What is the Raw Food Diet?
The main premise of the raw food diet is that eating foods that are as close to nature as possible is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. Raw foods do have more nutrients than food that is cooked, and they do not contain the artificial colors and flavors that processed foods do. Many raw foodists (people who are on a raw food diet) believe that their diets make them healthier, heal many medical issues, and even decrease their chances of contracting lethal diseases. Raw foodists eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, along with uncooked (but softened) grains, and some raw foodists eat raw eggs, fish, meat, and dairy products as well, at least those that can be eaten safely. But what is the connection between the raw food diet and ulcerative colitis? Not much at all.
The Raw Food Diet and Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, is a disease that consists of ulcers forming in the rectum and colon. Many people who have ulcerative colitis suffer from abdominal pains and bloody diarrhea. Raw foodists may believe that the raw food diet is healthy, but they cannot change the facts. After all, the high fiber in most raw fruits and vegetables can exacerbate abdominal pain, since fiber is not easily digested. In fact, even cooked fruits and vegetables, which are softer and less abrasive on the digestive tract, can be preferable to raw fruits and vegetables.
In addition, there have been no proven beneficial effects of the raw food diet on ulcerative colitis. Raw protein products do not seem to mimimze colitis symptoms any more than cooked protein products.
The Best Diet for Colitis
The best diet for colitis is truly a matter of trial and error. If you find that large amounts of raw fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (like those recommended on the raw food diet) bother you, then avoid them as much as possible, sticking to cooked foods instead. Take note of foods, both raw and cooked, that seem to make you gassier or aggravate your symptoms, such as beans, cabbage, alcohol, and caffeine, and remove them from your diet. Make sure to include plenty of liquids in your diet, and eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than just a few large ones. All of these strategies will soothe your digestive system rather than irritate it, minimizing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis as much as possible.
So what is the connection between the raw food diet and ulcerative colitis? Or is there in fact any connection at all? Although the raw food diet may not be harmful for ulcerative colitis, research does not show it to be helpful either. Instead, stick to a healthy diet, avoiding foods that seem to trigger your colitis symptoms.
This post is part of the series: Information About Ulcers
Do you think you have an ulcer? This series includes articles with various information about ulcers, including symptoms, types, and treatments.