Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a serious condition that causes the large intestine and rectum to develop ulcers, resulting in discomforting symptoms such as abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and nausea. Those with ulcerative colitis are probably aware of what worsens the situation. On the other hand, the good news is that there is a range of delicious yet healthy foods that can relieve symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Here is a list of a few of them:
- High-calorie foods
UC patients are easily prone to weight loss and malnutrition, which requires them to follow a high-calorie diet. A healthy adult needs about 2,000 calories per day but a UC patient could work with more. A high-calorie diet can comprise foods such as homemade granola, firm tofu, salmon, chicken, avocados, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes.
- Soft fruits
Ripe bananas, soft pears, and peaches are ideal fruit choices for someone dealing with ulcerative colitis. These fruits can be digested well and do not promote inflammation, as compared to other raw fruits.
- Thoroughly cooked vegetables
One can include fibrous vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, asparagus, beans, and more to their diet. However, they must be thoroughly cooked so that the digestive system can easily break them down.
- Dairy products
Unless one is lactose intolerant, having dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and pudding on a regular basis can help relieve symptoms of UC. It is important to go for unsweetened dairy options.
- Probiotic foods
Probiotic foods such as kefir, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut are packed with good bacteria that are especially beneficial for UC patients, as this disease results in an abnormal growth of bad bacteria that outnumber the good ones. The gut bacteria present in these probiotic foods contribute to smooth digestion.
- Unsweetened applesauce
Homemade applesauce is free of preservatives and can even be made sugar-free. It is easy on the gastrointestinal system and can be used in a number of dishes.
- Peanut butter
If one follows a vegan diet, then peanut butter can be a good option as it is a rich source of protein and healthy fats. Creamy peanut butter can help digestion more than the chunky variant.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Foods such as salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can soothe the inflammatory symptoms of UC and also help prevent relapses.
- Protein-rich foods
Many proteins are lost during a UC flare-up. Hence, it is advisable to restore them through foods such as lean meat, eggs, fish, legumes, skinless chicken and turkey, fat-trimmed pork, and soy-based items.
- Bland foods
To soothe a UC flare, one can resort to simple, bland foods such as oatmeal, plain egg whites, and non-citrus fruit juices, among others. Fried and spicy foods, alcohol, and aerated and caffeinated beverages are best avoided even after the flare-up has settled.