During flares of your Crohn’s disease, you may not be able to eat much healthy food. That means your body won’t be getting enough healthy nutrition. When you don’t get enough of certain vitamins and minerals, your doctor might say you have a deficiency. Supplements can help. And your doctor can tell you which ones you need, based on how Crohn’s affects your body and which drugs you take.
Crohn’s and Your Body
Your condition can make you feel sick and tired because you can’t eat the right foods. It may affect how your medication works, too, and it can stop kids from growing normally.
You may not get enough nutrients because:
Your gut is inflamed or damaged. It’s hard to absorb carbohydrates, fats, water, and vitamins and minerals. Surgery for Crohn’s can also cause this problem if too much of your small intestine is removed.
You don’t want to eat. This can happen because of pain, diarrhea, anxiety, and changes in taste.
You take prescription medication for Crohn’s. Some drugs make it harder to absorb nutrients.
You’re bleeding inside your body. The damage to your intestines can cause blood loss over time. This could lower your iron levels and lead to anemia.
Nutrients You May Miss
With Crohn’s, you’re more likely to have lower levels of:
1. Vitamin B12
If you have inflammation or have had surgery in the lower part of your small intestine, you may not absorb enough of this. Your doctor may prescribe shots or pills.
Food sources of vitamin B12
- Beef: Beef liver, ground beef, top sirloin
- Dairy: Cheese, low-fat milk, yogurt,
- Fish and seafood: Clams, haddock, salmon, trout, tuna
- Poultry: Chicken
2. Folic Acid
Some Crohn’s drugs, like methotrexate and sulfasalazine, lower your body’s levels of folic acid. Your doctor may have you take a folate supplement.
Food sources of folate and folic acid:
- Beef: Beef liver, ground beef
- Fish and seafood: Dungeness crab, halibut
- Fruit: Banana, cantaloupe, papaya
- Poultry: Chicken
- Veggies: Asparagus, avocado, black-eyed peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green peas, kidney beans, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens
Steroids for Crohn’s disease can weaken your bones. If your body can’t digest milk or milk products, you’re even more likely to be short on calcium. Your doctor may tell you to take supplements to keep your bones strong and prevent other problems.
Food sources of calcium:
- Dairy: Cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream, milk, sour cream, yogurt
- Fish: Salmon, sardines
- Veggies: Bok choy, broccoli, kale, turnip greens
4. Vitamin D
It helps your body absorb calcium for strong bones, but people with Crohn’s disease often don’t have enough. Your doctor may tell you to take a daily supplement.
Food sources of vitamin D:
- Cereal: Vitamin D fortified
- Dairy: Milk (nonfat, reduced-fat and whole — vitamin D fortified), Swiss cheese
- Fish: salmon, sardines, swordfish, tuna
- Meat: Liver
- Orange juice: Vitamin D fortified
5. Vitamins A, E, and K
Surgery on your intestines can make it hard for your body to absorb fats. That lowers your levels of these vitamins.
Food sources of vitamin A
- Fruit: Apricots, cantaloupe, mangos
- Fish and poultry: Chicken, herring, Sockeye salmon, tuna
- Dairy: Ice cream, fat-free or skim milk with vitamin A, ricotta cheese, yogurt
- Veggies: Baked beans, black-eyed peas, carrots, spinach, summer squash, sweet peppers, sweet potatoes
Food sources of vitamin E
- Fruit: Kiwi, mango
- Nuts and nut butter: peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter
- Oils: corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil
- Veggies: broccoli, spinach, tomato
Food sources of vitamin K
- Beef and pork: Ground beef, ham
- Dairy: 2% milk, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese
- Fruit: Blueberries, grapes, pomegranate
- Fish, seafood, and poultry: Chicken breast, chicken liver, shrimp, sockeye salmon
- Veggies: Broccoli, carrots, collards, edamame, figs, kale, okra, spinach, turnip greens
Inflammation from your Crohn’s may keep your body from using iron as well as it should. And blood loss from ulcers may cause you to lose iron. In either case, your doctor may tell you to take iron tablets, liquid, or infusions.
Food sources of iron
- Dairy: Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, milk
- Fish, seafood, and poultry: Chicken, oysters, sardines, turkey
- Fruits: Cantaloupe, raisins
- Nuts: Cashews, pistachios
- Veggies: Broccoli, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans, lentils, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, spinach, tomatoes, white beans
7. Potassium, magnesium, and zinc
Your doctor may suggest a daily supplement to raise your levels.
Food sources of potassium
- Dairy: Cheese, soymilk, yogurt
- Fruits: Apple, apricot, banana, cantaloupe, prunes, raisins
- Beef: Sirloin
- Fish, seafood, and poultry: Chicken, salmon, tuna,
- Oil: Canola, corn, olive
- Veggies: Acorn squash, asparagus broccoli, kidney beans, potato, soybeans, spinach, tomato
Food sources of magnesium
- Dairy: Part-skim mozzarella, soymilk, yogurt
- Fruits: Apple, banana, raisins
- Nuts: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter
- Beef: Ground beef
- Fish, seafood, and poultry: Chicken, halibut, salmon
- Dairy: Milk, yogurt
- Veggies: Avocado, black beans, broccoli, carrots, edamame, kidney beans, potato, spinach
Food sources of zinc
- Beef and pork: Beef chuck roast, pork chop
- Dairy: Cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, low-fat or nonfat milk, Swiss cheese, yogurt
- Fish, seafood, and poultry: crab, dark meat chicken, flounder, lobster, oysters, sole
- Nuts: Almonds, cashews
- Veggies: Baked beans, chickpeas, green peas, kidney beans
Foods or Supplements?
Almost any diet expert will tell you it’s better to get vitamins and minerals from foods than from a pill. But if you have Crohn’s disease, damage to parts of your intestines makes it harder to absorb or get enough of the nutrients you need. Certain healthy foods, like high-fiber nuts and seeds, may trigger symptoms.
Crohn’s — especially when it’s active — can make your body work harder, too. So you may need more calories and nutrients than other people. In these cases, supplements can help fill the gaps.
Work With Your Doctor
Don’t make the supplements decision by yourself. Talk to your doctor first. While they can help you be better nourished, some can affect the way your Crohn’s drugs work or make your symptoms worse.
Your doctor may want to test your levels of iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and other vitamins and minerals. What you need may also depend on where the damage is in your intestines.
Together, you can decide which supplements could help you feel better.
One Nutrition Organic Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is high in antioxidants and may have several benefits for health. These include the treatment of asthma and various skin conditions, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss, and protecting brain health. Early research suggests that taking a specific black seed oil product twice daily for 6 weeks might reduce total cholesterol, “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome.
For over two thousand years the black seed (Nigella sativa) has been traditionally used as a food and in general wellbeing. Known as ‘The Blessed Seed’ it is said
to have a wide number of benefits based on traditional use. Made exclusively from organic Egyptian black seed, preserved in an amber glass bottle.
How to take: Take 1 teaspoon (5ml) as needed. Can be added to drinks, used in salad dressing or drizzled over vegetables. Store in a cool dry place. Once opened, store in the refrigerator. Not recommended for use in frying.
What should we be eating to help us resist the coronavirus?
The COVID-19 pandemic, and our efforts to flatten the curve, present major challenges to people living in Nevada, and the world. Food and nutrition are key issues, as many people are looking for ways to boost their immune systems to fend off and fight the virus. David St-Jules is an assistant professor at the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources who researches how nutrition affects various diseases and medical conditions. He offers the following advice to the public on how diet can, and cannot, help combat COVID-19.
Our current attitudes and beliefs toward healthy eating are largely shaped by nutrition research and marketing designed to address the long-standing epidemics of obesity, and obesity-related chronic diseases in the U.S., not deal with infectious diseases such as COVID-19. When faced with the threat of a currently untreatable, potentially fatal disease, it is common for us to look to diet for a potential cure. However, we must realize that foods and supplements are not drugs, and diet is necessarily limited in what it can achieve. Arguably the best thing that people can do to help combat coronavirus is to follow the evidence-based guidelines for healthy eating designed to provide adequate nutrition, including adequate nutrition to help ensure our immune systems are properly functioning. Here are some clarifications surrounding our efforts to fend off COVID-19 with our food and nutrition choices.
Can I get infected from food?
- Current evidence indicates that the coronavirus is primarily transmitted person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced through coughing and sneezing.
- No evidence supports the transmission of coronavirus from food or food packaging. Although the virus may be transmitted from surfaces and objects through contact with the mouth, nose, and eyes, this is not thought to be the main route of transmission.
Are there specific foods and nutrients that will reduce my risk of infection?
- Yes and No.
- Yes – Nutrients are required in adequate amounts to support our body functions, including those that help our immune system to work properly and help protect us against viruses such as the coronavirus. Nutrient deficiencies can therefore impair our immune system., but there is no evidence that nutrient excess will enhance our immune system.
- No – There is no evidence that specific foods or nutrients prevent viral infections such as COVID-19 in healthy adults who are meeting their daily nutrient needs.
What can people do from a diet perspective to reduce the risk of harm from COVID-19?
- Follow the USDA MyPlate food recommendations. The USDA’s MyPlate is the current nutrition guide designed to provide the required amounts of essential nutrients for healthy adults and children. To prevent nutrient imbalances (deficiency or toxicity), people are advised to consume the recommended balance of food groups and choose a variety of foods within each food group.
- Beware of misleading claims. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have already issued warning letters to numerous companies for claims related to COVID-19 – claims regarding foods, test kits, vaccinations, pills, potions, lotions, and more. People should be wary of unsubstantiated claims related to improving immune function. More information on coronavirus scams, what the Federal Trade Commission is doing about them, and what you can do to avoid falling prey to them be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.
What about supplements?
- By design, dietary and herbal supplements are not required to show that they are safe or effective (that would be drugs), nor are they able to claim the ability to prevent, treat or cure a disease (that would also be drugs). But, supplement manufacturers can craft messages that imply health benefits such as, “boosts immunity,” and consumers often interpret these messages to be hard facts. Such claims are not subject to the standard of significant scientific agreement among experts and are not vetted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- For most adults, a multivitamin/multimineral supplement is unnecessary and unlikely to provide any additional protection in those consuming the balanced, varied diet recommended in MyPlate.
- Beware of costs. Supplements can be very expensive. Unless you are certain of the benefits, this money may be better spent on foods to support a healthy diet.
- Beware of claims. The potential benefits of supplements are often based on basic research, such as cell culture research and animal studies. Often these effects are not substantiated by more in-depth scientific research on humans, and therefore these effects are not known to translate to humans.
- Beware of unintended consequences. Taking a given supplement can have multiple effects on our bodies, including effects with negative consequences. For example, we know that zinc is an important nutrient for immune function, and this could be the basis for an “immune-boosting” claim, encouraging zinc supplements. However, taking too many zinc supplements can reduce the absorption of other nutrients, such as iron, which is also important for immune function. Thus, taking mega-doses of any certain nutrient is not recommended for the general public.
Where are we today?
What we know is that diet is one of the most important factors we can control to improve our health, including our immune systems. Nutrients in food are like fuel for our immune engines, necessary to make them run properly. Putting in excess fuel doesn’t make the engine run better.
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But, it is equally important to recognize: while nutritional science may one day identify specific dietary patterns that will reduce the risk of infection in otherwise healthy, well-nourished adults, the field is relatively young, and we simply aren’t there yet. Just because there is a gap in our understanding does not mean that we should fill it with foods or supplements that have undemonstrated benefits, and uncertain consequences.
For now, we need to focus on what we do know, which is that a balanced, varied diet is the best way to supply the nutritional fuel that our immune engines need. No diet will guarantee protection. Plenty of apparently well-nourished people have already been infected. But, nutrient deficiencies can certainly impair our immunity and increase our risk of infection.
MGO Manuka Honey 100+
Why Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is used as a natural ointment for wounds of all kinds. It has been hailed as a go-to germ fighter in an age of resistance to conventional antibiotics. Proponents also claim that Manuka honey can treat other conditions from acne to sinus issues.
Manuka honey hasn’t been used very long as a traditional remedy. It’s the product of the New Zealand scrub plant that gives it its name. European honey bees introduced it to the area in the early 19th century. When bees pollinate from this plant, their honey is more potent than standard honey bee honey. This is because it has a higher concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO).
What are the benefits of Manuka honey?
When it comes to superfoods, raw honey is associated with health benefits. Manuka isn’t raw honey, but it is specialized. It’s antibacterial and bacterial resistant. This means that bacteria shouldn’t be able to build up a tolerance to its antibacterial effects.
Manuka honey is said to be effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.
Other purported benefits of honey include:
- helping heal cuts and scrapes
- clearing infections
- easing stomach aches
- improving digestion
- boosting the immune system
- providing energy
– 100% New Zealand Pure Manuka Honey
– MGO™ content guaranteed
– Traceability guaranteed from beekeeper to jar
Harvested over 4 short weeks each year, MGO™ Manuka Honey is sustainably sourced from beehives in remote and pristine areas of New Zealand with full traceability from beekeeper to jar.
This delicious, smooth and creamy honey contains a minimum of 100mg of MGO™ per kg and is available in 250g, 500g or 1kg jars.
The unique benefits of Manuka Honey are well documented and are scientifically tested. However, it is important to know that the level of methylglyoxal can vary greatly in Manuka Honey, so you want to be sure you know what you’re getting. That is why at Manuka Health we test and certify our MGO™ Manuka Honey to guarantee the level of methylglyoxal present, as indicated on the label.
Enjoy MGO™ Manuka Honey off the spoon, with food such as toast or drizzled over porridge, or add to a hot drink when you are feeling a little under the weather
Please note Manuka Honey is not suitable for children under 12 months.
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