Top 5 foods for managing ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes ulcers and inflammation in the digestive tract. It usually affects the innermost lining of the large intestine and the rectum. In most cases, the symptoms develop over time and can be uncomfortable and draining. If left untreated, ulcerative colitis may even lead to further life-threatening complications. While the condition does not have a known cure, there are various methods to manage it.
Managing ulcerative colitis – Foods to eat
In addition to treatments and lifestyle changes, patients can alter their meal plans to manage ulcerative colitis. This includes adding healthy foods and avoiding ones that can trigger a flare-up. Here are some nutrient-rich foods to consider:
Although doctors recommend avoiding raw fruits with this digestive disorder, one may benefit from ripe and soft bananas. Bananas are good sources of carbohydrates, which blend with protein and fats to produce energy. Patients can also consider other soft fruits, such as pears and peaches, to ease the digestive process and manage the symptoms.
Like soft bananas, applesauce can be easily digested and is, hence, recommended for those with this disorder. However, one must carefully check the labels of store-bought applesauce and choose unsweetened varieties, as added sugar can increase inflammation. If unsure, it is best to make applesauce at home by cooking sliced and peeled apples in water and pureeing the mixture.
Yogurt and other fermented foods are rich sources of probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that the gut needs to function efficiently. They live in the digestive tract and help digest food, strengthen the immune system, and even eliminate harmful bacteria. Some probiotic-rich foods healthcare professionals recommend for managing ulcerative colitis are yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut.
People with ulcerative colitis are often recommended squash. Squash is a healthy food to add to the meal plan because it contains high amounts of fiber and antioxidants like beta carotene and vitamin C. Fiber helps maintain healthy gut flora to ease digestion, while antioxidants ease inflammation in the digestive tract. One can try different squash recipes when adding this veggie to meals; for instance, winter squash can be roasted and mashed for a tasty side dish or pureed into a soup. But patients must steer clear of raw squash during a flare-up.
Eggs are suitable for managing ulcerative colitis. Besides being rich in protein, they are easy to digest. However, one must be careful while choosing eggs. Opting for ones fortified with omega-3 fatty acids is recommended for maximum nutritional benefits. Eggs can be added to the meal plan in different ways, like an omelet with cooked veggies for breakfast or hard-boiled eggs for a healthy snack.
While these are healthy foods for ulcerative colitis, individuals should consult a doctor before including them in the nutrition regimen. The best foods can vary for each patient depending on their symptoms. Those experiencing severe episodes of diarrhea with pus or blood, fatigue, and fever may need treatment in addition to food changes and natural remedies.
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