When managing an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease, it is very important to know what to eat when symptoms flare up.  Everyone has different sensitivities, so do consult your doctor before changing eating habits.

Here are a few foods, however, that you can eat to soothe your stomach and nourish your body when you are suffering:

  • Potatoes: Packed with soluble fiber, plain potatoes are soothing to the stomach and provide nourishment and potassium to fight inflammation.
  • Eggs: Eggs are an easy protein source, both to cook and to digest. Prepare them with minimal healthy fat, like coconut or olive oil.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal cooked to be very soft provides easily digested soluble fiber that absorbs water and can help with both diarrhea and constipation
  • Soups: Cook carrots, butternut squash, or pumpkin with low-fat chicken stock for a nutrient-packed dose of insoluble fiber.
  • Salmon or tilapia: Protein is essential to help soothe the stomach during a flare-up, and broiled or steamed fish is a perfect choice.
  • Papaya: Papaya is a soft fruit packed with fiber and digestive enzymes that help your stomach break down food. Other soft fruits like bananas are a great choice, too.
  • Yogurt: While some people with Crohn’s disease are lactose intolerant, others may benefit greatly from the soothing live cultures and probiotics in yogurt and kefir (which is generally 99% lactose-free and more easily tolerated).
  • Rice: Rice is the go-to staple for calories during a flare-up. Combine rice with well-cooked veggies and you have an added nutrient bonus.
  • Other: This category is reserved for foods that may work for some people but not all. Pureed chickpeas can be a great source of protein and B vitamins, and lean  poultry baked or grilled may work for some sufferers, but not all. 

How you eat is as important as what you eat during a flare-up of Crohn’s disease. Eat small, frequent meals with just a few foods in each meal. Don’t try too many new foods at once, and keep a food journal during a flare-up with what you have eaten, the amount, and how you felt after. Talking to a nutritionist can also help you confidently manage symptoms.

Which foods help you most during a flare-up, and which are the worst?

Image by velkr0 via Flickr


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