How diet and supplements can support ulcerative colitis

Living with ulcerative colitis can be challenging but, with the right approach to nutrition, you can alleviate symptoms, promote gut health, and enhance overall well-being. As a nutritionist specialising in digestive health and ulcerative colitis, I am here to guide you through the powerful role of diet and supplements in managing this condition. In this article, we'll explore how specific dietary choices and targeted supplements can support symptom relief, reduce inflammation, and improve your quality of life.


Understanding the ulcerative colitis diet

Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet tailored to ulcerative colitis is crucial for managing symptoms and helping you stay in remission for as long as possible. While triggers can vary from person to person, there are some general principles that can guide your dietary choices.

Focusing on incorporating the following key elements into your diet can help: 

Anti-inflammatory foods

Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. fatty fish, flaxseeds) and antioxidants (e.g. colourful fruits and vegetables) to reduce inflammation and support gut healing.

Fibre and gut health

Choose fibre-rich sources such as oats, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables to provide the fuel that your gut microbiome requires to promote anti-inflammatory chemicals and support gut healing.

Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates

Eating refined and/or sugary carbohydrates contributes to inflammation. This includes foods like chocolate, ice cream, crisps, and many fizzy drinks. Refined carbohydrates have had most of their fibre removed – the very fibre you need to feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Researchers suggest that the refined carbohydrates in the modern diet may encourage the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria.

Working with a nutrition professional can help you develop a personalised meal plan to reduce foods that promote inflammation and help you eat foods that help lower inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.

Targeted supplements for ulcerative colitis

Supplements can play a crucial role in managing ulcerative colitis. However, it's essential to get expert advice about which supplements to take, how much, and for how long before starting any supplementation regimen. Here are some supplements that may benefit you:


Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, can help restore a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation, and there are specific products that are well-researched that may be able to help you. 

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 supplements, particularly those rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have shown promise in reducing inflammation and improving symptoms. Testing can be arranged to assess how much omega-3 fatty acids to take.

Vitamin D

Many people with ulcerative colitis have lower levels of vitamin D. Supplementation may be necessary to maintain optimal levels, as vitamin D plays a crucial role in immune function and gut health.

Lifestyle factors and mindful eating

In addition to diet and supplements, lifestyle factors can greatly impact ulcerative colitis management. Stress reduction techniques, regular exercise, and adequate sleep contribute to overall well-being and can positively influence symptom severity. Furthermore, practising mindful eating, such as chewing slowly and savouring each bite, can enhance digestion and promote a healthier relationship with food.

By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, incorporating targeted supplements, and addressing any factors contributing to your stress levels, you can actively manage your condition and improve your quality of life.

However, it's important to remember that everyone's journey with ulcerative colitis is unique. Personalised guidance and support from a healthcare professional can provide effective solutions tailored to your specific needs.

To find out more about how I can support you, book your complimentary call today.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW15 & W1H
Written by Melody Mackeown, mBANT, CNHC, BSEM | Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach
London SW15 & W1H

Melody is a Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach, with over 15 years expertise in helping people fix their gut issues and provide them with effective solutions. I specialise in a number of conditions, including: Reflux (GERD), Gastritis, Microbiome imbalances, Multiple food reactions, SIBO, and Ulcerative Colits and Crohn's Disease.

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