According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, colitis is a condition that affects more than 500,000 people in the United States. Of these sufferers, there are a good number of people who wonder if colitis and food juicing could be an effective combination for good health. It can be, if it is done correctly.
Colitis is a condition that’s characterized by chronic inflammation of the large intestinal lining. It can produce ulcers on walls of the intestines and colon. People who suffer from colitis often experience pain, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss. They also often have nutritional deficiencies because their bodies are not properly digesting, and absorbing, food.
Can juicing foods help colitis suffers and promote healing? It can, if the practice is taken up along with eating healthy, whole, plant-based foods.
How to Juice with Colitis
Juicing can help relieve colitis symptoms and promote healing because juices give a person concentrated doses of vitamins and antioxidants. Certain vitamins and antioxidants, like vitamin C and A, prevent free radical damage to the cells, including those in the intestinal lining.
Phyllis Balch, author of the colitis health book, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” suggests that juicing foods may prevent irritation of intestinal ulcers that can cause abdominal cramps and symptoms like diarrhea.
If you’re wondering how to juice with colitis, the first thing you need to keep in mind is that juicing should be a compliment to a diet of whole plant foods. Whole plant foods provide the body with the protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential fats that it needs. Juices do not have these nutrients.
What Do You Juice?
You can, however, turn to fruit and vegetable juices as a supplement for a healthy colitis diet. When juicing with colitis, it’s best to opt for antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, and dark, leafy green vegetables. These foods are not typically irritating and they’re packed with healthy compounds that encourage healing.
Strawberries are another great fruit to juice. They’re filled with vitamin K, which can help reduce ulcer bleeding. It’s good practice to include kale or Swiss chard with your fruit juices because these greens are rich in calcium. People with colitis typically have a limited ability to absorb calcium through the intestinal walls, so providing the body with calcium-rich juices is helpful.
As you experiment with juicing, you may want to keep a food journal so you can document how you feel after drinking each juice. You never want to be hungry. Drinking juices instead of meals on a regular basis will not lead to healing; it will only lead you to more problems.