Disclaimer: The advice and recommendations provided by the author of this article are not necessarily representative of I Be a fooDie and are solely meant to serve as a suggestion and/or resource for those with Crohn’s Disease.
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Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory disease that can affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract. For some people, the disease will only affect the colon, while others will experience inflammation of the small intestine. Inflammation can occur in any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus, and can cause a wide variety of symptoms including abdominal cramping, diarrhea, ulcers, reduced appetite and weight loss, bloody stools, fatigue, mouth sores, skin disorders, fever, and more.
In many cases, symptoms can become worse after eating certain types of foods. To reduce the onset or severity of symptoms, it is important to determine what types of foods trigger your symptoms. While every person with Crohn’s Disease must determine for themselves what foods cause symptoms and what foods are safe to eat, there are a few types of foods that do not usually aggravate symptoms in people with this disease.
If you’re looking for a comforting breakfast food that does not cause a flare-up of your symptoms, oatmeal is an ideal solution. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, which passes through the digestive tract more slowly. Add fresh fruit and almond milk for a healthy breakfast that contributes to a symptom-free start to the day.
It is very common for people with Crohn’s Disease to have a negative physiological response to dairy. Dairy products are difficult for the body to process, even for most people without Crohn’s. If you find that your symptoms increase after you have milk, cheese, or other dairy products, then it’s a good idea to find dairy alternatives. Almond milk is an excellent alternative that is good for your overall health. Fortified almond milk will contain just as much calcium as a glass of milk, and will also contain a substantial source of vitamin D and E.
While it is important to eat your vegetables, you may be hesitant to consume vegetables since they can cause a flare-up in Crohn’s symptoms. The insoluble fiber in vegetables can be especially difficult for people with gastrointestinal inflammation to digest. However, by pureeing your veggies and making food such as soup out of the puree, you will be able to still get the necessary nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.
Fruit is another common culprit in Crohn’s symptom flare-ups. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of the many nutritional benefits that fruit provides. Experiment with tropical fruits such as papaya, banana, and mango since these foods are usually much easier to digest.
Many people with Crohn’s find that their symptoms are aggravated by fatty foods. Nevertheless, it’s still important to consume adequate amounts of protein. Seafood—such as salmon, flounder, or tilapia—provides lean protein and is a good option for most people with Crohn’s. Keep in mind that the way in which you prepare seafood may make a considerable difference in how you feel after you eat and whether you will experience symptoms. Your best options are to broil, steam, or grill seafood instead of frying it. On that note, avoiding deep-fat frying is a good tip for any type of food, since fried foods commonly cause Crohn’s symptoms to worsen.
Experiment for a Customized Food Plan
No matter how much you enjoy a certain type of food, you are sure to grow tired of it if you eat the same things every day. For this reason, it’s important to experiment with a variety of foods so that you can maintain your appreciation for food while learning what works for you and what aggravates your symptoms. There are many additional types of foods—to name a few, pureed beans, rice, eggs (not fried), avocado, roasted red peppers, butter lettuce—that you may discover add variety to your diet while ensuring reduced onset of your symptoms.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.