Ischemic colitis

What to Eat with Colitis

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
What to Eat with Colitis

Colitis or Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a common disease which can result in discomfort for most of its patients, who experience symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence or dehydration. Diet is an essential factor in treating colitis. Not only can it help us to recover but it also means we can avoid having to deal with any of its symptoms. For this reason, at OneHowTo we explain what to eat with colitis.

You may also be interested in: What Causes Colitis in Adults

Steps to follow:


There are several types of colitis which vary in causes and duration. However in all cases, aside from regular medication, your diet is critical. The types of colitis include:

  • Ulcerative colitis causes ulcers in the colon and rectum and may also affect the intestines.
  • Infectious colitis is caused an infection and is usually temporary.
  • Amoebic colitis is caused by an amoeba parasitic infection.
  • Colitis cystica profunda causes polyps to appear on the lower part of the colon.
  • Pseudomembranous colitis occurs when the large intestine is infected with clostridium difficile bacteria and it spreads to the colon.
  • Ischemic colitis is due to blockage in a colon artery stopping the area from getting enough oxygen.
  • Idiopathic colitis has no known causes.

To avoid diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence and general discomfort, we have to watch what we eat. As for protein and dairy, for a colitis diet we must:

  • Include lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish and make sure that they are always well-cooked whether they are grilled, oven-cooked, steamed or boiled.
  • Avoid red meat.
  • Avoid sausage meats due to their high fat content.
  • Reduce your dairy intake and if possible cut it out completely. Milk, yogurt, cheese and butter are not recommended if you have colitis. Use plant milk instead (soy, almond or rice).
What to Eat with Colitis - Step 2

It's good to eat vegetables provided they are not flatulent. Vegetables such as carrots, courgettes or potatoes can be included as part of our diet, however avoid:

  • Pulses such as chickpeas, lentils or beans, which increase flatulence and further inflame the lining of the colon.
  • Flatulent vegetables such as onions, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage or garlic.
  • Raw vegetables take longer to digest and therefore cause the symptoms to flare up.
What to Eat with Colitis - Step 3

If you have colitis you can eat carbohydrates but always in simple preparations: white rice, pasta with light sauces, bread, cereal, low-calorie biscuits, etc.

As for fruits, apple, papaya and bananas are great options. You can eat all the fruit you want but it is better to remove the skin, since this is high in fiber and can increase diarrhea.

What to Eat with Colitis - Step 4

For a colitis diet avoid all kinds of dried fruits, nuts, seeds and popcorn. These foods generate flatulence, increase inflammation of the lining of the colon and cause abdominal pain.

It is recommended to cut down on your intake of soft drinks and stimulants like coffee, tea or alcohol. Chocolate is not wise if you have colitis.

What to Eat with Colitis - Step 5

To improve your colitis condition, don't have seasoned foods either, especially spicy ones. Cut junk food, fried and greasy foods out of your diet.

Follow your doctor's advice in case you need to take any specific medication, and follow these recommendations. In this way you can ease your colitis and feel much better.

What to Eat with Colitis - Step 6

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Eat with Colitis, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
I have been suffering from Infectious colitis and is now working into a fifth week of discomfort.
Some sources tell me it could last a few days, weeks or months. I think I'm falling under 'months'.
My question is if I am now in 'months' (maybe weeks instead) and am following my Primary MD advice, how much longer am I staring at?
Is there a true time (maybe ball park it) period for those who are suffering a portion of swollen intestine?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Jerry,

The duration of colitis depends on many factors, such as the underlying cause, any concurrent health conditions, a person's immunity status and many others. While 5 weeks does seem like a long time, it can persist for longer. You will need to speak to your doctor for more information.
One of my cousins had colitis when he was in his 20's. during the 1970's. A doctor my aunt knew told him to consume water, orange juice, noodles and eggs for one year. Don't eat or drink anything else but diet alone won't solve it he said. He also told him to eliminate stress too. This solved his problem.
I never had colitis but I have suffered with horrible stomach discomfort in the past after eating at salad bars and asian buffets so I avoid these restaurants. I like a simple breakfast of two poached eggs OR a few tablespoons of ground nuts with a couple of soaked over night figs or prunes. A hot lunch of a well cooked chicken leg quarter cooked in a crockpot with unsalted chicken broth, OR a Blake's brand frozen turkey or chicken pot pie OR stuffed cabbage or stuffed pepper. Dinner is two cups of warm non fat Fair Life lactose free milk.
Arvela Pipho
How long do I have diverticulitis before Dr. can say whether one has colitis or will I get over the diverticulitis without meds?
joanee Primeau
very helpful, thank you
Charlene Margaret Walters
I need a diet that I can print out for Colitis. What I can eat or not eat.
Dory Yazmer
Thanking you in advance for the list of foods for what I can eat and/or not eat. Greatly appreciate it.
List please
Anne Macro
i have spend 10 day's in hospital as i was diagnosed with Colitis .
is there a special diet i can go on for that problem. i'm over 80 years of age.
many thanks.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Anne

When it comes to changing your diet according to a disease, we always recommend consulting your doctor to make sure it is an appropriate one according to age, gender and health status.
However, some things one can consider including into their to deal with their colitis are lean meats, white rice, white pasta, cooked vegetables without skin/seeds and canned and/or cooked fruit. We recommend avoiding red meats, sausage, dairy, pulses, flatulent vegetable and raw vegetable. Additionally, you should also avoid dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
Linda McConnell
I was diagnosed with Colitis is there a special diet I should follow? I am 74 years old. Thank you.
arline ann weinert
what to eat
1 of 6
What to Eat with Colitis