Nutrition for colitis

Diet is not the cause of colitis, regardless of whether it is spastic, ulcerative, indeterminate or ischemic. You can’t cure them by changing your diet, but if you pay close attention to what you eat, you can reduce intestinal symptoms.
One of the best ways to understand how diet affects the condition is to keep a food diary.
By writing down the foods you eat and the symptoms that occur afterwards, you can find out the foods that cause discomfort. You can therefore limit them or remove them from the nutrition plan.

Although Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not a consequence of food allergies, many patients and doctors recommend a few simple tips that will help control symptoms during an exacerbation:

  • Eat smaller meals more often.
  • Reduce the amount of fatty and fried foods in the diet.
  • Limit consumption of milk and dairy products.
  • Limit your consumption of some high-fiber foods, such as nuts, seeds, corn, and popcorn.

Crohn’s disease and colitis are conditions in constant development and symptoms can change over time.
Understanding how the foods affect the digestive system can help deal with the condition and its effects in everyday life.


Recommended foods for ulcerative colitis

Even though a balanced diet is necessary to maintain health, one should limit or avoid some foods that can cause the symptoms of colitis.

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Fiber. Fiber is an undigested component in the diet and is present in vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
    Fiber is beneficial for most people, but can be difficult to digest for people with ulcerative colitis.
    One should limit fiber to a maximum of 2 grams per meal if symptoms are acute.
    High-fiber foods can lead to meteorism and flatulence. These include beans, legumes, bran, nuts, seeds and popcorn.
  • Fruits and vegetables. Do not eat raw fruit, except ripe bananas and melon. For vegetables, remove the seeds and then cook well. You should be able to crush the vegetables with a fork. Potatoes can be eaten after the peel has been removed.
  • Spices, fat and confectionery. Avoid spicy, fried and fatty foods. Fats are difficult to digest and can cause diarrhea and flatulence. Sweeteners and chocolate can make symptoms worse.
  • Proteins. Protein is an important part of a healthy diet. Good sources of protein can include peanut butter, fish, eggs, soy and poultry.

What should you drink for ulcerative colitis?

Ulcerative colitis can lead to dehydration. Therefore, it is important to drink plenty of fluids, at least 8 glasses a day.
However, this does not mean that every drink is suitable.

The following guidelines should be observed:

  • Caffeine. Caffeine should be avoided in any form. Caffeine stimulates intestinal activity, so it is not suitable for a person with colitis.
  • Juice. Juice is fine if it’s sugar-free. It is a good solution to absorb the nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Juices containing sugar should be avoided because sugar is not well tolerated in inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Soft drinks. Avoid drinks that contain sugar.
  • Milk. Anyone who has lactose intolerance should limit dairy products to reduce diarrhea.
  • Alcohol. Many doctors and dietitians agree that alcohol should be avoided in a diet for colitis.

Supplements for ulcerative colitis

Due to the symptoms such as diarrhea and lack of appetite, people with ulcerative colitis may suffer from a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. Some medications used to treat ulcerative colitis can exacerbate this deficiency. Your doctor and dietitian may recommend some supplements, including:

Probiotics are “good bacteria” that can boost colon health. Some studies show that probiotics can reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
You can also consume “good” bacteria in a yogurt.
You should ask the doctor if you should take supplements such as probiotics.

Vitamin D and calcium
People with ulcerative colitis need corticosteroids, which can lower vitamin D levels and calcium. Many dietitians recommend adding vitamin D and calcium supplements to the colitis diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids These fatty acids
are present in fish and some studies show that they can relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can be effective in combination with some medications used to treat ulcerative colitis.

Folic acid Many people with ulcerative colitis have low levels of folic acid
. Ulcerative colitis increases the risk of developing colon cancer, and some studies suggest that folic acid supplements may reduce this risk.

Foods to avoid

Knowing about foods that should be avoided because they trigger symptoms can provide better control over the condition and gain greater freedom to actively enjoy life.

There is no scientific evidence that certain foods are related to symptoms, but many people with ulcerative colitis have noticed that one or two of the foods listed below can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Dairy products for lactose intolerance
  • Dried beans, peas and legumes
  • Dried fruit, berries, fruit with pulp or seeds
  • Foods containing sulphur or sulphate
  • High-fiber foods, including whole grains
  • Hot sauces, pepper
  • Nuts, butter
  • Popcorn
  • Products containing sorbitol (chewing gum without sugar and sweets)
  • Raw vegetables
  • Refined sugar
  • Seed
  • Spicy foods, sauces

What is a person with colitis allowed to eat?

The diet for colitis should be based on a well-balanced diet with high protein content, complex carbohydrates, whole grains and “good” fats.
This diet gives the necessary energy and allows a comfortable life.
The diet should include fish, bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables and oil.

A vegetarian patient with colitis can eat dairy products, legumes and vegetable proteins, for example, soy products that contain nutritious elements such as those found in meat and fish.

With colitis that causes constipation:
in the first week of the acute phase, it is important to eat only fruit juices, centrifuged juices from celery and carrots and ginger tea.
Gradually, you can eat raw carrots, bananas and fennel, which are excellent for the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
Apples and pears containing pectin are excellent and can be eaten after the first week along with papaya, bananas and blueberries.
As a higher-calorie food, avocado can be used.
After 3 weeks you should start with a vegan diet based on fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains and preferably gluten-free.
This is not easy, but it is the only natural way to cure this disorder.
It is very difficult at the beginning, but usually people who start a vegan diet do not return to a diet of meat and animal proteins later on, as they begin to appreciate the benefits of this diet.

With colitis that causes diarrhea:
For the first 2-3 days, one should fast to rid the intestines of all toxins. However, you can take centrifuged juices, ginger tea or fruit juices. Especially for breakfast, it is advisable to squeeze a lemon into a glass of water and possibly add half a spoonful of bicarbonate.
During the day you can eat carrots, fennel, ginger and garlic.
From the third day, you can start a vegan diet that will rid the intestines of toxins, promote the health of the entire digestive system and give energy and vitality.
Beware of gluten-containing cereal products, better eat whole grain rice, millet, buckwheat and quinoa (even if this is not actually a grain).
The most common intolerances are on milk and gluten, as these foods are difficult to digest.
Therefore, it is advisable to avoid or limit them, as they are not vital, but rather cause harm.

Examples of a recommended diet

Below is a special nutrition plan that can help sufferers with ulcerative colitis and other types of inflammatory bowel disease.
The following diet is suitable for people with ulcerative colitis in an acute phase (exacerbation):

1. Fruit shake of banana, blueberries and plenty of water.
2. A bowl of porridge of whole wheat ice cream (2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice), a small handful of raisins (cooked for at least 5 minutes), a pinch of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of raw or pasteurized honey.
3. Green fruit-vegetable shake with 2-3 peaches, 2 tablespoons blueberries or blackberries, 2 large handfuls of spinach and enough water to mix together.

Note: If you eat fruit in powder form, such as the Antilles cherry (Acerola), you can mix it with any of these shakes. On days when you do not prepare a shake, you can also mix this powder only with water.

1. Steamed sweet potatoes, avocado and one or two soft-boiled eggs.
2. Steamed zucchini, potato soup and avocado.
3. Whole grain rice (1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice), steamed cabbage and hummus.
4. Quinoa (2 cups of water on 1 cup quinoa), avocado and steamed pumpkin.

Dinner – it is recommended to take one teaspoon of cod liver oil per 30 kg of body weight immediately before or during dinner.
1. Whole grain rice (1.5 cups water to 1 cup rice) with chickpeas and avocado, dressed with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
2. Avocado orange salad with raw, cooked or steamed salmon.
3. Quinoa (2 cups of water on 1 cup of quinoa) with garlic, sweet potato mash and avocado.
4. Steamed zucchini, carrots and beetroot with sardines.

Note: If you do not consume food powder containing “good” bacteria during the day, high-quality probiotics should be taken from another source during or immediately after dinner.
– Combi Flora, Florea and Darmflora plus are some examples of probiotic products.

If you don’t want to take probiotic supplements, you can add a traditionally fermented food to the meal, such as kimchi (Korean dish with fermented vegetables and spices) or sauerkraut.

1. Any kind of fresh seasonal vegetables.
2. Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or chestnuts.
3. A small handful of raw walnuts soaked in water for at least two hours.
4. One of the mixed drinks listed in the “Breakfast” section above.

In the phase of an exacerbation, the same general guidelines apply as above, but cooked food should be preferred to raw.

You should pay attention to how the body reacts to each food and adjust your diet accordingly.
It is important to chew the food well and follow the principles for good digestion.

There are other recommendations for well-being, especially with spastic colitis of nervous origin, which should be observed. These clues help to figure out what factors cause tension, anxiety, and stress, and how they can be corrected.
It is better to use the following natural remedies than to take antidepressants with various side effects.

  1. If possible, you should expose the skin to the sun. However, you have to be careful not to burn yourself and avoid the hottest hours of the day (from 11 am to 16 pm).
  2. Breathe deeply into the abdomen (diaphragmatic breathing), at least once every five minutes.
    In this way, the parasympathetic nervous system is kept active and the sympathetic nervous system is inhibited. This supports a good functioning of the digestive system.
  3. At least fifteen minutes a day, write down all the thoughts that come to mind in a private diary.
    Capture all the thoughts that go through your head. It does not matter whether they seem strange and pointless.
    This exercise can help expand awareness about emotional stressors that may not seem obvious at first.
  4. If your circumstances allow it, you should do something every day that you enjoy. Think of an activity that is enjoyable for you and find the time to do it.
  5. Think of a few minutes every day when you wake up and before bed:
  • someone you love and who cares deeply about your well-being;
  • Relatives and friends who are very fond of you;
  • Things that give you confirmation.

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