The foods that you eat can have an impact on the severity of your Crohn’s symptoms. People with Crohn’s identify various foods as triggers or foods that help ease symptoms.
However, both triggers and “power foods” are highly variable. What works for one person might not work for someone else or might even make symptoms worse.
Below are some foods that people with Crohn’s have reported benefits from. By eating one or more of these foods during a flare-up, you may be able to reduce symptoms and lead a more pain-free life.
Live-culture yogurt can be a great food to eat if you have Crohn’s disease. The probiotics in this form of yogurt can help with recovery of the intestine.
You may want to avoid yogurt if you find you have trouble digesting dairy proteins, as this can make Crohn’s-associated diarrhea and gas symptoms worse.
Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and herring may help with some of your Crohn’s symptoms. Certain types of oily fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the aggravation that causes your symptoms to worsen.
A diet containing plenty of fruits and vegetables can help you have fewer symptoms. If raw fruits make your flare-ups worse, try applesauce and bananas. Both are good for you and can fulfill a craving for sweets.
For many people with Crohn’s, carrots can be a great vegetable for getting your fill of nutrients without aggravating symptoms.
During a Crohn’s flare-up, be sure to cook the carrots until they’re soft and tender, as cooked carrots aren’t only easy to digest, but they also contain antioxidants that may help with Crohn’s symptoms.
If you have Crohn’s, you may find it helpful to avoid cereals that are high in fiber, especially whole wheat or whole grain cereals.
However, there are certain cereals with low amounts of fiber that will help you get your nutritional requirements. These include refined cereals, such as Cream of Wheat, and dry cereals, such as Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies.
You may want to skip the high-fiber potato skins, as they’re likely to increase inflammation, but the insides of potatoes can be great to eat during a Crohn’s flare-up.
Like bananas, potatoes are a great source of potassium and can help your body maintain its balance of fluids while you’re managing a flare-up.
You may also want to take vitamin supplements during this time in order to ensure that you’re getting the nutrition you need to reduce inflammation.
Talk with your doctor about your diet, taking vitamins and supplements, and any other questions you might have regarding your Crohn’s symptoms.
Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian for additional help with planning meals.
Discover more resources for living with Crohn's by downloading the free IBD Healthline app. This app provides access to expert-approved information on Crohn's, as well as peer support through one-on-one conversations and live group discussions. Download the app for iPhone or Android.