Begin with an overhaul of your diet and your eating habits. Although no diet is medically formulated for colitis patients, creating a diet based on your own medical needs may help improve your condition. For a trial period of about six weeks, or more if possible, experiment by switching out processed foods and offending foods in favor of healthier food choices.
If during your trial period you achieve positive results, such as observing noticeable improvement in your symptoms, it may be worthwhile to continue with the colitis diet while allowing your body to heal. If the diet is too restrictive, you can reintroduce foods a few at a time back into your diet.
The Staples of Your Grocery List.
Update your grocery list to center on foods that are low in fiber, high in protein and include lots of fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that you should focus on foods that will not further inflame your bowels. You might consider creating your special diet for colitis around anti-inflammatory foods like garlic, leeks, salmon and green beans.
Eating Omega-3 and Protein-rich Foods
Your main menus should include foods high in omega-3s, such as Atlantic salmon, kale, nuts, flax seeds, and yogurt. Boost your protein intake with chicken breast, turkey, and free-range eggs. Benefit from additional sources of protein from hemp powder and whey protein powder; both powders are available at health food stores.
Include anti-inflammatory spices in your diet to help soothe your digestive system. Perhaps your refrigerator and cupboards are already stacked with these powerful and well-known spices and herbs-ginger—turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary. These items, which may help fight ulcerative colitis, can be added your recipes to enhance flavors. Try sprinkling your favorite herbs and spices over smoothies, salads, pies, meats, sauces and soups for a little extra zing.
Healing Anti-inflammatory Miso Soup
This anti-inflammatory soup is rich in alkaline and packed with enzymes, protein and nutrients for liver support. Pureeing the soup helps minimize digestive discomforts.
- 4 tablespoons miso paste
- 4 cups water, filtered
- 4 – 6 cloves organic garlic, roasted or chopped raw
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups organic carrots, chopped
- 1 leek, quartered, tops removed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley.
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, or Sesame oil
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (optional)
Simmer a pot of water over gentle heat; do not allow the water to boil. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots, leeks, thyme, and turmeric powder to the water. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Add parsley, coconut oil, and miso paste; simmer about 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and let it rest 10 minutes. Puree the soup in a processor. Add Bragg Liquid Aminos to taste, if necessary.
Buy Organic if you Can
If you can't afford an organic food diet or don't have access to organic products, regular grocery store items will do just fine, or you can grow your own produce. You may consume most fruits on a colitis diet, but do limit or avoid fruits with high sugar content like bananas, and pears. Increase your vegetable intake with veggies like green beans, beets, carrots, squash, celery, kale and zucchini. If you suffer from colitis, peel and discard the skin of vegetables regardless if they are organic or not. Peel is not easily digested and has high fiber content.
Avoid Food that Cause Bad Reactions
Allow yourself a few guilty pleasures now and then if you can tolerate eating them. Generally, if you are considering a special diet for colitis, you will have to remove trigger foods that are vulnerable to inflammation. These triggers include refined wheat, red meat, potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts, milk, shellfish and soy.
More offending foods to avoid include gas producing foods and cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans, lentils and dairy.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will have to completely eliminate all sugar, chocolate, fruit juices, pop, and commercial cakes, cookies, and cereal. If you increase your protein intake at every meal, have fruit for breakfast, and fill up on veggies, these options will go a long way toward kicking your sugar addiction.
Should You Become a Vegetarian?
No, you really don't have to. Although eating a vegetarian diet or a raw food diet may be preferred, there is no concrete evidence to prove that ulcerative colitis patients see a greater reduction in symptoms compared to patients who eat lean meats and fish. Do what you're comfortable with but avoid going to any extremes. An Ironman triathlete who trains rigorously, for example, might consume an eighty percent raw food diet. A patient with ulcerative colitis may see good results on a diet that is ten to forty percent raw, depending on the state of your health.
Before attempting a new diet, consult with your physician to ensure the diet does not conflict with medication or existing condition.