Ulcerative colitis is a condition that is common with over a million cases reported every year in the United States. It is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the digestive tract, the innermost lining of the large intestine, and rectum. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and patients are at a high risk of developing colon cancer. While treatment for this condition requires medication and sometimes surgery, a healthy diet must also be followed strictly.
This article lists out some foods and helpful diet tips for people with this condition:
1. Food to eat
Numerous foods can trigger the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, but the following are some foods that can be eaten without worrying about any flare-ups:
It is a good source of nutrients and contains a high amount of fiber.
This fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and has numerous health benefits.
Squash may be extremely helpful in a few cases, while it can be harmful in others, so patients need to ensure that they choose the right variety.
They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, making them a great choice for people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
- Fermented foods
Foods like yogurt contain active probiotics that can aid in digestion and help alleviate the symptoms and reduce flare-ups.
- Instant oatmeal
When consumed without adding any additional flavors, it becomes extremely easy to digest and also provides the body with fiber.
They provide several nutrients that make digestion easier and promote overall health as well.
One of the most common diet tips for ulcerative colitis patients is to consume fluids as the symptoms may include diarrhea, which can result in dehydration.
2. Food to avoid
Some foods should be avoided as they can cause flare-ups and worsen the condition:
- Alcohol must be avoided as it can trigger diarrhea.
- Caffeine should be avoided, so stay off coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and tea.
- Carbonated beverages or any drinks that contain artificial sugar are harmful.
- Dairy products must be completely avoided by lactose-intolerant patients.
- Foods that contain sulfate or sulfur, like wine, beer, cheese, and dates should be left out of the diet.
- Fatty meats can cause flare-ups, so avoid them.
- High-fiber vegetables must be consumed in small amounts as they can trigger the symptoms.
- In many people, spicy food can also cause a reaction, so their consumption should be moderate.
- Gluten, which is common in barley, rye, wheat, and even some oats, can lead to symptoms similar to that of ulcerative colitis.
These dietary tips for ulcerative colitis patients are not alternatives to manage the condition and should be followed along with medication and treatment to help ease the symptoms.