A man in a kitchen next to a banana holds a hand to his stomach as it is on fire and a little firefighter sprays water at the flames.

What To Eat During an IBD Flare

The other day I had a vexing Crohn's episode. Countless trips to the bathroom. Abdominal pain. Nausea. Exhaustion. While I’ve since improved, the episode got me thinking about the best foods to eat while experiencing gastrointestinal distress. Below are a few choices that work great for me during an IBD flare.

Flare foods that work for me

Baked potato

A baked potato is probably one of the best foods for IBD patients to eat when ill. First off, a potato is a soft, easily tolerated starchy vegetable. Second, the carbohydrates in a potato provide energy, yet because a potato is a whole food, it's generally considered healthier than other starches. Third, a baked potato is a good source of vitamin C, B6, iron, and other nutrients. One thing to note: If possible, have the potato dry, as toppings like butter or sour cream can be irritants.


Bananas are soft, nutritious, and generally easy to digest fruits. They are not very acidic or sweet like other fruits. Another advantage of bananas is they are whole foods, which are generally considered healthier than sugary snacks or processed foods. Finally, bananas are high in electrolytes and potassium, which can provide energy and help get your digestive tract back on track.

Boiled eggs

In addition to the potato and banana, I often have boiled eggs when ill. I prefer to boil them because frying them in butter or olive oil can further exacerbate my symptoms. As for hydrogenated oils, these can be even more problematic for a sensitive digestive tract. I also solely season them with pepper. The reason for that is, according to David Klein, author of "Self Healing Colitis & Crohn's," salt is a toxin that negatively impacts your health. Eggs are also a great choice because they have many important nutrients. They're high in vitamins, high in protein, and contain antioxidants and all essential amino acids.

Other IBD flare foods and drinks

There are other foods I turn to when in a flare such as white rice, organic apple sauce, and bone broth. That said, the above three items – baked potato, bananas, and boiled eggs – are my absolute favorites. They are the healthiest items I’ve been able to find that also soothe the digestive tract. I generally stick to these foods for a day or 2, and if I start to improve become more adventurous.

In terms of drink, I frequently imbibe green tea when ill, since it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been said to aid in digestion.

What do you consume while recovering from a flare? Does it generally improve your symptoms? Would you consider trying any of the items mentioned above? Why or why not? Thanks for reading. I look forward to your comments below.

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