Ulcerative Colitis Diet Plan

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

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Quick GuideUlcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Ulcerative Colitis Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What foods help manage and soothe ulcerative colitis flares?

Avoiding foods that trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms is one way to help manage symptoms through diet. Another is knowing what foods to eat that may help relieve flares. Following is a list of foods that may help soothe ulcerative colitis flares:

  • Salmon and albacore tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation during a flare and may help you to stay in remission. Other sources of omega-3s include mackerel, herring, sardines, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed, and walnuts. Some people may be unable to eat whole nuts and flaxseeds during a flare, but they may be tolerated if ground up.
  • Lean meats and poultry are recommended following flares of ulcerative because proteins are often lost. Increasing your protein intake can help replenish the nutrients lost during a flare.
  • Eggs are another great source of protein, and are often well-tolerated even during flares. Some eggs are fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation.
  • Soy-based protein can be substituted for animal protein in vegetarians and vegans. Other good sources of non-animal proteins include legumes and whole grains.
  • Probiotics, usually found in yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso, are good bacteria that can aid in digestion. Choose yogurts that are low in added sugars, as sugar can aggravate ulcerative colitis symptoms.
  • Avocados are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. They are calorie dense, but because they are about 70% water, they are easily digested.
  • Unsweetened applesauce is bland and may be tolerated after an ulcerative colitis flare, though some people may find it difficult to tolerate during a flare-up.
  • Instant oatmeal contains refined grains and is often easier than steel cut or old-fashioned oatmeal because it has a little less fiber.
  • Squash is a healthy choice that is usually well-tolerated during an ulcerative colitis flare. It's full of fiber, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Any variety of squash (butternut, zucchini, spaghetti, acorn, winter, and summer) are best tolerated cooked. Raw squash may aggravate ulcerative colitis symptoms during a flare.
  • Juice and smoothies can be tolerated by some during a flare, and can help you maintain good nutrition. Carrot juice is chock full of vitamin A and antioxidants and many people with ulcerative colitis find it easy to tolerate.
  • Plantains, which are a variety of banana, can help aid digestion.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/6/2016

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  • Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Type of Diet

    What type of diet plan do you follow to avoid ulcerative colitis flares, and soothe symptoms?

  • Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Trigger Foods

    What foods or drinks trigger your ulcerative colitis flares?

  • Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Soothing Foods

    What foods have you found to be soothing when your ulcerative colitis is active?

  • Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Other Triggers

    What other things have you found that trigger your ulcerative colitis flares, for example, stress, medications (prescription or OTC), herbal products or supplements, etc.?


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