Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the large intestine and ulcers on the inner lining of the colon. Symptoms of UC include severe periods of abdominal discomfort along with diarrhea and a loss of appetite. Ulcerative colitis affects nearly 900,000 Americans, most commonly between the ages of 15 and 45. It affects males more often than females.
Although ulcerative colitis is not caused by any specific diet, some research shows that certain foods trigger symptoms. Therefore gastroenterologists suggest that it’s a good idea to follow a UC diet when the disease is in remission. So for this reason, we listed some food options that are good for ulcerative colitis.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and it’s also a great source of protein, which is not only good for your colon, but also for your heart. Research shows that fatty acids can help reduce ulcerative colitis inflammation. Gastroenterologist recommends baking or boiling salmon, which can keep much of its nutritional value. In addition, mackerel, cod liver oil, oysters, and flaxseeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Yogurt contains probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that aid digestion and keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy. So, increasing the number of good bacteria, like probiotics, may help to keep a healthy immune system. In addition, you’d better choose plain and unsweetened yogurt. You can add a little fruit for some sweetness. Other fermented foods, such as miso and sauerkraut are also good resources of probiotics.
Avocados are a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, and digestion-friendly soluble fiber. Research found that 85% of people with inflammatory bowel disease are malnourished. Nutrient-rich avocados can help you fuel your body but not make you fat. Avocados are a good source of plant-based fats and also provide antioxidants and fight inflammation. Avocados should absolutely be on the menu if you have bowel disease. You can spread it on a sandwich or make avocado salad as a substitute for mayo.
Soft and digestible applesauce can be a good choice for an ulcerative colitis diet during a flare. This is because it is based around low-fiber foods that are easy to digest and likely to slow your bowel movements and limit diarrhea. Apples are rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium, which are good for the human digestive system. You may want to go for sugar-free or unsweetened applesauce, though, because sugar can cause more inflammation. Or you can make your own by peeling apples and removing the seeds. Just remember, no sugar.
When you suffer from ulcerative colitis, you can feel desperate for relief. The UC diet may not work for everyone, but dietary changes can relieve symptoms and help you recover from symptoms like diarrhea, or after surgery. To find a suitable diet for your individual situation, it is best to talk to your doctor before starting. Daily diet plays an important role in your overall health and what you eat can make a big difference to your comfort level.
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