badslinke, can I follow up with you about the beans?
I was excited reading your post because I love beans and hate the idea of cutting them out. Actually, the thing that drives me most crazy about UC is the idea of NOT eating things that are healthy which I actually love (whole grains, broccoli rabe-- my favorite vegetable!). I'd be happy to cut out junk food, but cutting out those sorts of things just seems wrong.
Do you take Beano or anything to help with the gas? I'd always heard beans have a ton of mostly insoluble fiber. Are black beans esp. good for the butyrate, or will any beans do?
Yes, beans are often misunderstood. They are incredibly good for your colon, and very necessary. It seems contradictory to have UC and eat something like beans though, which are famous for their gas production.
The truth is, once a) your gut has adjusted to the bean fibers, and b) you've made your beans at home, and presoaked the hell out of them to reduce some of that gassiness, then ya, they're great. I can eat a full serving a day without gas or issues. I don't take any Beano or supplements similar to it to control gas. I've had 3 BMs today since 8am, which is unheard of for me, and no gas to speak of except for some during the movements themsevles. My gut feels surprisingly well settled after I eat my beans/rice combo on a daily basis.
Just make sure you go slow with them at first, because the gut does need time to adjust. If you are already accustomed to eating beans, then continuing them should be no problem. The SCD asks you to wait to eat beans until diarrhea itself has ceased, but I started mine in the midst of lots of D and have seen nothing but improvement.
I've looked for research that shows which beans produce the most butyrate and other beneficial fatty acids, but haven't found any clear answers. I do black beans because they seem to settle the best and taste the baste, as far as I'm concerned. That's more personal preference than anything.
I would also like to add the importance of psyllium seed in my treatment program: the difference between taking 1tbsp a day vs 2 is incredible. I will have half as many movements the day after taking 2 tbsp than the day after taking just 1. Psyllium seed is largely soluble fiber, and basically bacteria food.
Black beans are mostly composed of soluble fibers as well (they absorb water). The outer skin is where the insoluble fibers are found, like most fruits and vegetables. Nature does a brilliant job of giving you a good balance of soluble and insoluble in a single item. Lentils and broccoli, for example, are mostly insoluble fibers and ought to be avoided while flaring.