In the past few years we have been spoilt for choice when it comes to food, isn’t it? We can find any cuisine from any part of the world in our particular city. It could be junk food, it could be processed food, it could be a pure indulgence of deserts — the choices are endless! As much as we would like to say that the food and beverage industry all over the world has evolved so much, the plethora of options has led to the rise of a negative side of it as well—the creation of many health conditions concerning our digestion! And in those areas of health conditions concerning digestion or stomach, the problem of inflammation ranks at the topmost position. Humans, irrespective of their age have fallen prey to inflammation. The problem of inflammation has mainly got to do with the food choices and health practices of a particular individual. Let’s understand how IBD anti-inflammatory diet helps in this article does. But first, let us understand what exactly IBD is. Read on.
What is IBD?
Here IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease and this condition is a name that is given to a group of conditions that are the reason for our digestive system to become red, swollen, and even painful – inflamed! There are several types of IBD, but the most common ones are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s condition. For those of you who don’t know, the digestive system inside humans runs from the mouth to the anus. And the way food moves smoothly throughout this digestive system depends on how healthy a digestive system is. Our body is capable of absorbing the nutrients that it requires from the food that we eat, and the rest of the food passes through our body and leaves our body in the form of stool or urine. Now if a person has the problem of IBD, their digestive system will be inflamed. Over time, the information will result in severe pain, bloody stool, and even diarrhea. I’ll be the symptoms known to appear and even disappear in the form of flares. And if a person is suffering from IBD, then the body isn’t capable of absorbing nutrients on its own from the food. This could lead to problems like malnutrition and other health problems such as anemia.
Symptoms of IBD
The symptoms of IBT are in general common to all types of IBD. Some of them include:
- Skin problems
- Severe cramping pain in the abdomen region
- Weight loss, loss of appetite
- Rectal bleeding
- Joint pain
The nature of these symptoms could be ranging from mild to even severe.
What causes IBD?
Studies don’t really tell exactly what causes IBD as they do not know. It is said that it is our bodies in the urine system that generally triggers an IBD. It is also said that those who take antibiotics regularly for women to take birth control pills regularly are more prone to developing the IBD. Also, stress alone cannot be a reason to cause IBD, however, it can worsen their symptoms.
What is the IBD anti-inflammatory diet?
The IBD anti-inflammatory diet is one such diet that was developed to help people who suffer from the IBD connection. Also, the IBD anti-inflammatory diet is not an original diet on its own, it is one of the adaptations of SCD (specific carbohydrate diet). This is one of the diets that has been modified based on the latest research on the human microbiome. Several types of research suggest that patients who suffer from IBD are known to have an imbalance in the gut bacteria and this is what contributes to their inflammation problem. And if you ask what exactly SCD? We would like to say that it is nothing but the elimination of complex carbohydrates from your diet for some time and introducing them back into your diet later on. The whole concept of this is that any change in diet helps to push the microbiome into a composition that will promote the growth of helpful bacteria. The whole purpose of the IBD anti-inflammatory diet is to restore the balance between harmful and helpful bacteria while still promoting the need for good nutrition in our human body. The primary focus of this diet is to add probiotics, prebiotics to the diet, and avoid certain types of carbohydrates to foster the overall appropriate nutrition for the body.
For those who don’t know:
Probiotics are nothing but microorganisms that are found in fermented food items such as sauerkraut and yogurt. These are the microorganisms that are living when we eat them and therefore they help in colonizing the microbiome.
Prebiotics are nothing but fibers that are found in plants that cannot be digested by humans. These fibers feed the existing microorganisms in the digestive system of our body and help them grow beautifully.
Now coming back to the IBD anti-inflammatory diet, it is designed in a manner that it is divided into different faces that can be implemented. In general, there are three phases of this diet.
The IBD-AID and its phases
It is very important to note that one needs to check with the trained dietician or nutritionist to understand which face of the IBD-AID diet should be started and one needs to clarify any further questions regarding the same with the dietician. Now let’s go through the different phases of this diet.
Phase 1: The basics
The first phase of this diet is designed for those who are experiencing any kinds of symptoms retaining diarrhea or flare-up. This face is also applicable for those who experience great frequency in the number of bowel movements and also urgency or pain in their bowel movements or those who have been hospitalized recently. This is that stage of the diet where the infected patient might have zero tolerance towards certain foods. And it is the texture of the food that plays a vital role in intolerance. In this particular face, certain carbohydrates are eliminated including those which are processed and refined complex carbohydrates. Even lactose-containing foods are restricted, certain vegetables and fruits are allowed only if they are soft, or cooked, or even pureed and do not contain any kind of seeds.
Food examples of this phase include Banana, yogurt, avocado soup, baked fish, any kind of soups.
Phase 2: Introduction to more textures and foods
This is the phase of diet where the symptoms might have improved in a significant manner but you might still be experiencing certain different symptoms as well. In this stage, a person infected with IBD is tolerable to some Phiber, however, they might still have some difficulty when it comes to digesting foods that have a high amount of fat or very high fiber content. However, more fibrous foods are added in this phase, it is added in the form of pureed or soft cooked vegetables, lentils, beans. We recommend that you use a food list as a guide during this stage and never forget to drink plenty of water and also boost yourself with probiotic foods even when you’re adding fiber to your diet.
Food examples that can be added in this phase are soft greens like collard greens, baby spinach, butter lettuce; Lean meats that are well cooked, aged cheeses, tomatoes, foods that are baked with IBD – AID friendly bean flour, nut flour, nut kinds of butter, pureed berries that are strained out.
Phase 3: Remission
In this phase, the infected patient feels very strong and also becomes very comfortable eating a great variety of foods. And even the bowel movements are solid and well-controlled. Certain examples of foods that can be added here are stir-fried veggies, meat, citrus fruits, whole beans, shellfish, apples — most of these need to be ideally cooked!
We need to understand that each of us humans is unique in our way and our ability to tolerate foods is different from each other. Therefore there is no particular diet that can help tackle the problem of IBD, however, we will have to add and remove certain foods from the diet to understand our tolerance. And the best way for us to reach our ideal diet to tackle this problem would be to consult a dietician. Personal preferences and also cultural considerations need to be looked at when it comes to treating IBD with a diet.