Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the colon and rectum. It is one of two main inflammatory bowel diseases, the other being Crohn’s disease.
When a person has UC, sores called ulcers develop inside the colon.
Symptoms of the disease include:
blood or pus in the stool
Researchers do not know for sure what causes UC, but they think it may be caused by a misdirected immune reaction. Numerous things may trigger a flare, including certain foods.
The key is to find foods that fuel your body with essential nutrients but do not aggravate your digestive tract.
Although food won’t cause or cure ulcerative colitis symptoms, it is certainly a tool you can use to try to manage your symptoms and working with your doctor or a nutritionist on menu planning can help. A healthy diet should meet your calorie, protein, and micronutrient needs.
Soothe Symptoms With Salmon
Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty-acids it is good for your heart and your colon. Essential fatty acids are thought to ease inflammation. That means eating salmon may help counterbalance the inflammation that occurs during an ulcerative colitis flare. Albacore tuna, walnuts, flaxseed oil, and ground flaxseed are other good sources of omega 3.
Yogurt and other fermented foods, such as kefir, miso, and sauerkraut, contain probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria present in fermented foods and within our gut. Eating foods that contain live and active cultures can help maintain optimal levels of good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. Look for yogurt labels that list live, active cultures. But watch the sugar content: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is your best bet. You can add a little fruit or honey for some sweetness.
Savor Some Squash
All varieties of squash butternut, spaghetti, acorn, zucchini are healthy choices. Squash is high in fiber, as well as the antioxidants beta carotene and Vitamin C. Fiber helps maintain healthy gut flora, and antioxidants help repair damage done by inflammation. Although you may want to avoid raw squash during a flare up if fiber worsens your symptoms, squash is well tolerated by many people with ulcerative colitis, and it is a very versatile food you can roast winter squash, then mash the flesh for a side dish or puree it for soup. Shred cooked spaghetti squash with a fork and use the strands as a substitute for noodles. You can also use a vegetable spiralizer to make noodles.
Avocados are a rich source of heart healthy monounsaturated fat. If you are losing weight because of ulcerative colitis, nutrient- and calorie dense avocados can help you fuel your body in a healthy way. A study published in Advanced Biomedical Research in 2014 found that up to eighty five percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease are malnourished avocados can help fight malnourishment. Mash and spread avocado on a sandwich as a substitute for mayo, or chop and use it to top an omelet or salad.
Choose Instant Oatmeal
Instant oatmeal makes a quick and hearty meal or snack. According to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, this version of the grain is generally easy to digest for people with ulcerative colitis. Instant oatmeal contains less fiber than steel cut oats because it’s slightly more processed, making it an especially good choice when your ulcerative colitis symptoms are flaring up. Stick to plain or low-sugar varieties; sweeten with fruit puree or add a dash of cinnamon.