Consuming the wrong foods while your colon is inflamed or healing can cause bloating, gas and diarrhea. Various types of colitis, or inflammation of the colon, will require you to eat mild, easily digestible foods until your symptoms improve. Your physician can put you on a diet plan to help heal your colon.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you are experiencing diarrhea, as it may lead to dehydration. Consume water throughout the day as a mild way to stay hydrated. Enjoying a sports drink may also be beneficial. These drinks contain electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, and will also help keep you hydrated, according to MayoClinic.com. As a way to avoid consuming too many calories, mix one part of your favorite sports drink with one part of water. Avoid fatty, caffeinated or sugary drinks, which may aggravate your colon. Avoid milk, coffee, tea or soda to limit stress on your digestive tract.
Probiotics and Dairy Foods
The National Institutes of Health suggests that consuming probiotics may help heal your intestine and prevent diarrhea. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut. You can get probiotics by consuming yogurt and hard cheeses. Choose dairy foods that are low in fat and easier for your body to digest. Enjoy skim milk and low-fat cottage cheese, in addition to yogurt and hard cheese. These easy-to-digest dairy foods are also low in lactose, which is a form of milk sugar that is hard on your digestive tract.
Whole grains contain insoluble fiber, which moves food through your body quickly and creates fecal bulk. Consuming too much may cause diarrhea. Refined grain foods do not have much insoluble fiber and may be easier on your colon. Purchase white bread instead of wheat bread until your symptoms improve. You can also have white pasta or rice. Add soluble-fiber foods to your diet. The National Institute of Health reports that soluble fiber absorbs excess fluid and acts like a sponge in your intestines, which can help decrease symptoms of diarrhea. Foods high in soluble fiber include barley, peeled fruits and oats.
Soft or Processed Produce
Fruits and vegetables are full of beneficial insoluble fiber and nutrients, but may be difficult for your body to digest if you are having problems with your colon. If you need to follow a mild diet for awhile, you may want to add in small amounts of processed fruits and vegetables to offer yourself something different to eat. Steaming vegetables is a way of processing that breaks down the insoluble fiber and makes them easier for your body to digest. Broccoli, spinach and carrots are all delicious steamed.
Canned vegetables are stored in an acidic base to make them last for extended periods of time on the shelf. The acid also breaks down the insoluble fibers in the vegetables. Canned green beans are easier for your body to digest than fresh ones, since the insoluble fiber content is diminished. Enjoy canned fruits, which are stored the same way as the canned vegetables. Canned peaches, pears or applesauce are more gentle on your digestive tract than fresh fruit. Bananas are mild enough for you to consume raw, and may help soothe your colon.