Posted 5/23/2008 3:21 AM (GMT -6)
Love reading what everyone has added here!
I think it's important to find out what foods increase inflammation, and avoid those. Sugar is definitely one of those foods! (Even if you don't get obvious symptoms from eating it). I am trying to cut out all sugar at the moment (except vegetable sugar), and it is VERY difficult! But I have done it in the past, and after a few weeks, your body doesn't even crave it anymore. Seriously!
A diet that REALLY helped me in the past - I was able to stay in remission without drugs - (and I conducted much research before choosing it) was:
* vegetable soup (and see Ingrid's post above about keeping nutrients in)
made of all organic - carrots, onion, celery and celery leaves, yellow or red potatoes, a bay leaf, sea salt, and possibly cabbage or leeks (if they don't irritate you... cabbage can cause gas in some people).
* Fish: Fresh Alaskan halibut or salmon (salmon does increase histimine, but it has been shown to be helpful for crohn's patients). I also supplement with fish oil. There are probably other types of fish that would work well for people with crohn's, but these are the two kinds I have stuck with.
*organic basmati white rice (My N.D. told me rice is a no-no for crohn's, but that has never been my experience. One thing he may not be aware of that may irritate people is the cornstarch they often coat rice with, like CalRose brand rice). I suggest making sure it's just plain, organic rice. It's my staple!!!
Unfortunately, there is a a world-wide shortage or rice, but you should still be able to find organic long grain or short grain rice at the health-food store.
*water and pure herbal tea (note, some teas can be harsh too. I like licorice tea and marshmallow tea-- yes, this is a "mucilage" herb, and it soothes the intestinal lining)!
I stuck to those foods (and mashed potatoes with carrots and yams) for a few months, then gradually added more foods on. As your body heals, it can tolerate more. BUT, I highly recommend that foods with gluten (wheat/spelt/rye, even oats) and any foods you are very allergic to be avoided, forever! Remember, you don't want to eat anything that can cause an inflammatory response in your body, or irritate the intestinal lining. Dairy is a big issue for me, but there are many w/Crohn's who can tolerate it. Red meat bothers many w/Crohn's (it's under the inflammatory category), but I eat it, especially lamb, on occasion to get some iron. An even better suggestion is making soup with meat or poultry bones. I definitely advocate organic, because it means a lot less junk in your already overwhelmed system. The idea is to eat basic/ simplify your diet!
And, research foods (and herbs and supplements) that have an anti-inflammatory effect! Changing your diet is a lot of work, and it can be especially difficult when trying to eat with friends/family/co-workers, but even so, I find that it is SOOOO worth it! It's about taking care of yourself, and on a deeper level, about taking things in your hands (not just relying on some miracle drug(s) or supplements- that doesn't exist yet)! For me at least, I feel that the diet is a small price to pay, for better healthier living!
Hope this helps, and that you heal soon!