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Decidedly Delicious

Appetizing alternatives for Crohn's disease

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Decidedly Delicious

One of the great challenges of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is absorbing adequate nutrition. A focus on nutrient-rich foods that taste delicious is required, so that the sometimes bland, non-trigger foods become more palatable.

One of the great challenges of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is absorbing adequate nutrition. A focus on nutrient-rich foods that taste delicious is required, so that the sometimes bland, non-trigger foods become more palatable.

With Crohn’s, one type of IBD, the lining of the small intestine can be so physically damaged or inflamed that digested fat, protein, and carbohydrate molecules are not absorbed completely. Most assimilation happens in the small intestine, with water simply being reabsorbed in the bowel.

Problems such as ulcerative colitis are common, causing pain and diarrhea. The symptoms of colitis can be so uncomfortable that many people reduce their food intake altogether, even though most foods have been physically absorbed by the time they reach the bowel.

Trigger foods are different for each individual, although general recommendations focus on reducing excess fats, dairy, gluten, and hot spices. With the guidance of your health professional, follow an elimination diet for four to six weeks to clear the body of suspected trigger foods. During this time, keep a food diary to record symptoms and help with their ongoing management. Some patients have success eating specific carbohydrates such as rice or nut flours that are easier to digest.

New research into IBD is looking at the role of natural anti-inflammatory herbs, such as ginger and turmeric, and essential fatty acids found in flaxseeds, hempseeds, and fresh nuts. Add them to your current favourite recipes for a healing boost.

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