I am reading an article right now on Health.com about foods that are good to consume during flare ups. They have listed 13 foods that should help keep your digestive track at ease and allow your body to heal. Of course, everyone’s bodies are different so what matters most is your own individual needs. As part of my desire to create a “safe foods” list I decided to go through it with some personal yes’ and no’s in hopes of maybe finding something new to try.
1. Almond milk: NO. I have yet to figure out what my deal is with all things milk related, I am lactose intolerant and I have literally tried every dairy free alternative I can get my hands on but, I haven’t found one that agrees with me yet.
2. Eggs: YES! I don’t think I could live without eggs, they settle well and taste great. I always keep a bowl of hardboiled eggs in the fridge for a quick snack.
3. Oatmeal: Um? I must have given up on oatmeal at some point along the way, I guess because the portion is so small compared to the calories consumed and seemed unsatisfying. But, according to this article oatmeal contains soluble fiber which absorbs water and passes slowly through your digestive track which will ease diarrhea and stomach discomfort. This is a perfect example of why I am doing this, oatmeal is finding its way back into this girl’s rotation for sure!
4. Vegetable Soups: Um? One word, sodium. I avoid canned soups like the plague because of their high sodium content. But, I hadn’t considered the fabulous nutrients I could be getting from making my own soups, that is definitely something to think about when I am flaring. I wish I had a nice warm bowl right now instead of the salad I brought today that I am scared to eat. It is also mentioned in the article that most Crohn’s patients are afraid of vegetables and focus their diets on white carbohydrate products. That struck a chord with me because, I used to be one of those people. That was before I stripped my diet down and realized that by eating mostly raw, avoiding caffeine, etc that I could feel a lot better getting all my nutrients in vs. eating a lot of processed “white” garbage that inevitably only caused more flares than it helped. Whole grain/wheat bread (pizza crust, english muffins, etc) is my goto flare up calm down food, I don’t think that will ever change.
5. Salmon: YES! Oh my heavens do I love salmon, I can’t get enough of its yummy goodness. I wish it wasn’t so darn expensive! The first thing they mention about salmon is that 25% of your diet should come from protein which is key in healing. Why had I not realized this before? I do try to include lean protein in every meal but, I have to admit to some slacking and apparently this is not a lax rule. New food rule, eat more fish & of course, always look for ways to add in more omega-3’s to my diet!
6. Papaya: Um? “Papaya contains an enzyme, papain, which helps your body digest proteins; this butter-soft fruit is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, folate and potassium, and is available year-round. Cantaloupe is a good choice too.” New food rule, add in some papaya with that fish! They now mention how Crohn’s patients are afraid of fruit. The same philosophy applies here for me as with vegetables. On average I eat about 3-4 pieces of fruit every day. I am BIG on bananas, they always digest well and are very calming for your digestive system. I eat 1-2 bananas every day. They also talk about mangos as being a very easy to digest fruit option but unfortunately, I am allergic. So sad because mangos are so delicious.
7. Pureed Beans: YES! Who would have thought that one of my favorite snacks is actually good for my tummy?! My husband and I make humus all the time because it is delicious and hey beans, they’re good for the heart! Check out this easy to follow recipe that can be changed up any way you can dream. Add in some artichokes, spinach, peppers, copycat the store brands, it really is fun and the posibilities are endless. We recently tried edamame humus and I am dying to whip some of that yummy goodness up at home. The article also mentions ground lentils, apparently you can substitute them for ground meat, very good to know.
8. Poultry: YES! “Turkey and chicken are protein rich” and lean if you limit your consumption to the white meat. My love for the taste of bird is the only thing keeping me away from full vegetarianism.
9. Avocado: YES! Speaking of avocado, there is one in our fridge at home just calling my name right now. They are chock full of good fats, vitamins and even that digestion-friendly soluble fiber we were talking about earlier. Thank goodness avocados are one of my favorite fruits because this article suggests that no Crohn’s patient should be without them.
10. Butter Lettuce: Um? I always go for dark greens like kale, chard and spinach because they are high in all the vitamins we need in our bodies. From what I have read, lettuce doesn’t contain much nutrients but, this article states that the butter lettuce variety is easily digestible so, if you are unable to stomach the darker greens this could be your answer to adding salads back into your diet.
11. Roasted Red Peppers: Um? They say to add this food to your safe list, roasted and skins removed for a delicious and nutritious way to “spice” up sandwiches or even to garnish your soup. This is one of those try at your own risk kind of items. Personally, I can tolerate peppers in small doses but I haven’t specifically tried them this way or during a flare up.
12. Rice: YES! I always go for brown although, jasmine is a super tasty treat. Here is a great article that breaks down each variety into small, easy to understand fact blurbs. Rice is definitely easy for me to digest and a great way to get your calories in when you’re battling a flare up. Not mentioned in the article is my personal favorite pseudocereal, quinoa. I love to substitute quinoa for rice, it is gentle on my digestive track and known to be a “superfood” containing more protein per 100 calories than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet. I love to toss it up with some extra virgin olive oil, chick peas, black beans, diced tomato, onion and spinach. It is the perfect combination of delicious and nutritious, just yum.
That’s some good eats right there!
13. Smooth Nut Butters: YES, YES, YES! “Nuts are an excellent source of good fats, vitamin E, and protein!” I eat peanut and/or almond butter just about every day. I haven’t tried cashew or any other types simply because they are so hard to find and when I do find them, I end up buying peanut 99% of the time because of the cost difference. I always go for all natural (organic) because, nut butters are one of those things that you just don’t know what the heck they put in the processed stuff but, I’m guessing that it’s bad news.
And with that my friends, this list is complete. Hope you all learned something, I know that I did! I definitely have a few new foods going on the grocery list this week.