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Influence of diet on ulcerative colitis
23 May, 2024

Influence of diet on ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis affects many people worldwide and manifests itself in chronic inflammation of the colon. At we understand how stressful this condition can be and recognize the central role of nutrition in therapy. Adjusting the diet can not only alleviate symptoms but also significantly improve the quality of life of those affected.

Importance of an adapted diet

Nutrition plays a crucial role in the management of ulcerative colitis. The right diet can help reduce inflammation and minimize the frequency of flare-ups. A well-adjusted diet helps the body to recover during periods of remission and strengthens the immune system against further attacks.

Specific nutritional recommendations

In remission phases

The choice of foods during the remission phase can determine how long this phase lasts. We recommend a diet rich in nutrient-dense but easily digestible foods.

  • Recommended foods:
    • Cooked vegetables such as carrots and zucchini, which are easy to digest and do not irritate the intestines.
    • Whole grain products that are finely ground to increase digestibility.
    • Protein sources such as lean poultry or fish, which provide essential nutrients without putting a strain on the digestive tract.
  • Foods to avoid:
    • Hard-to-digest foods such as raw vegetables and whole grains with coarse seeds can be problematic during remission.
    • Fatty and fried foods, which can worsen inflammation.

During an acute attack

During an attack, the choice of food is particularly important because the body is under a lot of strain from symptoms such as pain and diarrhea. A gentle diet can help alleviate symptoms and promote a quick recovery.

  • Nutritional tips to relieve symptoms:
    • Easily digestible foods such as bananas and avocados provide energy without putting strain on the intestines.
    • Creamy soups and porridge made from ground grains can be nutritious and are easy to consume.
  • Importance of hydration:
    • Drinking enough fluids is essential, especially in cases of diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration.
    • Mild teas and still water are ideal for meeting fluid needs without irritating the intestines.
Practical tips for ulcerative colitis

Role of nutrients and diet

A balanced supply of nutrients is crucial in ulcerative colitis to support physical health and positively influence the course of the disease. Special diet plans also play an important role in the treatment strategy.

Important nutrients

In ulcerative colitis, the body is often unable to absorb sufficient nutrients from food, which makes targeted nutrient intake all the more important.

Iron and zinc

These minerals are vital for blood formation and the immune system. Iron deficiency is common in ulcerative colitis due to blood loss. Supplementation may be necessary to prevent anemia. Zinc plays an important role in wound healing and can help promote the regeneration of the intestinal mucosa.

Vitamins and minerals

An adequate supply of vitamins such as B12, D and K is essential, as these are often deficient in connection with intestinal diseases. Vitamin D supports the immune system and helps with calcium absorption, which is especially important because colitis patients are at increased risk of osteoporosis.

Special diet plans

Individually tailored diets can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

Low-FODMAP diet

This diet reduces carbohydrates that are difficult to ferment and can cause bloating and pain. It is often introduced gradually to determine which foods are well tolerated.

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)

The SCD eliminates most carbohydrates that are not monosaccharides. It is based on the assumption that certain carbohydrates negatively affect the intestinal flora and promote inflammation. Avoiding these foods is intended to inhibit the growth of inflammatory bacteria.

Lifestyle and complementary measures

A healthy lifestyle can support the effectiveness of dietary changes and also help improve symptoms.

Stress management

Stress is known to promote inflammation and trigger flare-ups. Techniques such as meditation, yoga or even regular walks can help reduce stress.

Regular exercise

Moderate exercise improves overall health and can also have a positive effect on gut health. It promotes blood circulation and helps reduce stress.

Adequate rest

Good sleep is essential to strengthen the immune system and regenerate the body. Patients should ensure a quiet sleeping environment and maintain regular bedtimes.

Practical tips for ulcerative colitis

Spread small meals throughout the day

To relieve the digestive tract, it is helpful to eat smaller meals throughout the day. This can reduce the strain on the intestines and improve the tolerability of food. This keeps the energy level stable without overtaxing the intestines.

Kitchen techniques to reduce irritants

Steaming or sautéing vegetables can help minimize hard-to-digest components while preserving important nutrients. These preparation methods make the food more digestible and reduce the risk of intestinal irritation.

Use of herbs and spices to relieve symptoms

Certain herbs and spices, such as ginger or turmeric, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Integrating these into your daily diet can help reduce inflammatory responses in the body. They can be used in various dishes to provide not only flavor but also therapeutic benefits.

These tips are intended to help you better cope with everyday life with ulcerative colitis and adjust your diet to support your health and relieve symptoms.

Concluding remarks

In conclusion, targeted dietary adjustment and the inclusion of a healthy lifestyle are essential elements to positively influence the course of ulcerative colitis. Individually tailored diet plans and a conscious lifestyle can help to better manage the disease and improve the quality of life.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most common questions about ulcerative colitis and diet that we have compiled at These questions and answers provide additional insights not covered in the main article.

What role do probiotics play in ulcerative colitis?

Probiotics can help improve the balance of intestinal flora. They add beneficial bacteria to the digestive system, which can reduce inflammation. It is important to use probiotics under the supervision of a doctor to determine the appropriate type and dosage. Many sufferers report improved digestion and fewer complaints.

Can taking omega-3 fatty acids influence the course of ulcerative colitis?

Omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, may be beneficial in ulcerative colitis. They are found in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel as well as in flax seeds and walnuts. Regular intake can help reduce the frequency and severity of inflammatory attacks.

How does alcohol consumption affect ulcerative colitis?

Alcohol can worsen symptoms in many patients with ulcerative colitis. It can promote inflammation and irritate the mucous membranes of the intestines. We advise avoiding alcohol or consuming it only in very small quantities, especially during an attack.

Are gluten or wheat problematic for ulcerative colitis patients?

Not all ulcerative colitis patients are gluten intolerant. However, gluten can worsen inflammation in some people. It is recommended to conduct a test phase to assess personal tolerance. A gluten-free diet may be helpful in cases of sensitivity.

How does a vegan diet affect ulcerative colitis?

A vegan diet can be rich in anti-inflammatory foods and a healthy choice. However, it is important that such a diet is well planned to obtain all the necessary nutrients. Those affected should work closely with a nutritionist to avoid deficiencies.

Can a ketogenic diet help with ulcerative colitis?

The ketogenic diet is high in fat and very low in carbohydrates, which may lead to improvement in some colitis patients. However, it is not suitable for everyone as it can lead to worsening of symptoms. Careful monitoring and professional advice are crucial to determine whether this diet is beneficial.

Reference Links

Here are five reputable sources that provide useful information and recommendations on nutrition for ulcerative colitis:

  • IBD Compass – Provides comprehensive information on nutrition for ulcerative colitis and tips on food selection.
  • Apotheken Umschau – Explains how certain foods can affect the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • – Presents various nutritional approaches during the remission phase of ulcerative colitis.
  • Living with IBD – Provides insights into nutrition during a flare-up and gives useful nutritional tips.
  • kanyo® – Discusses the importance of a balanced diet and the role of protein for colitis patients.
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