If you are a regular reader of The Daily Health then you’ll know that I believe that optimum health begins and ends with your gut… and one of the best ways to maintain a healthy gut is to follow a diet like the Paleo diet – rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and lean animal protein.
Good gut check
The problem with the modern Western diet is that it contains an excess of refined carbohydrates that have been linked to painful conditions associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. And new research confirms that getting to the root cause of the symptoms like abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhoea can mean the difference between chronically suffering with ill health and being free of digestive discomfort… and when it comes to IBD it’s very likely that the food you eat lies at the heart of symptom flare-ups.
In this latest study researchers asked patients with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or an unspecified type of IBD to complete a food diary. At the time, 40 per cent of the participants were actively showing symptoms of an IBD flare-up. It turns out that those participants who suffered with flare ups ate more carbohydrates than those who didn’t.
That makes perfect sense, since IBD is characterised by chronic inflammation… and carbohydrates trigger inflammation.
However, the truth is, it’s really difficult (if not impossible) to eliminate ALL carbohydrates from your diet. So, when it comes to cutting carbohydrates from your diet the first and obvious ones to eliminate are starchy foods and refined carbohydrates like white potatoes, pasta and bread. These are known as “fermentable” carbohydrates – and they’re the same ones that can trigger flare-ups of IBS.
And this is where the Paleo Diet comes into the picture, but it may not be enough because the list of other foods that contain fermentable carbohydrates also includes all dairy, as well as cherries, plums, prunes, mangos, apples, bananas, and avocados. Mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, garlic, onions, beans, lentils, and soybeans all make the list, too.
Looking at this list, you’ll probably notice that some of those foods include “healthy” carbohydrates that form part of the Paleo Diet – unless you’ve got IBD. But it’s also important to remember that not all of these carbohydrates will trigger flare-ups… and what triggers your symptoms, may not trigger someone else’s. So, it’s best to experiment with eliminating some of these to see if you feel better.
And then of course, you can’t go wrong to supplement with a high quality probiotic that contains multiple strains of beneficial bacteria.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
Carbs cause trouble for people with inflammatory bowel disease, livescience.com/59019-food-nutrients-inflammatory-bowel-disease.html