Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two types of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Crohn’s disease is defined by chronic inflammation and irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. While symptoms vary from person to person, there are some common symptoms of inflammation of the GI tract caused by Crohn’s disease.
Urgent need to move bowels
Abdominal cramps and pain
Sensation of incomplete bowel movement
- Loss of appetite
Foods do not cause Crohn’s disease and no special diet has been proven effective in treating it. However, certain foods may cause flare-ups in Crohn’s disease symptoms for some people. Some foods that are more likely to cause symptoms are foods high in dietary fiber and fat, dairy, and carbonated beverages like soda.
What are the best foods to eat during a Crohn’s flare?
- Fruit: try low-fiber fruits such as bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew melon. Fruits are sources of many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Potatoes: skinless potatoes are a great source of potassium and can help your body maintain its balance of fluids while you’re managing a flare-up.
- Non-cruciferous vegetables: steamed asparagus tips, carrots (contain antioxidants that may help with Crohn’s symptoms), peeled cucumbers, and pureed squash
- Fatty fish: tuna, sardines, and salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids, which combat inflammation and may help reduce the irritation that causes your symptoms to worsen.
- Other protein sources: eggs, tofu, skinless chicken, smooth nut and seed butter such as peanut, almond, or sunflower seed
Daily Meal Planning Tips from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Eat four to six small meals daily.
Stay hydrated — drink enough to keep your urine light yellow to clear — with water, broth, and tomato juice.
Drink slowly and avoid using a straw, which can cause you to ingest air, which may cause gas.
Prepare meals in advance, and keep your kitchen stocked with foods that you tolerate well.
Use simple cooking techniques — boil, grill, steam, poach.
Use a food journal to keep track of what you eat and any symptoms you may experience.
Good nutrition can help you manage Crohn’s disease so check out these 7 breakfast recipes for people with Crohn’s disease.