Best Diet Options for Ulcerative Colitis
The key to finding the right kind of foods for people suffering from ulcerative colitis is to look for foods that contain all the essential nutrients but would not aggravate the digestive tract. Given below a list of food items that are good to eat when you have ulcerative colitis or colitis flare-up:
Soothe symptoms with salmon
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids in high amount. It is excellent for your colon and heart health. According to a study, essential fatty acids ease inflammation. It means that salmon helps to counterbalance the inflammation caused by a colitis flare. Other food items containing a rich source of omega-3 include flaxseed oil, albacore tuna, ground flaxseed, and walnuts, which should be added to diets for colitis.
Add yogurt to your meals
Yogurt or any other fermented foods like miso, kefir, sauerkraut, etc. contain probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria present in our guts and fermented foods. These bacteria are important to maintain a healthy immune system and digestion. If you eat foods that are filled with active and live cultures, they would keep optimal levels of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Always buy yogurt that lists active and live culture on their contents’ list. However, you need to watch their sugar content. Go for only unsweetened and plain yogurt. You can add fruits or honey by yourself for some sweetness.
Add squash to your diet for colitis
Any variety of squash, be it spaghetti, zucchini, butternut or acorn, is a healthy choice. Squash contains antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene. They are high in fiber as well. While antioxidants aid in repairing damage caused by inflammation, fiber keeps the gut flora healthy. However, if you feel that fiber worsens your symptoms during a flare-up then you may want to avoid eating raw squash. Squash suits most people with ulcerative colitis, and therefore, it is added to most diets for colitis. This versatile food item can be consumed in different ways. You can roast winter squash and mash the flesh to have it as a side dish or puree it and add to soup. Use spaghetti squash as a substitute for noodles by shredding cooked squash with a fork. A vegetable spiralizer can also be used to make noodles.
Eggs can be of great help in providing the much-needed nutrients to those having ulcerative colitis flare. It is a good source of protein and people with colitis find it tolerable for their digestive tracts. If you can, try to eat those eggs with omega-3 fatty acids for more nutritional benefits. Eggs contain high amounts of the antioxidant selenium vitamin B which converts food into energy. You can have any which way you want- scrambled, omelet, poached, boiled, etc.
Avocados contain heart-healthy monosaturated fat in abundance. If you are losing weight due to colitis, avocados can help your body get the necessary nutrients and calories. A research has found out that people who are suffering from inflammatory bowel disease are generally malnourished and avocados can fight malnourishment. Chop avocados and put the pieces on top of salad or omelet or mash them and use as a sandwich spread instead of mayonnaise.
Almonds and walnuts must be added to diets for colitis. Nut butter is also excellent sources of monosaturated fat. You can have nuts sprinkled on your morning cereal or make nut butter and spread it on bread. However, avoid or limit the consumption of nuts during ulcerative colitis flare as the fiber content may aggravate the symptoms.
Studies say that applesauce is good for ulcerative colitis. It is a good source of minerals and vitamins but its high fiber content can be a reason for concern during a flare-up. Always go for the unsweetened variety. You can also make your own by cooking the apples after peeling and deseeding it. Just skip the sugar and add any flavor of your choice to it.
Instant oatmeal makes for a hearty and quick snack or meal. As per a research, this grain version is easy to digest for people suffering from ulcerative colitis. Therefore, it is added to diets for colitis. The basic difference between instant and steel-cut oats is that the former contains less fiber and are slightly processed thereby making it a good choice for ulcerative colitis symptoms flare up. Always opt for low-sugar or plain varieties. If you want it sweet, add fruit puree or a dash of cinnamon to it.
As per a research, it is necessary to eat healthy protein during and after periods of inflammation. Since too much of saturated fat will cause trouble to your digestive tract, it is advisable to opt for lean cuts of meat to ensure intake of healthy protein. The low-fat choices include beef top loin, sirloin, pork loin, skinless poultry, ground beef, and turkey labeled as extra lean.