For about half million Americans who are suffering from the Crohn’s disease, eating is a nightmare. Almost anything they eat can cause a flare-up and pain. While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, there are foods that are much better tolerated by people who suffer from it, and which can allow these poor souls not only to avoid the pain but to also have a healthy and nutitious diet.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease of bowels, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The immune cells, which normally protect us from infections, treat food in the stomach as foreign substance and go on the attack. The signal for attack makes our body to produce more white blood cells and to send them into the stomach lining, where they cause chronic inflammation.
The way to cope with Crohn”s disease is to figure out what bothers you and to avoid it. It is highly personal. Once you find out what is not causing inflammation flare-ups, you can develop a healthy, balanced diet. But, there are some foods that are easy to digest by almost anyone. They are also highly nutritious, so give them a try.
Oatmeal is the quintessential comfort food. It is known to line the stomach and sooth it when inflamed. Most people with Crohn”s tolerate it well. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber which is necessary for the people suffering from intestinal problems, but they often lack it because they have problem digesting vegetables. Just stay away from cow milk ” “ most people with Crohn”s are lactose intolerant.
If you need some type of milk with your oatmeal, try almond milk, made from ground almonds. It is rich n vitamins E and D, it has less calories than cow milk and has no cholesterol.
Eggs in all shapes and forms are easily digestible and great source of protein for people with Crohn”s. They only form that is no-no is fried.
Any fish, especially fatty fish like salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are great source of protein for people suffering from Crohn’s. Shrimps and white fish are fine too. You can prepare it any way you like, except fried. In fact, stay away from anything fried.
Papayas and other tropical fruits like mangos and bananas are delicious, easy to digest and full of nutrients. Papaya is your best friend if you have Crohn’s. It is rich in vitamin C and A, potassium and folate and contains papain, which helps digestion of protein.
Another fruit you should not be afraid of are cantaloupes.
5. Beans, but not just any beans
Beans are difficult to digest even for people with iron stomachs, but there are beans that you can enjoy. Try pureed chickpeas and lentils. Look for recipes for hummus and treat yourself. Stay away from the bottled type, they sometimes contain preservatives which are irritants.
Both chickpeas and lentils are low in calories and great source of protein.
Avocados are another fruit you can eat with no fear. They are rich in vitamins E and B and potassium. They are also an excellent source of good fats. Eat them raw, or make a salad with shrimps, they are delicious any way.
7. Roasted peppers
Most people can easily digest roasted bell peppers, as long as they peel the skin. They are full of vitamins and can make an excellent salad or sandwich-stacker.
8. Bib lettuce
If you thought that the lettuce is out for you, try bib lettuce. It is much easier to digest than other types, it will give you the fiber you need and will satisfy that craving for greens that so many people with Crohn’s feel.