8 IBD Foods for Malnutrition

Many patients with inflammatory bowel diseases; Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, are prone to protein-calorie malnutrition and nutrient/mineral deficiencies. Most of the time this is due to malabsorption  – when you’re not able to properly absorb vitamins, sugar, fat, and protein from food. It’s mostly because we’re so busy pooping it out our gastrointestinal tracts causing excessive nutrient secretion.

For you I’ve compiled a list of food that provides our bodies with proper nutrients. So if we are feeling deprived of essential vitamins, sugars, proteins, etc it’s because WE ARE deprived of those things. These are some of the things we can add. And what do you know? These foods are also paleo. You don’t see Cheez-Its and Pepsi on the list for a reason.

I miss Cheez-It.


IBD paleo food for malnutrition

Okay, ready!?


Organ meat is incredibly nutrient dense packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to function at best. Choline, zinc, and other B vitamins are something our body does not produce enough of on our own. Liver is a perfect way to get the most nutrients and protein in a small amount of food.


This basically turns your gut into Wolverine except instead of turning into metal it heals correctly. The gelatin from the bones does wonders for gut health. It’s also a great base for the beginning of other soups, stews, and any meal! Here’s my recipe.


Those Omega 3s are crucial in your diet. Admittedly I don’t eat enough fish, but when I do it’s always salmon. Lacking omega-3 fatty acids (like in salmon) may be blamed for chronic inflammatory disease and silly brain functioning.  It’s actually the over-consumption of omega-6 (like in nuts) and not enough consumption of omega-3 that makes everything screwed up. A balanced ratio of both fatty acids is important.

Incorporating 8-10 ounces wild salmon once a week is a great idea.


Can you say sustainability? The ocean is so freakin’ huge it’s ridiculous. It’s a great resource for food. Nutritionally, seaweed is packed with iodine which helps thyroid function and metabolism. Iodine is a totally underrepresented mineral. Go all hipster and eat it before everyone makes iodine mainstream.

But seaweed? “Ew! It’s salty,” some may say. No. Just…no. Have you tried it? It’s so versatile. Check out all the recipes you can make with kelp by Ocean Approved.


These little nature’s candies are a perfect snack that contains a lot of benefits. Raw blueberries are mostly known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have even proven that blueberries improve memory and blood pressure. For little guys, they sure pack a punch of nutrients.


But Laura, what about cholesterol? Don’t worry, it doesn’t raise the ‘bad cholesterol’. Fat is fuel! I used to think egg whites were better than yolks because they had some protein but not all the ‘bad stuff’ like fat. WOW. My ignorant days. 😉 The more I learned the more I realized if I’m ONLY going to eat the egg white there is no reason for me to be eating the egg at all. ALL the nutrients my body needs are in the yolk. It’s like eating the kiwi skin and then throwing away the kiwi. That’s the best part!!! Who even likes kiwi skin? Okay, I digress.. Eat your yolks.


Of course this is weird to be on the list. But it’s an Italian’s favorite ingredient! Not only does it spruce up the taste in any dish but it’s great for you in small amounts. Garlic can help boost your immune system AND help improve iron metabolism. Autoimmune diseases love weak immune systems so ours needs to be extra strong. And if you’re pooping blood during a flare you could develop anemia and an iron deficiency. I’m not saying garlic directly helps this issue, but this is how it’s related. 😉 Garlic also plays a positive role in your ‘good cholesterol’ levels. Add that to your egg yolks!


OH MY GOD PLEASE DRINK WATER. Dad, if you’re reading this go drink water now!! 71% of the Earth’s surface is water. HELLOOOO. If we didn’t need water this badly we’d all be on Mars.

When we drink water our body uses it as a lubricant to keep everything moving along nicely. It also removes toxins from our body. Water acts as a vehicle for all the nutrients our body needs, carrying it around to everywhere it needs to go!

Our colon uses water from the food in our digestive system. So if you’ve got diarrhea you’re losing all that valuable water and become dehydrated. If you’re constipated (lol, I wish!) it means your body doesn’t have enough water so your colon is all like, “um, I have no liquid to take from this waste…I guess I’ll turn everything rock hard so you have a huge poop baby belly for 3 days”. But it’s not Mr. Colon’s fault! Lots of water helps the colon take just enough to form perfect poo and keep everything moving along nicely.


*Disclaimer: If you couldn't tell, I am not a medical professional nor is this information intended to replace that of a medical professional. If you're seriously malnourished these are suggestions to learn about how food works with your body. In no way is this to cure your Crohns or ulcerative colitis. Although I have maintained symptoms through diet and lifetsyle, it's important to foster a relationship with your gastro doc and/or a nutritional doc.

8 thoughts on “8 IBD Foods for Malnutrition

    1. mangiapaleo Post author

      You just made my night. That was great to hear. Thank you for sharing. It makes me so happy that you were inspired to take your health into your own hands through diet and nutrition. You go girl!!

      Best to you,

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