Ulcerative Colitis can be improved and even healed in many cases by making some Simple Changes to your Diet and Eating Habits
You will find that by following these dietary suggestions and improvements to treat and heal your ulcerative colitis:
The difference that you will notice with your Health and Energy levels will have you determined not to eat any other way
If you have ulcerative colitis, you probably know which foods aggravate your condition and you have been trying to avoid them.
This is a great start as it is your body’s way of letting you know what foods are good for you and what foods are not good for you.
In addition, some new research indicates that specific nutrients in some foods may help decrease GI inflammation.
That can make it easier for you to take control of your health giving you long term health benefits.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that affects the large intestine (the colon) and the rectum. This disease causes inflammation of the colon’s inner lining and the rectal wall, which becomes red, swollen, and ulcerated.
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis include cramping, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Some people with ulcerative colitis suffer with poor appetite, fatigue, and anaemia. Other people also have joint pain, redness, swelling, and liver problems.
Research suggests that ulcerative colitis may be an autoimmune disease. That means the body may be attacking its own healthy organs and tissues. Contrary to popular belief, neither stress nor specific foods actually cause ulcerative colitis. Yet, as you may have already found out, both stress and certain foods can aggravate GI symptoms.
As a Naturopath when treating this disease I begin with healing your digestive processes and digestive track with demulcent herbs, a couple of the herbs readily available to you for this are slippery elm, dandelion and Marshmallow. They also help to support liver, kidney and lymphatic processes to assist with detoxification, research has suggests that chemical toxicity also plays an important part in creating and aggravating the disease. I also support this detoxification process with homoeopathics that will assist with detoxification within your cells therefore leading to improved renewal and repair of organs by improving cellular renewal. I have also found that the immune system has been compromised therefore will also need support also being of benefit with any allergic responses that have come about because of the reduced nutrient uptake due to the reduction of nutrient uptake due to the disease process.
Dietary Changes to Improve & Heal Ulcerative Colitis
It’s important to self-manage ulcerative colitis with healthy lifestyle habits and a nutrient-rich diet. By changing your way of eating and the types of foods that you include in your daily menu plan, this is especially important to support effective Gastro intestinal health, Gastro intestinal diseases are on the increase mainly due to over processing and chemical additives and processing methods being used with our food chain, Long term diarrhea, stomach pains, cramping, indigestion, reflux and bleeding can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, loss of essential nutrients including bowel, liver, kidney and further Gastro intestinal disorders. Indications to these problems are fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, lack of motivation, depression just to name a few. This can then lead to heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, kidney and liver disease.
So let’s look at what we can do with your diet to prevent you becoming ill and repairing the problems you are facing, so you can lead a healthy active life.
Best Foods for Your Daily Eating
Eating with ulcerative colitis should be based on a well-balanced diet that’s high in protein, complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and good fats. Such a diet will provide you with energy and keep you well. Your diet may include lean red meat, fish, poultry some dairy products such as bio dynamic yoghurt, small quantities of healthy cheese (if you don’t have lactose intolerance);
Healthy Cheeses – Parmigiano reggiano is normally made from skim milk and thus is lower in fat than other cheeses. It is especially easy to grate and so makes a good addition to pastas or salads. Feta cheese, if it is pure white feta, is made from goat’s milk, so can be a good choice if you are lactose-sensitive. It also tends to be lower in fat and calories than most other cheeses and has a strong flavour, which may help in limiting the amount you eat. Italian ricotta is low in fat and made from whey instead of whole milk. Some other types that make the top healthy cheese list include low-fat cottage cheese with reduced sodium and Gouda when made from part-skim milk and aged at least a year to cut the lactose content. They are joined by part-skim, 100 percent mozzarella string cheese and low-fat Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese has an extra bonus of containing a high amount of phosphorus, which is helpful in bone formation. Gluten and wheat free pasta and breads, replace margarine or butter with olive oil, hummus or tahini.
Soy products can be a bit touch and go, if you do not seem to have reactions to wheat then you may find soy to be a great addition or replacement for your dairy products. However quite often soy beans are planted in the same field as wheat so therefore cross contamination is extremely high. Soybeans commonly are grown in rotation with wheat crops. That means the farmers use the same fields to grow soy and wheat, along with the same combines to harvest them, the same storage facilities to keep them and the same trucks to transport them to market. As a result, soy can be subject to gluten cross-contamination — in some cases, lots of gluten cross-contamination. So you may want to look at Rice milk or Almond milk these can be used very successfully in Recipes that require milk including custards, sauces etc. As a replacement for cream in recipes yoghurt can be used.
Avoiding Meat & Chicken: Sometimes people will find red meat and chicken will aggravate this condition because of the compromised digestive processes. So it is important to keep up an adequate quantity of healthy protein in your diet. Fish can be kept in the diet quite well with these choices if you are not aiming to eat totally vegetarian… Look for fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring. Some ideas are: Salmon steak or filet
Salmon loaf, Grilled or baked trout, Also choose dry beans or peas as a main dish or part of a meal often. Some choices are: Garlic & onions for flavour with red or white kidney, cannellini, or pinto beans
Stir- fried tofu
Split pea, lentil, minestrone, or white bean soups
Black bean enchiladas
Garbanzo or kidney beans on a tossed salad including dark green lettuces, carrot, apple or pear, red onion & cucumber
Hummus (chickpeas) spread on pita bread
Choose nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes.
• Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to these items: Use pine nuts in pesto sauce for pasta.
• Add slivered almonds to steamed vegetables.
• Add toasted peanuts or cashews (cashews should be avoided if you have gallbladder issues) to a vegetable stir fry instead of meat.
• Sprinkle a few nuts on top of yoghurt or frozen yogurt. You can add your own fruits or flavours such a pure vanilla essence or pure chocolate such as cacao powder to yoghurt, almond or rice milk and freeze to replace ice-cream. Just add ingredients in a blender and pour into a container and freeze.
• Add walnuts or pecans to a green salad instead of cheese or meat.
To prevent food poisoning and contamination of foods, keep it safe:
When Preparing Your Meals it is Important to Separate Raw, Cooked and Ready-to-Eat Foods
Do not wash or rinse meat or poultry.
Wash cutting boards, knives, utensils and counter tops in hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next one.
Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods
Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. Use a meat thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.
Plan ahead to defrost food: Never defrost food on the kitchen counter at room temperature. Thaw food by placing it in the refrigerator, submerging air-tight packaged food in cold tap water, or defrosting on a plate in the microwave.
Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs and raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should avoid some types of fish and eat types lower in mercury. Click here- Safe Food Foundation & Institute for more information.
Foods that Harm and Should be Avoided
You may well find that certain foods trigger your bowel symptoms, now if we are talking about regular, formed bowel movements without pain or discomfort this is not a problem as you are probably aware it is vital to your health that you have regular bowel movements each day to help rid the body of unwanted residue and unused food. The bowel plays an important role in the elimination and processing of unwanted product residue within our bodies.
However if the symptoms are of diarrhea, stomach pains, cramping, irregular bowel movements, bloating, indigestion and wind, then you may want to avoid certain foods that trigger these symptoms to reduce this discomfort and giving you the ability to self-manage your illness. For example, some people with ulcerative colitis find that coffee or caffeine exacerbates diarrhea, indigestion and cramping. Other people complain that raw vegetables or high-fibre foods seem to cause a problem.
Learning to avoid food triggers may give you better control of your disease and allow you greater freedom to enjoy an active life. Despite the fact there is no scientific proof; many people with ulcerative colitis have found that one or more of the following foods can trigger their Gastro intestinal symptoms:
- Alcohol ( if you do not wish to eliminate this completely healthier choices in moderation are beer and wine)
- Caffeine mainly found with instant coffee, also combined in hot milk drinks such as cappuccino, hot chocolates & Latte: any drink where the milk is heated. (Avoid completely)
- Carbonated beverages (Avoid completely)
- Dairy products if lactose intolerant or they are causing you stomach discomfort
- Dried beans, peas, and legumes (these need to be soaked and cooked very well for a few hours) eat in moderation
- Dried fruits and berries (as these have been preserved with sulphur)
Other Foods containing sulphur or sulphate
- Foods high in fibre, including whole-grain products (minimize)
- Foods that are excessively hot and spicy – Hot sauce, chilli peppers
- Processed cold meats (Avoid completely)
- Whole nuts and seeds (you may find these will be OK if you grind them, they can then be sprinkled on top of vegetables or used in salads or deserts)
- Products containing sorbitol (sugar-free gum and candies) (Avoid completely)
- Raw vegetables (whilst having reactive symptoms you may choose to avoid these & reintroduce slowly as symptoms improve)
- Refined sugar (Avoid completely)
Most of these food choices should be eliminated or minimized to assist with your health and vitality.
There is evidence that there is less risk of disease if we have our diet 85% raw food; however like with many of these diet changes it is important to implement them gradually. You may well find that grating is a good way of implementing raw foods without causing too many problems with your digestive system.
A Simple Eating Plan to Follow
The Following Menu plan will benefit not only short term treatment for Ulcerative Colitis, but also for long term relief and optimal digestive health. However if you are having a flare up which will occur from time to time you will alter your diet to suite until feeling better.
1. Power Berry Smoothie made with 2 heaped teaspoons of Acai berry powder, 1 x kiwi fruit, 2 teaspoons of Vital Greens ¾ glass of almond milk, 1 tablespoon Bio dynamic yoghurt, Another alternative is Green smoothie made with 2-3 peaches, 2 tablespoons of blueberries or blackberries, 2 big handfuls of spinach, and enough water to blend everything together. On days when you don’t make a smoothie, you can take these food powders with water or almond milk
2. Bowl of porridge made with quinoa flakes:
Quinoa flake porridge: In a saucepan, heat 1 cup almond or rice milk and pour in 3/4 cup flakes. Mix until the flakes have soaked up the milk, this only takes a couple of minutes. You can add more milk if you like your mix more liquid. Top with something scrummy and get a good start to your day!
Quinoa flake porridge with fruit, honey and cinnamon: This is a bit of a transition recipe – using up last of the season fruit (or even frozen fruit if you defrost overnight) in a warm comforting cereal mix. Pour over a spoonful of honey and sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and enjoy!
3. Smoked Salmon & Scrambled or Poached Eggs
500gms of Baby Spinach (Just before serving have spinach in a bowl pour over boiling water, drain immediately)
4 slices of smoked salmon
4 pieces of Wholegrain, gluten free bread (to be toasted)
Break eggs into a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of onion flakes, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
100ml of Almond milk: Beat together gently with a fork
In a pan use a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons coconut oil
When these have melted, add your mixture of eggs mix these through for about 2 – 3 minutes on a fairly high heat. Serve immediately on 2 pieces of wholegrain, gluten free toast.
Top with wilted spinach and smoked salmon
Enjoy a lovely cup of Green or White tea
If smoked salmon isn’t on the menu or an option you could make an avocado salsa
Poached eggs with avocado salsaAvocado Salsa
1 x avocado diced
6 x cherry tomatoes
½ chopped red onion
Dressing: 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon of balsamic or white wine vinegar
Mix ingredients together & pour over salsa mix place eggs on one piece of toast & salsa mix on the other.
Please Note: if you do not have problems with brown, red or black rice these are preferable to white rice because of the nutrient value
1. Steamed sweet potato, avocado, and one or two soft boiled eggs.
2. Steamed zucchini, avocado, and a potato-based soup.
3. White rice (1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice), steamed cabbage, kale & or broccoli stir in some hummus for extra protein and flavour.
organic quinoa4. Quinoa (2 cups of water for 1 cup of quinoa), avocado, diced tomato, red onion, you may like to include some steamed butternut or squash.
As added flavourings for these meal choices powdered stock choices are the brand Massel stock powder, onion, garlic and coconut oil add wonderful flavours as well great health benefits.
5. Homemade vegetable soup; Making your own soup is so easy base flavouring can consist of onions, garlic, massel chicken stock then you add any herbs or spices, soy sauce or mustard that you enjoy lightly brown these in a combination of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Then 1 – 2 litres of boiling water; chop and add any vegetables of your choice
1. Vegetable stir fry including a choice of three or four of the following vegetables – sweet potato, white potato, pumpkin, carrot, broccoli, kale, onion, garlic and a teaspoon of soy sauce. As healthy protein you can include quinoa flakes, fish or tofu. Serve on a bed of rice or steamed cauliflower
2. Avocado-orange salad steamed Atlantic salmon Steam salmon for 10 -15 minutes in a pan with a squeezed lemon You can use other fish of your choice, another suggestion is some baked pumpkin topped with sesame seeds is another tasting addition
Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of minced garlic
Avocado & Orange saladSalad
1 large orange
1 cup of Baby Spinach
1 cup of mixed dark salad leaves
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup slivered red onion
1 tablespoon of ground walnuts
Mix salad together then either pour dressing over the salad or allow individual pouring of dressing on meals
Top with Salmon
3. Quinoa & Sweet Potato Gratin
1 – 3/4 cup of quinoa
3 cups low-sodium Massel chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh kale
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Put the quinoa in a bowl and cover with water; drain. Repeat twice; drain well. (This will help remove bitterness.) Transfer the quinoa to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the quinoa is dry, about 8 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer, and then cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape; reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the Turmeric, coriander, cumin and ginger: stirring, until the spices darken, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, the, sweet potato and kale Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and kale are tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Add the sweet potato mixture to the quinoa, then add the lime juice and toss; season with pepper.
A variety of vegetables can be used to make changes to your daily eating regime
If including Pasta into your diet it is safest to stick to gluten free
Add flavour to your vegetables or salads with fresh basil finely chopped and added after cooking is completed
Note: If you are not taking a Vital greens food powder that contains friendly bacteria or a practitioner brand of probiotic, I would recommend that during the day you have 1 – 2 serves of biodynamic yoghurt about 65 gm per serve
1. Any fresh fruit in season.
2. Baked potatoes, sweet potatoes or dates
3. Small handful of raw walnuts (that have been soaked for at least two hours) (or dry roasted almonds.
4. Any of the smoothies listed under breakfast choices.
If you are in the midst of a flare-up, you can follow the same general guidelines listed above, but you should lean towards eating the food choices that are cooked rather than those that are raw.
Please observe how your body reacts to each of your food choices and make adjustments accordingly.
Be sure to chew all of your foods well and to follow other principles of eating for optimal digestion.
1. Whenever possible, allow your skin to be exposed to sunlight. Just be sure not to get burned.
2. Breathe deeply from your abdomen at least once every five minutes for every hour that you are awake. Doing so will help keep your parasympathetic nervous system active and your sympathetic nervous system subdued, which is important for promoting a healthy digestive tract.
3. Consider spending at least fifteen minutes each day writing any and all thoughts that come to mind in a private journal. Don’t censor yourself, and be sure that no one else can see it. Write down all thoughts that pop up in your head, no matter now loony or evil they seem. This exercise can help increase your awareness of emotional stressors that may not be obvious at first thought.
4. If life circumstances allow, do something that you really enjoy every day. Think of an activity that is fun for you and make time for it.
5. Each day upon awakening and before you go to sleep, spend a few minutes thinking about:
#Loved ones who deeply care about your well-being
#Family and friends who you are exceedingly fond of
#Things that you are grateful for