crohn’s disease is to practice food combining. Food combining is a system that encourages eating healthy, unprocessed foods in complimentary combinations. This makes it easier on your body to digest and process food, which means less stomach acid, less inflammation, and fewer symptoms.
When you eat the food combining way, you will learn why even certain combinations of healthy foods are not good for your digestion. This is because they produce acids and enzymes that are opposites. Instead of working together, they clash, which can cause diarrhea, gas and bloating even when your Crohn’s disease is in remission. Food combining will keep these symptoms down and your digestive health up, so give it a try to see how it can help you feel better than ever.