Crohn’s disease, along with a similar condition called ulcerative colitis, together make up the disease category of inflammatory bowel disease. Approximately 1.6 million Americans have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases, with each year another 70,000 cases in the U.S. getting the news of this digestive complaint. Newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease patients – as well as those facing this disease for a long time – often wonder if food choices can help mitigate the ongoing GI upset of Crohn’s disease.
A Mediterranean diet offers one scientifically-tested option for improved health of those with Crohn’s disease. A Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, and skips butter in favor of healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Furthermore, herbs and spices take the place of salt to flavor foods and red meat appears on the menu no more than a few times a month. Fish and poultry can be served at least twice a week.
Recently, 86 patients with Crohn’s disease enrolled in a study to see how this diet could affect their disease. Sticking with a Mediterranean diet made it more likely that patients in this study would enter or stay in remission. This means that a Mediterranean diet improved quality of life and reduced disease activity.
Recommending a Mediterranean diet makes sense, since a large body of research suggests wide-ranging benefits from this style of eating, all the way from preventing heart disease, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s to less diabetes and improved longevity.
However, the mainstay for Crohn’s patients remains disease management through medication. BioPlus provides expert care when it comes to the specialty medications needed for Crohn’s disease management, whether it’s Humira (adalimumab), Remicade (infliximab), Stelara (ustekinumab) or other Crohn’s disease medications.
Papada E, Amerikanou C, Forbes A, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet in Crohn’s disease. Eur J Nutr 2019 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-019-01972-z