How these high fiber foods could naturally stop Crohn's flare-ups
It's been a few years since researchers published findings that eating broccoli and plantains could be good medicine for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. But how many doctors have recommended the food as a dietary approach to quell symptoms of irritable bowel disease (IBD)? Much has been published about the role of diet for treating IBD, but sometimes the important of eating specific foods gets lost in the shuffle, so to speak.
What does fiber do for the gut to help IBD?
Fiber is suggested as an important dietary intervention for anyone dealing with Crohn's disease. Not only does fiber add bulk to the diet to help keep stool (bowel movements) formed, but it also can prevent constipation.
But as anyone with Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) knows, not all fiber is created equal. Sometimes fiber causes pain, bloating and is just intolerable.
Researchers published findings in the British Medical Journal in 2010 that fiber in broccoli and plantains can stop relapses of Crohn's disease. The fibers halt translocation of gut bacteria known as E. coli that typically invades cells in the intestines to lead to Crohn's disease symptoms.
When they tested apples and leeks, the fibers had no impact on the bacteria, which helps explain why not all fibrous foods are beneficial for people suffering from IBD.
The research was performed in the lab on cell cultures and the amount of broccoli and plantain fiber used was 5 mg/ml. The food stopped translocation of E. coli by 45 to 82 percent.
The researchers then confirmed their findings by taking tissue samples from patients undergoing surgery for other disorders of the intestines.
Another interesting finding from the study was that the emulsifiers polysorbate 60 and 80 increased the movement of E.coli into cells. The authors suggested many enteral nutritional products that are liquid and consumed either by mouth or given through a tube contain the emulsifiers which could explain why only some people with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis respond to liquid feedings.
Plantain and broccoli could be a helpful addition for treating Crohn's disease, based on the study finding. The authors of the investigation hope to develop other food based therapies for helping people diagnosed with IBD.