Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease otherwise known as IBD. There are many foods that sufferers and experts recommend that can be used to prepare tasty meals and snacks throughout the day.
Crohn’s Disease (CD) is a disorder of the small intestine and often the right side of the colon or large bowel. It is an inflammatory disorder in that the bacteria that normally reside within the gut are able to invade the bowel wall and cause the disease.
In the past, we physicians did not think there was anything specific about the diet that needed to be avoided. We prescribed a good nutritious diet with enough protein, calories and vitamins and that was about it. However, there has been an explosion of information and research not just about the very cause of Crohn’s Disease, but also about the diet itself and how the foods we eat could favorably (and unfavorably) influence the disorder.
Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
The symptoms of the disease can range from moderate to severe and the type of symptoms experienced depend largely on which area of the gastric tract is affected. Symptoms tend to occur intermittently during flare ups.
The most common symptoms of the disease include the following:
- Abdominal cramps
- A lack of appetite
- The sensation that you need to pass a stool even when your bowels are empty
- Weight loss
- Diarrhea which is usually watery and occasionally contains blood.
Food and Drink To Avoid
- Carbonated drinks
- Raw fruit and vegetables
- Nuts and seed
- Food which causes gas such as legumes and beans and certain vegetables
- Corn husk
- Tea and coffee
- Mayonnaise, oil and butter
- Fatty fried food
- Spicy food
- Red meat
- Bran and whole grain food
The Best food for Chron’s Disease
Just because your intake is limited, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a varied tasty diet. There are many foods that sufferers and experts recommend that can be used to prepare tasty meals and snacks throughout the day.
Because Crohn’s disease often goes hand in hand with lactose intolerance, almond milk makes a great tasty alternative to regular milk. It is made from ground almonds and contains just as much calcium as milk but none of the cholesterol. It is also an excellent source of Vitamins D and E and in its unsweetened form contains only 20 calories a serving.
Eggs are a great source of tasty protein that can be prepared in a number of delicious healthy ways. They are also cheap and easy to prepare quickly whether you choose to scramble, poach or boil them.
Oatmeal is another great breakfast option if you suffer from this disease. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which is easier to digest than the insoluble type. The insoluble variety of fiber found in fruit and veg can make your symptoms worse and cause diarrhea. Starting your day off with a bowl of nutritious oatmeal may help with your symptoms.
If you are missing your salads, then butter lettuce is a great option to add variety to your dinner plate. Experts in the field recommend this tender green lettuce as long as you are not in the middle of a flare up and suffering serious diarrhea.
Another salad style option is to roast a red pepper and peel off the skin. They are both nutritious and absolutely delicious and can be used to make salad or as an attractive soup garnish. However, be careful as peppers can trigger flare ups in some people.
Nuts are such a healthy source of fats, proteins and vitamins, it is a shame that many people with Chron’s cannot tolerate them. One option is to choose a smooth buttered nut variety such as peanut, cashew or almond butter.
Papaya and Other Fruit
If you have Crohn’s disease, you need not skip the fruit totally. Tropical fruit like papaya, bananas and mangoes are nutritionally rich and easily digestible. Papaya contains an enzyme known as papain which helps the body to digest proteins effectively as well as vitamins A and C and potassium.