Crohn’s Disease Diet & Nutrition

A solid Crohn’s disease diet & nutrition plan is the key for those trying to overcome long standing challenges that the experts have called “incurable”. If you have been diagnosed with either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, you will find this particular section quite beneficial in your pursuit to regaining a healthy and vital life. Studies have shown that there is no direct correlation in your past eating habits or diet that have caused or contributed to these diseases. However once diagnosed with IBD you have the ability to take control of the types of products/food that you consume, which will have a tremendous effect on reducing symptoms and trigger the overall healing process, a journey to regaining a healthy and vital lifestyle.

A crohn’s disease diet is NOT a diet to loose weight but rather to properly balance your food intake to utilize nutritional natural healing.

To learn more about proper Crohn’s Disease Diet, nutrition and IBD we have summarized different materials that we have found to be useful as an overall Crohn’s Disease dietary guide for patients of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

The Crohn’s Disease Diet Suffers Interfered Digestive Process.

The greatest amount of digestion takes place just beyond the stomach, in what we consider to be the workhorse of the digestive system, the small intestine. When food is processed in the small intestine, a combination of reactions take place, bile (digestive juices) which are produced from the pancreas and the liver are mixed with the food, breaking it down into small molecules by a churning action of the muscles of the intestinal walls. Sort of like a very powerful high tech washing machine. These small molecules are absorbed through the surface of the small intestine, which then are distributed to the rest of the body through the blood stream. Item’s that are not digested which are in the form of secretions and watery food residue are handed off to the colon (the large intestine). Our built in recycling system allows the colon to reabsorb much of the water, which is added to food in the small intestine. I think you can guess the next process, Yep! Undigested food residue, solids, are then passed from the large intestine as a bowel movement.

An inflamed intestine as in the case with Crohn’s Disease is less able to fully absorb and digest the nutrients from food. Depending on how severe the small intestine has been injured by inflammation, vital nutrients as well as unabsorbed bile salts, may travel into the large intestine to a varying degree. This is why many Crohn’s patients don’t have much of an appetite and are normally malnourished. To beat it down with a stick even more, when the undigested foods travel through the large intestine this causes interference with our water recycling process, described earlier, even if the colon itself is not damaged. Point blank – Malnutrition and diarrhea may be the results from Crohns Disease and the devastating effect it plays on the small intestine. More severe diarrhea occurs when the large intestine is also inflamed.

With Ulcerative Colitis, the large intestine is only inflamed resulting in proper recycling of water, which translates into severe diarrhea. The small intestine continues to function properly.

Maintaining or Achieving Normal Weight

Malnutrition is very common in Crohn’s. In fact, Crohns disease patients appear to burn fat calories at a higher rate than the general population and most patients are underweight. Some experts recommend that children with IBD increase their calorie and protein intake by 150% of the daily recommended allowance for their specific ages and heights. Studies indicate that nutritional support in children is as important as medications for achieving remission. People whose weights are normal or no less than 90% of normal do not need to add extra calories. Crohn’s Disease Diet and Proteins. Proteins are very important for growth in children and for repair of cells. Diarrhea can cause protein deficiency and so IBD patients may need more protein than the general population. Patients might consider choosing fish and soy as primary protein sources. One study reported that a soy protein diet was particularly useful for patients who were intolerant to milk products. Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, may be particularly beneficial in Crohns disease. Other options are poultry and lean meats. Dried beans and legumes also provide protein.

Crohn’s Disease Diet and Complex Carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should make up half of a patient’s calories. Patients should select complex carbohydrates, which are also a good source of fiber. Fresh fruit (such as apples, grapefruit, oranges, plums, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) might actually be specifically protective for IBD. (It should noted, however that simple sugars can increase inflammation, so patients should avoid dried fruits and high-sugar fruits, such as grapes, pineapple, and watermelon.) It should be noted that high-fiber foods can cause gas, bloating, and pain, particularly in IBD patients. Commercial products (e.g., Beano) are available that can reduce gas. Eating small, frequent meals can also help.

Crohn’s Disease Diet and Fluids (non-caffeinated). Drinking plenty of water is particularly important. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided in general, although green tea has been reported to have some benefits for Crohn’s.

Crohn’s Disease Diet and Certain Oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are important compounds, particularly for Crohn’s disease, found in fats. Sources include canola oil, soybeans, flaxseed, olive oil, and many nuts, seeds, and oily fish.

Liquid Supplements. Over-the-counter liquid diets, such as Ensure, Sustacal, and others that meet full nutritional needs and are absorbed in the upper intestine may be helpful for some Crohns disease patients, but no studies have determined this.

Crohn’s Disease Diet and Potassium-rich Foods. Examples are potatoes, avocados, and bananas.

crohn's disease dietLow-Fiber with Low-Residue.

To minimize abdominal pain and symptoms a low-fiber, low-residue a Crohn’s diet or a special liquid diet may be beneficial. Roughly two thirds of Crohn’s Disease diet suffers develop a stricture (narrowing) of the lower small intestine. This diet reduces the amount of certain consumed foods that add residue to the stool.

Foods to Reduce While On a Crohn’s Disease Diet

  • Nuts
  • Corn Hulls
  • Seeds
  • Raw Fruits
  • Vegetables

Diet adjustment are only temporary, either the inflammation that caused the narrowing responds either to beneficial microbes, medical treatment or to a corrective surgical procedure. Caution, while following this type of diet, too many food restrictions can have an adverse effect by not allowing proper nutritional balancing. It is always good sound advice to have a registered dietitian associated with IBD treatment program monitor your daily intake and schedule.

Nutrient Importance in a Crohn’s Disease Diet.

As mentioned earlier IBD patients, and especially Crohn’s patients are in danger of becoming malnourished due to the disease being present in the small intestine. The following are several reasons to consider these findings.

  • Poor digestion and malabsorption of dietary fats, carbohydrates, water, protein and a wide range minerals and vitamins.
  • Especially during disease flare-ups chronic disease patients usually will increase levels of energy and caloric needs for the body. Basically your body is working overtime to counteract the disease.
  • Symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, or lacking taste sensations will have an ill affect on food intake resulting in loss of appetite.

To restore the body’s health, a Crohn’s Disease Diet nutritional program is imperative. Avoiding malnourishment is the key to a healthier path in any recovery for the following reasons.

  • People with good nutritional status tend to have a more effective response rate to medications.
  • Children and Teenagers may experience growth retardation due to lost proteins, calories, and other nutrients.
  • Hormonal levels are affected due to weight loss in women. Menstrual irregularities and even cessation of menstruation may be experienced.
  • More food must be taken in to compensate the loss of proteins and other nutrients; this may be difficult for individuals that experience intestinal symptoms.

Food Absorption

Food absorption is a huge issue when it comes to patients with Crohn’s Disease and a proper Crohn’s Diet, especially if their disease involves the small intestine. People that have inflammation only in the large intestine most often absorb food normally. Over 40 percent of individuals diagnosed with Crohn’s showed that they can eat enough food but can’t absorb food adequately, especially carbohydrates.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies.

Absorption of vitamin and minerals vary depending on type and location of the disease. Individuals that have Crohns disease where the ileum is affected may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency due to that they are unable to absorb enough of the B-12 vitamin from oral supplements or food intake. One of the most common deficiency associated with the common Crohns Disease Diet and which affects about sixty-eight percent, is the lack of vitamin D, which supports bone formation and calcium metabolism.

Fairly common due to the loss of blood, following inflammation and ulceration of the colon is the deficiency of the iron in patients with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease. Potassium is another mineral that is usually lacking due to diarrhea or vomiting. Magnesium deficiency is normally present with people that have had surgery to remove a significant length of intestine; also those who experience chronic diarrhea or extensive small intestine disease.

Important for some biological functions trace elements are absorbed in minuet quantities. Trace element deficiencies are normally present in those with poor nutritional intake and have and extensive small intestine disease.

Nutritional Therapy

Heal thyself is one of the more advanced and new concepts to surface that treats IBD and focuses on a proper Crohns Disease Diet regiment. Numerous research studies are being conducted to combat numerous chronic illnesses. I like to categorize these studies as being “ the whole food revelations”, which can be translated as the end to improper food intake. Flaxseed oil is being used to combat the inflammation in IBD. Complex carbohydrates that are not digested by the psyllium (small bowel) stimulate bacteria in the colon that produces short-chain fatty acids, which allow the lining of the colon to heal itself.

A therapeutic aid in IBD, which is rapidly being noticed, is the use of probiotics. Probiotics – “good bacteria” restores balance to the enteric microflora-bacteria that live in everybody’s intestine. In direct correlation, a new technology involving an ancient fermentation process that is called Poten-Zyme™, incorporates a multitude of living probiotic cultures and their enzymes used to pre-digest each raw material, thus creating novel compounds as a by-product of the microorganism’s interaction with the substrate. The proliferation of lactobacilli and other lactic acid-producing microorganisms during fermentation enhances assimilation and increases vitamin levels with are invaluable for chronic illness suffers. These beneficial organisms produce numerous helpful enzymes as well as antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Their main by-product, lactic acid, promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestines and enhances proper intestinal function while monitoring a strict Crohn’s Disease Diet plan.

Your diet should consist of a well maintained and balanced diet, rich in nutrients. The banner below is one such diet plan for Crohn’s Disease suffers that has showed powerful results. We highly recommend this Crohn’s Disease diet program regiment and when you strictly follow what Natural Health Researcher Sherry Brescia reveals, as far as what to eat as well as supplementation, you will experience dramatic results within a short period of time.


These links will redirect you to…

Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

Living Probiotics & The Poten-Zyme™ Process

Colitis Diet