Crohn’s disease is not caused by what you eat; however, diet still plays a significant role in how Crohn’s affects you. Some foods can aggravate flare-ups while some are good to eat both in and out of remission. Others are best avoided entirely. If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, knowing what the common trigger foods are, as well as your own unique trigger foods, will help reduce the likelihood of flare-ups and keep your Crohn’s in remission.
Low Fat Foods Are Better for You
Because Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, it makes it more difficult for your body to digest fat. Fatty, greasy fried foods often cause acid reflux, heartburn and gas which can aggravate your digestive system and increase the risk of a flare-up. To reduce this risk, eat low-fat foods for meals and snacks. Replace potato chips with pretzels or rice cakes. Fresh produce, lean cuts of meat such as turkey and chicken, and low-fat dairy products are all good for you if you have Crohn’s. The less fat you eat, the less irritated your stomach will be.
Avoid or Moderate Caffeine and Alcohol
Alcohol irritates your stomach, which can bring on a painful episode of your Crohn’s disease. Limit your consumption of beer, liquor and wine while in remission, and avoid drinking entirely while you have a flare-up. Caffeine is a stimulant and will not only affect your nervous system, but your digestive system as well. It can cause heartburn and diarrhea in people who are sensitive to caffeine, both of which can trigger Crohn’s to act up. Water, low-acid 100% fruit juice, caffeine-free coffee and tea, and skim milk are the best things you can drink if you have Crohn’s.
Eat a Low Fiber Diet
Most people should eat a high fiber diet to promote regularity and keep the digestive system running smoothly. If you have Crohn’s disease, however, a high fiber diet is actually bad for you. Crohn’s causes severe diarrhea during a flare-up, and if you eat a high-fiber diet it will be more severe.
Having Crohn’s disease also makes it more difficult to digest fiber, which makes the digestion process take longer and increases the likelihood of abdominal pain and bloating. Eat breads, crackers, rice and cereals made with white flour, fruit without peels or skins and low-fiber vegetables. If you develop constipation, increase your fiber intake slightly or use a supplement.
There is another way that what you eat can help your Crohn’s disease: food combining. Food combining allows you to eat without putting extra stress on your digestive system. How? When you eat incompatible combinations of foods, such as starchy vegetables and proteins, your stomach struggles to properly break it down for digestion. It releases acids that work against each other and not together, causing bloating, diarrhea, and irritation. All of these things are bad for Crohn’s disease.
The food combining principle changes all of that. By understanding what to eat so that your foods work together instead of against each other to be digested, you will experience fewer digestion problems and better health. Food combining not only helps inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, it can prevent other digestive problems such as traveler’s diarrhea and IBS. Try food combining and see why it is helping millions of people feel better than ever.