Nutritional Eating with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Updated: 5/15/18 For people that suffer with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a healthy diet can help them maintain good nutritional status and manage symptoms.  The principles for a healthy diet for those that suffer from IBD are the same for the rest of the general population.  A well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet should include carbohydrates, protein rich-foods, lower amounts of fats, along with fruits, vegetables and plenty of fluids.  These types of food will provide the energy, vitamins and trace elements that are necessary to ensure a good healthy lifestyle.   Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, eating 5-6 smaller meals every 2-3 hours will help to digest the foods better to reduce the load on the digestive tract.  People that suffer from IBD should restrict foods high in fiber such as whole grains, fresh fruits with skins and vegetables (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, plums, corn flakes and wholegrain breads).  Rather than eliminating these foods completely, thoroughly cook the fruits and vegetables instead of eating them raw and add starches such as cooked oatmeal, whole wheat noodles and tortillas, to reduce symptoms and flare ups.

Protein is a key component to any nutritional diet.  Twenty five percent of the calories you consume should come from protein.  Lean protein is your best option such as fresh, boneless skinless chicken and turkey breast.  Eggs and seafood are other good sources of protein, especially salmon and mackerel which contain Omega 3s.  Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial because they have anti-inflammatory effects which may also help reduce flare ups.

Staying well hydrated is another key to success with any diet.  It is important to drink at least 64oz of water a day and more when experiencing symptoms and flare ups from IBD to avoid dehydration. Fluid intake is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination.  Water helps eliminate toxins, carries nutrients to cells and prevents dehydration. The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently.  Water helps the body metabolize and burn fat and is the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off permanently.