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What foods to eat if you have ulcerative colitis


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Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the membrane that lines the rectum and colon.

This intestinal disease can occur at any age and it tends to run in families. It usually begins between the ages of 15 and 30, with a gradual onset and may get worse over time.


Among the most common symptoms are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. But it can also include: anemia, severe tiredness, weightlossloss of appetite rectal bleeding, sores on the skin, joint pain, growth problems in children.


Researchers have not found that food, diet, and nutrition can be the cause of ulcerative colitis. However, diet is important in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), changes in diet can help reduce symptoms.

Some changes in your diet

Avoid fatty and fried foods. Photo: Dzenina Lukac / Pexels

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation recommends:

  • Reduces the amount of fatty food or fried food, They can cause diarrhea and gas.

Soft foods can be better tolerated than spicy or highly seasoned foods.

  • Eat smaller portions at more frequent intervals.
  • Limit milk intake or dairy products if you have lactose intolerance.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks. Some sodas and beers contain carbonation that can irritate the digestive tract and cause gas. Many carbonated drinks also contain sugar, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners, which can also trigger symptoms.
  • Limit caffeine when you have diarrhea strong, since caffeine can act as a laxative.
  • Avoid popcorn, vegetable husks, nuts, and other fiber-rich foods while there are symptoms. Foods rich in fiber can increase the amount of bowel movements, the amount of gas and abdominal cramps.
  • Drink more fluids. People with conditions like ulcerative colitis may need to drink extra fluids, as diarrhea can lead to dehydration.

Keep a food diary to help identify problem foods. Include dates, meal times, immediate reactions, and if symptoms worsen.

Natalie Olsen, Dietitian and exercise physiologist specializing in disease control and prevention shares in Medical News Today that people with ulcerative colitis should eat foods that provide a significant amount of potassium, folic acid, magnesium, calcium and iron.

Best alternatives

What foods to eat if you have ulcerative colitis
Yogurt contains active probiotics that can reduce flare-ups and symptoms. Photo: Pxhere

Olsen notes that the best food options for someone with ulcerative colitis include:

Apple puree: this is a good source of nutrients. Not it is recommended if you are presenting symptoms. The high fiber and fructose content of applesauce can make digestion difficult during the outbreak.

Salmon– Salmon provides many omega-3 fatty acids, which may have health benefits beyond the digestive tract.

Avocados: They are rich in nutrients and healthy fats.

Yogurt: Yogurt contains active probiotics and its routine consumption can help reduce flare-ups and symptoms. Good bacteria in the intestine can aid digestion.

Instant oatmeal– Instant oatmeal is slightly easier to digest than other forms of grains and oats. Important that you buy it without flavoring, the added sugars are not good for your health. Sweeten with fruit.

Eggs: Eggs are easy to digest and offer various essential nutrients, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The NIDDK notes that depending on the symptoms and medications that are prescribed the doctor may recommend a specific diet such as:

  • High calorie diet
  • Lactose free diet
  • Low fat diet
  • Low fiber diet
  • Low salt diet

If people are not absorbing enough nutrients, doctors may recommend nutritional supplements and vitamins.


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