Written by: Oriana Bellissimo , April 2023
What is IBD?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an autoimmune, long-term inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD is the general term for people who suffer from Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It is a complex disease that can have a detrimental effect on people's quality of life. It can cause stomach pains, diarrhea, bloody stools, and an increased risk of colorectal cancer in the future. But what causes IBD? In short, we don’t know. Researchers believe that it is likely triggered by a combination of environmental factors and genetic susceptibility. One of the most significant environmental triggers for IBD is believed to be diet. Specifically, diets that are high in fat and low in fiber, including fruits and vegetables, may increase the risk of developing IBD. When an individual with genetic susceptibility consumes this type of diet, their immune system reacts producing an abnormal response which can cause inflammation and damage of their bowel (Yusuf et al., 2022).
1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis and this condition can be diagnosed at any age
-Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
Is Fiber Good For IBD?
People with IBD often avoid certain foods, like spicy foods, raw vegetables, and foods that are high in fiber, even when they're not experiencing symptoms (Bergeron et al., 2018). This is because they believe that these foods can make their IBD worse. This tendency to avoid fiber-rich foods is especially common in individuals with CD. This is often because inflammation in the digestive tract, where fiber is broken down, is a key symptom in CD (Wedlake et al., 2014). However, a diet enriched with fiber can help reduce this inflammation. Additionally, it can help regulate your immune response, restore your gut health, and prevent colorectal cancer (Yusuf et al., 2022). Overall, there has been substantial evidence that supports the role of fiber in managing IBD. It can also enhance general body health.
How to Add Fiber to Your Diet:
- Increase fiber intake gradually while monitoring symptoms
- Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day to prevent constipation and discomfort.
- Choose soluble fibers, such as oats, beans, and fruits like apples and pears
- Cook vegetables to make them easier to digest
- Consider taking a fiber supplement, but only after consulting with a healthcare professional.
Fiber in Remix Snacks:
At Remix, we offer snacks that are rich in dietary fiber. For instance, you’ll be getting 21% of your total fiber needs with BEANIES and 19% with Bean Bark. The fiber in these snacks come from mung beans, which produce less intestinal gas and are associated with fewer symptoms of bloating and satiety (Linlawan et al., 2019).
Bergeron, F., Bouin, M., D'Aoust, L., Lemoyne, M., & Presse, N. (2018). Food avoidance in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: What, when and who?. Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), 37(3), 884–889.
Linlawan, S., Patcharatrakul, T., Somlaw, N., & Gonlachanvit, S. (2019). Effect of Rice, Wheat, and Mung Bean Ingestion on Intestinal Gas Production and Postprandial Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Non-Constipation Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients. Nutrients, 11(9), 2061.
Wedlake, L., Slack, N., Andreyev, H. J., & Whelan, K. (2014). Fiber in the treatment and maintenance of inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Inflammatory bowel diseases, 20(3), 576–586.
Yusuf, K., Saha, S., & Umar, S. (2022). Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber for the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Biomedicines, 10(6), 1242.