Calming Colitis

Colitis is a condition in which the lower bowels or colon are inflamed. Although there are many different types of colitis, ulcerative colitis is by far the most serious. In this condition, the large intestine becomes inflamed and ulcers form in the intestine's mucous membranes. Symptoms include persistent cramping, diarrhea that contains both blood and mucus, hard stools alternating with diarrhea, prolonged and persistent constipation, fever, and physical fatigue.

Colitis can lead to nutritional deficiencies because an inflamed colon is unable to absorb water and nutrients effectively. Nausea, poor appetite, and anemia caused by internal bleeding can also aggravate nutritional deficiencies. The emotional stress that often accompanies the disorder can drain the body of nutrients.

Researchers believe colitis is an autoimmune disease that is partially triggered by a poor diet low in fiber and high in sugar and processed foods. Allergic reactions may also cause some types of ulcerative colitis. Some with the disease are sensitive to salicylate, the active ingredient in aspirin and cow's milk, and products containing gluten and/or yeast.

Incorporate the following ingredients into your juices to help alleviate colitis.

  • Essential fatty acids help ease inflammation. You can find them in flaxseed and hemp oil.

  • Vitamin E helps minimize the chances of internal scarring. Find it in watercress, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, and carrots.

  • B vitamin deficiencies almost always exist in colitis patients, so make sure to boost your intake with turnip greens, bell peppers, prunes, wheat bran, peanuts, brewer's yeast, citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, strawberries, and cruciferous veggies.

  • Magnesium helps prevent muscle spasms and weakness. Find it in carrots, beets with greens, lemons, celery, and broccoli.

  • Bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapple, can help restore normal digestion.

  • Papain, a digestive enzyme found in papaya, can help ease colitis.

  • Aloe vera can promote healthy functioning of the colon. Add 1 tablespoon to your favorite juice daily.

  • Stinging nettle will reduce inflammation in a couple of weeks. Add 2 tablespoons of stinging nettle in juice or water 5 minutes before mealtime.

  • Silica will strengthen connective tissue in the intestines and reduce inflammation. Open the contents of 2–4 capsules of spring horsetail into your favorite juices.

  • Hops, used to flavor beer, can also sooth and calm the nerves in your intestines and help promote sleep. Soak 2–3 tablespoons of whole hops in 1 cup of cold water or juice and sip throughout the day.

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