Do you know someone who is suffering from Crohn’s disease? If yes, it is of utmost importance to follow the right diet plan to control and manage the disease. Crohn’s disease or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) occurs due to persistent inflammation of the intestinal tract. This disease is debilitating and can have a severe impact on the body. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and bleeding in severe cases. If you have IBD, inflammation in the layers of the intestinal wall prevents the small intestine from absorbing nutrients. It also disturbs the water level, which is required to ensure that food moves along the intestine. There is also appetite loss, leading to a consequent depletion of nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Slowly the patient becomes malnourished, which in turn lowers immunity levels, exposing him or her to further infection, disease and attacks from microbes.
While taking the right kind of food will not cure the condition, they definitely help to reduce the symptoms. The right diet helps to suppress the flare-ups, providing the required nutrients to fill up the deficiency. It is important to get on the diet as soon as one discovers he or she has Crohn’s disease. This helps to prevent weakness, anemia and other health disorders caused by insufficient nutrients in the body.
Crohns Diet Plan:
Listed below are the best foods to include in a chrons diet plan, if you are suffering from Crohn’s disease.
1. Balanced Meals:
The diet for crohns disease diet plan requires the patient to consume six small meals a day, each meal rich in calories. The rationale behind the diet is that six small meals are easier to digest than large meals. It puts less pressure on the digestive tract and makes it easier to absorb the nutrients. Also, six small meals help to maintain one’s weight. Whole grains, nuts, legumes and calorie-rich nutritious foods make up an effective diet.
2. Mild Food
Potatoes, white rice, pasta and low fiber foods prevent inflammation of the intestinal tract. In Crohn’s disease, the intestinal tract is often irritated, leading to severe pain and discomfort. Bland, easy-to-digest foods should be part of the diet plan for Crohn’s patients. As these foods are not rich in fiber, patients are required to consult their physicians for additional supplements for a balanced diet.
Plantain is green banana, common to South Africa and other tropical countries. Plantain has a soothing effect on the small intestine. The soluble fiber from plantain prevents the growth of bacteria that cause intestinal inflammation. Banana is an integral part of the Crohn’s diet as it provides relief from an inflamed intestine. Boiled green plantain or the more common yellow banana makes a good addition to the daily diet.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains anti-oxidants called flavonoids which help in the growth and repair of cells. Flavonoids help reduce inflammation by neutralizing inflammation causing free radicals. It is important to ensure that the olive oil is not the light or extra light filtered or refined variant since the flavonoids are filtered from it.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in fermented milk products like yogurt, buttermilk and kefir. Having yogurt regularly helps to reduce inflammation and check unhealthy gut bacteria. Half a cup of yogurt with active cultures will prevent pain and abdominal swelling. Salmon, walnuts, mackerel and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce pain and inflammation.
Crohn’s disease causes dehydration in patients. This also results in kidney problems as the amount of fluid entering the body is more than the amount leaving it. It is a good idea to include at least eight glasses of water a day. It is also good to drink enough water to replenish the water lost due to diarrhoea.