In definition, Crohns disease is a bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive track, which leads to severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. It affects 1.6 million Americans, most of who are diagnosed before the age of 35. Because of the inflammation, nutrients are not properly absorbed which can lead to malnutrition and deficiencies. The area of the digestive tract that is affected differs per person. The inflammation can often spread deep into the layers of bowel tissue and can result in life-threatening complications. Currently, there is no cure but there are some therapies and changes a person can make to reduce flare-ups and manage the disease. Some lifestyle changes that can help with this disease are monitoring the diet with a medical professional, drinking plenty of water, and making sure you are supplementing with vitamins and minerals to help prevent the body from malnutrition. Below are some recommendations that can be useful for a person who has Crohns disease.


Avoid Raw Nuts- they are hard on the intestines to digest and can irritate the intestinal lining. Some good alternatives include creamy nuts such as peanut or almond butter.


Avoid Spicy foods- Spicy foods can be harsh for anyone but especially someone with Chrons disease where it can cause irritation to the intestinal lining and it increases inflammation and intestinal distress.


Limit Caffeinated Drinks- Caffeine can increase the symptoms of Crohns and can cause flare-ups. If you are a coffee lover, consider decaf coffee although it still has some caffeine, symptoms can be more easily manageable.


Avoid Alcohol- Consuming alcohol causes dehydration and prevents proper rehydration, which can worsen symptoms. Those with Crohns are usually on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics which alcohol can interfere with.


Limit Dairy- Many people with inflammatory bowel disease find that problems such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas improve by elimination dairy products. With age, our bodies lose the ability to properly digest dairy and lactose products and with this disease the patient should avoid anything that could contribute to digestive distress.


Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables in Moderation- If consuming too many fruits or vegetables that are raw, this can lead to abdominal distress which is unfortunate because how great they are for you. High fiber foods may make Crohns symptoms worse. To insure one is still getting the recommended fruit and vegetable intake, they can be prepared in different ways like steamed, baked, or stewed.

Some foods that absolutely should be consumed by a person with Crohns


1.Potatoes, rice and pasta – Smooth bland foods tend to be easier on the digestive systems.

  1. Oatmeal – Oatmeal has soluble fiber that absorbs water and passes more slowly through the digestive tract.
  2. Almond milk – This milk is great because it is lactose free and the person won’t have to deal with dairy upsetting their digestive tract. It also is fortified with calcium and protein, which people with Crohns often lack.
  3. Eggs – These are easily digestible and are high in protein.
  4. Salmon or mackerel – These fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which lower inflammation. Should be consumed sparingly though and only wild grown fish should be purchased as it has fewer toxins.
  5. Bananas and papayas – These tropical fruits are easy to digest and high in major nutrients and vitamins
  6. Poultry – Chicken and turkey are high protein foods that are easy to digest.
  7. Avocado – The soluble fiber in an avocado is digestion-friendly and packed full of the good fat our body needs.
  8. Water – Most important!!! Water should be consumed to flush out the intestinal tract and keep the person hydrated. When a flare-up occurs, the patient often has such severe diarrhea that they become dehydrated. This is often the reason for hospitalizations following a Crohns episode and can easily be avoided with proper hydration.


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