Is hemp protein good for Ulcerative Colitis?: The easily digestible superfood!
If you’ve come to this post, you must be wondering, “Is hemp protein good for Ulcerative Colitis?”. Hemp protein would be an excellent choice to add to your diet if you have Ulcerative Colitis because of its many nutritional benefits.
Ulcerative Colitis is one of the many different inflammatory bowel diseases. Ulcerative Colitis specifically is when the lining of the large intestine (colon), the rectum, and/or both become inflamed.
Hemp protein found in the hemp seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp seeds (and hearts) have a tasty, nutty flavor and can be added to many foods.
In this article, we’ll go over everything that you need to know about how and why you should incorporate hemp protein into your diet if you have Ulcerative Colitis.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
You may have heard the term Ulcerative Colitis before, but you’re not exactly sure what it is. Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the colon, the rectum, or sometimes both.
This disease happens when the lining of your large intestine (your colon), rectum, or both become inflamed. When the colon or rectum becomes inflamed, sores are produced (called ulcers). These ulcers can cause increased bowel movements, stomach pain, and other symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?
There are many different symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis and it can vary from person to person. The most common symptoms of this inflammatory bowel disease are:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloody stools
- Weight loss
Other symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis can include:
- Joint pain and swelling
- Decreased appetite
- Skins problems
- Mouth sores
What is Hemp Protein?
Hemp protein comes from the hemp seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant. They have a soft, chewy center that are sometimes called hemp hearts. These small brown seeds are powerhouses of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Hemp hearts can be eaten just as they are by the handful or you can incorporate them into your favorite foods. They have a nutty, buttery taste that many foods including smoothies, soups, and even desserts could benefit from.
Is Hemp Protein Good for Ulcerative Colitis?
Adding hemp protein to your diet if you have Ulcerative Colitis would be a great way to add a nutritious and delicious source of nutrients. Hemp protein contains multiple nutrients that can help soothing the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis including:
- Omega-6 – helps to fight inflammation
- Omega 3 – helps to fight inflammation
- Fiber – aids in digestion and bulking up stool
- Protein – aids in repairing damaged tissues
What Does a Colitis Attack Feel Like?
A colitis attack or flare-up is anytime the colitis is active, meaning that you’re showing symptoms. This can happen at any moment so it can be important to know what it feels like and looks like.
A colitis attack can feel uncomfortable or even painful, due to the inflammation that it causes. When you’re experiencing an attack, you may have abdominal cramps, a fever, diarrhea, or the inability to pass a bowel movement even if you feel the need.
How do You Calm a Colitis Flare-up?
Calming a colitis flare-up can look different for everyone, so make sure to talk with your doctor about what is best for you to do. However, there are some easy things to do to make sure that you are doing your best to calm a flare-up such as:
- Taking your medication
- Eating a diet that avoids foods that can cause inflammation
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Reducing stress
Can Fasting Help Ulcerative Colitis?
Researchers have found that fasting especially, intermittent fasting, can help Ulcerative Colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. Specifically, they studied three types of intermittent fasting: alternate day fasting (ADF), time-restricted fasting (TRF), and intermittent energy restriction (IER).
The results of this study found that time-restricted fasting and intermittent energy restriction both suppressed inflammatory responses, helped in reversing colitis development, and improved gut barrier integrity. If you are thinking about fasting while you have Ulcerative Colitis, it may be beneficial. Before you start your fast (or change your diet), talk to your doctor so that they can assist you in making the best decision for you.
What Foods are Recommended for Ulcerative Colitis?
Changes in diet is often recommended for people who have Ulcerative Colitis but, there is no specific diet that should be followed. Some of the recommended food for people of have this disease include:
- Low fat foods or foods with healthy fats
- Food rich in Vitamin C (berries, spinach, bell peppers, etc)
- Food full of fiber
Additionally, if you have Ulcerative Colitis, there are foods that you will want to avoid because they can cause an increase in the frequency and severity of flare-ups. Some of the foods to avoid are:
- Processed foods
- High-carb foods
- Sugar alcohol
- Foods containing gluten
Is a Plant-based Diet Recommended for Ulcerative Colitis?
If you have Ulcerative Colitis, a plant-based diet could be very beneficial to getting your Ulcerative colitis under control and into remission. Studies have found that foods high in animal fat and low in fruits and vegetables are associated with an increased risk for inflammatory bowel diseases. As stated above, many of the foods that can cause flare-ups, include foods that you would avoid (or extremely limit) if you are eating a plant-based diet.
The foods that you do want to include in your diet, are foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, like fruits and vegetables. These fruits and vegetables will also give you the fiber that is needed to keep your bowel movements regular.
However, one of the hardest things about a plant-based diet is getting enough protein. Hemp is a powerhouse of nutrients including protein, with 10 grams of protein per serving (2-3 tablespoons). This delicious plant-based protein is easy to incorporate into your diet if you decide that eating a plant-based diet is how you would like to get into remission.
What Vitamins Should I Take with Ulcerative Colitis?
In addition to medications prescribed by your doctor, adding vitamins and supplements may be beneficial. Here are some supplements that you may want to add and why you may want to add them:
- Bromelain – ease symptoms and reduce flare-ups
- Probiotics – restore and maintain the good bacteria in your gut
- Ginseng – reduces inflammation and protects against cellular damage
- Psyllium seed/husk – keep your bowel movements regular
- Tumeric – help to reduce inflammation
What Makes Hemp Protein the Perfect Superfood for Ulcerative Colitis?
There are many reasons that hemp makes the perfect superfood for Ulcerative Colitis. To be a superfood, a food must have an abundance of nutritional value.
First, hemp is full of fiber. Fiber is the nutrient that helps you absorb water from your stool and aids in digestion. Fiber can have a beneficial effect on Ulcerative Colitis by improving the consistency of stool and regularity of bowel movements.
In addition to the fiber, hemp contains healthy fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) that also aid in digestion. These fatty acids are in the perfect ration (1:3) that is needed for the body to function properly. Fatty acids also help to improve heart health, brain health, bone health, and mental health. Omega-6 in particular, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
Lastly, hemp contains 20% of your needed protein in a single serving. That’s more protein per serving than chicken! Protein is essential to the human body because it is needed for skin, muscles, and bones to function properly. Hemp contains all 9 essential amino acids that help to create and repair tissues. This is important for Ulcerative colitis because of the damage inflammation can cause to your colon and rectum.
Hemp Protein for Ulcerative Colitis
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about adding hemp protein to your diet if you have Ulcerative Colitis. Hemp can help aid in digestion, fill you full of needed fiber, and provide you with a healthy dose of plant-based protein.
Hemp protein can be added to any of your favorite foods to give them a new, nuttier flavor, or eaten by the spoonful. Either way, the nutrients that you gain from hemp protein will have you feeling happier and healthier.