For people suffering from colitis, something as simple as deciding what is for dinner takes special consideration. Although diet does not cause colitis, the food a person eats who has this inflammatory bowel disease has a direct effect on the duration and severity of the symptoms. Fortunately, a healthy, balanced diet that avoids trigger foods is easily achievable while still leaving lots of delicious, wholesome options. This not only can help reduce the severity of symptoms, it helps colitis to remain in remission longer.
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy diet. However, for people with colitis, fresh fruits and vegetables with the peels on can be difficult to tolerate because of the high fiber content or gas-producing effects. Try stewing, baking, roasting, boiling or grilling them instead of eating them raw. This helps make them easier to digest.
People who are not lactose intolerant can usually still enjoy dairy products in their diet, with some modifications. Eating full-fat dairy products can cause an upset stomach or bloating, so switch to low fat or fat free versions of milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream. Use low-fat margarine and mayonnaise. Everything from cream cheese to sour cream is available in reduced fat and fat free versions.
Since fiber has such a significant impact on digestion, it is important to monitor your fiber intake to determine what a healthy amount is for you. It may take some trial and error at first. Once you understand how your body will handle fiber, you can easily adjust how much you consume. One of the easiest ways to decrease some of your daily fiber consumption is to switch to eating white flour, or white wheat products. This includes cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and other baked goods.
Fried and fatty foods are also bad for colitis. Instead of high-fat red meat, eat poultry and lower-fat cuts of beef. Turkey bacon and sausage are good substitutes for their greasy and high-fat pork counterparts. Avoid deep-frying or frying with a lot of oil. Use a small amount of extra virgin olive oil for frying or non-stick spray. Bake potatoes instead of frying them and eat baked chips or pretzels instead of regular potato chips.
There is more to treating colitis than simply changing what you eat. You can also decrease the chance of flare-ups and painful cramps and diarrhea by eating with the food combining principles. Have you ever finished off a hamburger and fries only to feel greasy and have fiery heartburn late that night? It’s because your stomach was fighting with itself. To digest those incompatible, unhealthy foods, it had to produce acids and digestive enzymes that worked against each other and made you feel sick.
When you eat natural, unprocessed foods the food combining way, problems such as gas, cramps and bloating will be greatly reduced or even disappear. Your food will digest easily, with no added stress on your stomach. Less digestive stress means it is less likely you will experience negative side effects such as a colitis flare-up. Learn more about food combining and how it will help you have great digestive health.