10 Foods to Eat During an Ulcerative Colitis Flare

by Ella

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the colon and rectum. During a flare-up of UC, symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and fatigue can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. While medications are often the primary treatment for UC, dietary modifications can also play a crucial role in managing symptoms and promoting healing during flare-ups.

In this article, we will explore ten foods that can help alleviate symptoms and support healing during an ulcerative colitis flare.


10 Foods to Eat During an Ulcerative Colitis Flare

1. Bananas

Bananas are a gentle, easily digestible fruit that can provide relief during a UC flare. They are rich in potassium, which helps maintain electrolyte balance and may help reduce diarrhea. The soluble fiber in bananas can also help bulk up stools and alleviate diarrhea, while their natural sweetness makes them a satisfying snack for individuals with UC.


2. Cooked Vegetables

During a UC flare, raw vegetables can be hard to digest and may exacerbate symptoms. Opting for cooked vegetables instead can provide essential nutrients while being easier on the digestive system. Steamed or boiled vegetables such as carrots, squash, spinach, and green beans can provide vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without causing irritation.


3. White Rice

White rice is a bland, low-fiber carbohydrate that can be soothing for the inflamed intestines during a UC flare. It is easy to digest and can help absorb excess fluid in the colon, potentially reducing diarrhea. Pairing white rice with well-cooked lean protein sources such as chicken or tofu can provide a balanced meal that is gentle on the digestive system.


4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a nutritious and comforting option for individuals experiencing a UC flare. It is high in soluble fiber, which can help regulate bowel movements and reduce diarrhea. Choose plain, unflavored oatmeal and cook it with water or lactose-free milk for added nutrients without the risk of exacerbating symptoms.

5. Lean Protein Sources

During a UC flare, it is essential to prioritize easily digestible sources of protein to support healing and prevent malnutrition. Lean protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu are less likely to irritate the digestive system compared to fatty or heavily seasoned meats. Including these protein sources in meals can help maintain muscle mass and energy levels during flare-ups.

6. Nut Butter

Nut butter, such as almond or peanut butter, can provide a concentrated source of energy and essential nutrients during a UC flare. Spread nut butter on toast or crackers for a satisfying snack or add it to smoothies for extra protein and healthy fats. Be mindful of choosing natural nut butters without added sugars or hydrogenated oils to minimize potential irritants.

7. Yogurt

Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt can help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and support digestive health during a UC flare. Opt for plain, unsweetened yogurt with live active cultures to reap the most benefits. Yogurt can be enjoyed on its own, blended into smoothies, or used as a topping for oatmeal or cooked fruits.

8. Applesauce

Applesauce is a soothing and easily digestible fruit option for individuals with UC. It is low in fiber and gentle on the digestive system, making it an ideal choice during flare-ups. Enjoy applesauce on its own or use it as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, or rice cakes for added flavor and nutrition.

9. Herbal Teas

Staying hydrated is essential during a UC flare, but certain beverages like coffee and caffeinated teas can irritate the digestive tract. Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, or ginger tea, can provide hydration and soothing relief without exacerbating symptoms. Sip on herbal teas throughout the day to stay hydrated and promote digestive comfort.

10. Smoothies

Smoothies can be a convenient and nutritious option for individuals with UC during flare-ups. Blend together ingredients like bananas, yogurt, nut butter, spinach, and berries for a balanced meal or snack that is gentle on the digestive system. Customize smoothies based on personal preferences and tolerances, avoiding ingredients that may trigger symptoms.

See Also: Top 10 Vegetables That Can Cause Inflammation


While diet alone cannot cure ulcerative colitis, making mindful food choices can help alleviate symptoms and support healing during flare-ups. Incorporating nutrient-rich foods like bananas, cooked vegetables, white rice, oatmeal, lean protein sources, nut butter, yogurt, applesauce, herbal teas, and smoothies can provide essential nutrients while minimizing digestive discomfort.

It is essential for individuals with UC to work closely with their healthcare providers and registered dietitians to develop a personalized dietary plan that meets their nutritional needs and supports their overall health and well-being. By making informed dietary choices and listeningto their bodies, individuals with UC can better manage symptoms and improve their quality of life.



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