Avocados are filled with healthy fat, B vitamins, and vitamin E, Gilbert says. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but they are generally easier to digest than many other sources of fiber because of the soluble fiber.
Cut the fruit lengthwise and twist the two halves apart. Cut into slices and peel off the skin before adding a few slices to white bread or crackers for an easy and satisfying meal.
Fresh Vegetable Juices
Vegetables are an important source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but many raw vegetables have insoluble fiber, which makes them difficult to digest. You can still get most of the nutritional benefits of veggies by making fresh vegetable juice at home, Gilbert says. The tough, indigestible fiber is removed, but the vitamins and minerals remain. Try juicing carrots, beets, apples, leafy greens, and other fresh produce.
Smoothies With Pineapple Juice
Smoothies are another great way to enjoy the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables without consuming the seeds and skins that can be so hard on the digestive system. Avoid strawberries and other fruits with seeds when making smoothies. Choose smooth, fleshy fruits like papaya and bananas. Gilbert recommends adding pineapple juice because of its anti-inflammatory compounds. A study published December 2010 in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found pineapple juice to be beneficial for reducing the severity and incidence of colon inflammation in IBD.
Eggs How You Like Them
When you have inflammation or are recovering from a flare, you may need extra protein. Animal proteins contain amino acids, which are used by the body to perform a number of functions, including cell growth and tissue repair. Gilbert recommends eggs because they’re an easily digested form of protein. Eggs can be prepared in many ways — poached, fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, and more — and unless you’re adding extra ingredients, any of these methods should be easy on your gut. Experiment until you find what you like.
Grilled Chicken Breasts
Another good protein choice is skinless chicken — proteins like red meat are higher in fat and more difficult to digest. When preparing chicken, beware of marinades that may have spices or sugars that are difficult to digest. Portion size is also important. Your body can only digest about 6 ounces of protein at one time, so pay attention to how much you put on your plate.
Calcium deficiency is a common concern for people with Crohn’s disease. To meet the recommended daily value of calcium (about 1,000 mg for adults), aim for three to four servings of calcium-rich foods every day. If you can tolerate dairy, Gilbert recommends live-culture yogurt because it has the added benefit of probiotics, or “good” bacteria, which can aid in the recovery of the intestine.
Baked Pear or Apple Dessert
Sometimes you just want something sweet. Baked pears or apples make a healthy dessert while providing an easier-to-digest source of fiber — when prepared without the skins. Once apples and pears are peeled, the remaining fiber is soluble so it is gentler on your digestive system. Raw fruits can be difficult to digest, Gilbert says, but baking or cooking the fruit makes them softer. Prepared applesauce without sugar is another good option for a snack on the go.