Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the inner lining of the large intestine, resulting in painful ulcers. Every now and then, the symptoms of this aggravating condition can flare-up, causing immense discomfort. Certain foods and dietary patterns can ease the symptoms and offer relief. Here, we will talk about some essential eating tips for patients with ulcerative colitis.
Consume fish and lean meats
Generally, it is believed that fatty foods contain certain chemical substances that can worsen the symptoms of inflammatory diseases. However, some fats are termed as “good fats” as they can help to ease the condition. Fatty fish, such as sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon, etc., are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation. So, when choosing protein, one must opt for fish, turkey, or skinless chicken instead of red meat.
Cook vegetables thoroughly
Raw vegetables and fruits can sometimes be difficult to digest and cause gas, bloating, and stomach aches during a flare-up. So, one must cook their vegetables properly before consuming them.
Eat smaller meals
This is one of the most helpful eating tips for patients with ulcerative colitis. To avoid a flare-up, one must opt for smaller meals throughout the day instead of the typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine. Small and frequent meals do not put pressure on the gastrointestinal system as opposed to a large meal consumed at a time. Many studies recommend consuming six small meals instead of three full-sized ones.
Quit caffeine and alcohol
Alcohol and coffee are both considered to be gastric irritants. Avoiding their consumption can help to evade the exasperating symptoms of UC. Some doctors also recommend reducing the consumption of carbonated beverages to avoid gas and bloating.
Avoid high-fiber vegetables and beans
Cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, can be hard on the digestive system and lead to the worsening of symptoms. It is advisable to consume a low-fiber diet, especially during a flare-up, to reduce abdominal pain and other symptoms of UC.
Limit the consumption of processed food items
Processed foods contain a high quantity of preservatives and emulsifiers to extend their shelf life. These substances can meddle with the digestive system and increase the inflammation in the gut. So, in case one has been diagnosed with UC, it is better to avoid all greasy foods, sugary items, and even artificially flavored sugar-free foods.
Avoid dairy products
This is another one of the most helpful eating tips for patients with ulcerative colitis. Sometimes, dairy products can be hard to digest or they may increase gas, abdominal cramping, and worsen diarrhea. So, one must avoid dairy products during a flare-up. They can resort to alternatives, such as lactose-free cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. Yogurt is also a good option for people with any kind of digestive disorder.
These are some of the best eating tips for patients with ulcerative colitis. One must follow them to prevent the symptoms from getting worse.