Since Crohn's is a disease of inflammation of the digestive system, I am intrigued by the idea that there may be certain foods that may help keep reduce inflammation. While I don't think there is any magic diet to cure Crohn's, we all can stand to make healthier food choices and consider adding as many healthy foods to our diets as possible. Sometimes the low residue diet can be bland, boring, and frankly too high in carbs to stay on forever.
Some of my strategies for adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet are to cook my veggies more thoroughly to help break down any hard to digest fiber. I try to limit the seedy fruits, and peel off the chewy skins. Speaking of chewing, I am sure that really making a conscious effort to chew food all the way up may help the rest of the digestive system get a bit of a head start.
I found this great article on dlife.com that lists the Top 10 anti-inflammatory foods. Most of them are on my good list, too.
1. Salmon. (I personally recommend to try to find wild salmon as well - super yum)
2. Grass fed beef as opposed to grain fed beef. According to the artcle grass fed beef has more Omega-3s that grain fed. It may require longer cooking, or try the ground beef variety. I am thinking meatloaf for the cold weather.
3. Oil oil. I cook with this pretty much all the time anyway. Great taste and mono-unsaturated.
4. Salads made with dark leaved greens. This one may be hard for some Crohnies so we might want to modify it. I personally like to eat collard greens cooked the southern way. Since they are chopped and cooked for a long time they do not seem to bother my tummy. I bet the ham in there is not real healthy though. Darn it. You could also do greens cooked into an Italian soup like minestrone, light on the beans if they bother you.
5. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Well folks, this is one healthy choice that most Crohnies have a problem with. I personally find I can eat broccoli, but the last time I had Brussels Sprouts I really regretted it. I love them but they made me really crampy and gassy the next day. Scratch those off my list. For broccoli I just make sure to realy steam the heck out of it.
6. Cherries. This one might be hard for people as well. My gastro said to watch out for berries with seeds and skins. To tell you the truth, I am allergic to cherries anyway. One really good way to try to add these types of berries to a diet where you are concerned about too many seeds and skins might be to whiz them up into a smoothie.
7. Blueberries. I love 'em. but again due to the little seeds in them I try to limit it and just eat a handful.
8. Turmeric. I wrote an entire post about turmeric for Crohn's before as it is promoted to have anti-inflammatory properties and also has a mild taste. It's great mixed in with Basmati rice aling with some butter and frozen peas and carrots for an Indian rice side dish.
9. Ginger. Yummy stuff. My mother in law who is Korean swears by ginger tea for an upset stomach. It makes mine worse! But I do love it cooked in foods such as stir fry. You could do a soy ginger salmon dish and get two of these anti-inflammatory foods in one.
10. Garlic - cannot cook without it! Add some of this to the aforementioned salmon in soy ginger and there you go.
11. Green tea. I really love green tea. I find it very relaxing, thirst quenching, and it is the one type of tea I do not feel inclined to add sugar to. (Yes, I admit to a bit of a sugar addiction)
Well, the article that promised 10 Anti-Inflammatory foods delivered 11, so I guess it was a good deal. Buy 10 get one free.
I hope this is informative. I am always struggling to find just the right diet that I feel is healthy, but is also digestable and doesn't make me pay for it later. I think its a bit of trial and error.