If you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, protein intake is always important, but it’s particularly important when you have active inflammation.
Your body has increased protein requirements when your disease is active (when you have inflammation in your GI tract)1 and protein is an important component in your body’s ability to heal wounds2.
To help you stay on top of your protein requirements, here are 7 protein-packed snack ideas to try.
If a particular ingredient triggers symptoms for you, try swapping it out for a better tolerated alternative or try adjusting the texture by cooking or pureeing the ingredient. If you're unsure which foods or ingredients trigger your symptoms, consider working with an IBD dietitian to come up with a personalized nutrition plan that fits with your lifestyle and preferences.
1. Hard boiled eggs
Each large egg contains about 6g of protein. Hard Boiled eggs are a great way to add a protein-rich snack to your day. Top with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Tuna fish and crackers
Canned tuna with salt and pepper on crackers is an easy and protein-packed snack you can add into your routine. Choose a tuna can with the simplest ingredients.
3. Non-fat greek yogurt parfait with raspberries
Mix a cup of non-fat greek yogurt with raspberries and well-tolerated granola.
4. Nut butter or seed butter sandwich with bananas
Choose nut and seed butters with the simplest ingredients you can find (usually just the nuts or seeds themselves). If you can tolerate gluten, toast your favorite bread and spread a tablespoon or two of nut butter on one side. If you’re gluten-intolerant or allergic, opt for a well-tolerated gluten-free bread instead. Top with bananas and enjoy.
5. Smoothie with nonfat plain kefir
Blend together blueberries, spinach, kefir, and water for a protein-filled breakfast or afternoon snack.
6. Energy balls made from oats and nut butter
Combine oats, cashew butter, date syrup and a banana in a mixing bowl and mash until well combined. Portion the mix into 1-inch balls and refrigerate until firm and enjoy throughout the week.
7. Avocado toast with eggs or scrambled tofu
Spread half of a mashed avocado over your favorite piece of toast. Top with an egg, salt and pepper to taste. For a bit more variety, you can swap the egg for scrambled tofu. Simply add tofu to a frying pan over medium heat, mash into a granular texture and serve on top of toast with your choice of seasoning.
- Bischoff SC, Escher J, Hébuterne X, Kłęk S, Krznaric Z, Schneider S, Shamir R, Stardelova K, Wierdsma N, Wiskin AE, Forbes A. ESPEN practical guideline: Clinical Nutrition in inflammatory bowel disease. Clin Nutr. 2020 Mar;39(3):632-653. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2019.11.002. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 32029281.
- Martínez García RM, Fuentes Chacón RM, Lorenzo Mora AM, Ortega Anta RM. La nutrición en la prevención y curación de heridas crónicas. Importancia en la mejora del pie diabético [Nutrition in the prevention and healing of chronic wounds. Importance in improving the diabetic foot]. Nutr Hosp. 2021 Sep 30;38(Spec No2):60-63. Spanish. doi: 10.20960/nh.03800. PMID: 34323091.