Fruits and Vegetables Collage

Can regular consumption of fruits and vegetables help to reduce the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease? The results of a study conducted by a team of researchers from China attempts to provide the answer to this question. According to the study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, people eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables are less likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease. 

Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of disorders characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. It comprises two conditions: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. While ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine (colon and rectum), Crohn's disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestines, large intestines, and anus. Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include fatigue, weight loss, severe diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some severe cases, inflammatory bowel disease may cause life-threatening complications, such as fistula, colon cancer, perforated colon, bowel obstruction,and toxic megacolon. Would it suprise you to learn that a decline in inflammatory bowel disease risk is associated with frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables? 

Fruits and vegetables contain a vast array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidant nutrients that help to promote good health and prevent the development of chronic diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Though the exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is yet to be fully understood, impairment of the immune system has been recognized as a key factor playing a vital role in the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease. Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which boost the immune system, thus enhancing an individual's defenses against the development of these inflammatory gut diseases.

According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), approximately 1.6 million people are living with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis in the United States. As many as 70,000 new cases of inflammatory bowel disease are also diagnosed in the United States every year. Making healthy dietary choices can greatly assist individuals wishing to avoid joining the ranks of those living with inflammatory bowel disease. Those desiring to lower their inflammatory bowel disease risk significantly should consider reserving generous portions of their plates for fruits and vegetables. It certainly appears that daily consumption of fruits and vegetables can help to keep inflammatory bowel disease at bay.

Additional Information:

(1) High Fiber Diets Ward off Inflammatory Bowel Disease

(2) Finding Relief for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

(3) Susie's Crohn's Disease in Remission

(4) Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Risk: a Meta-Analysis

(5) Mayo Clinic: Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Symptoms and Causes

(6) Cleveland Clinic: Inflammatory Bowel Disease

(7) Crohn's and Colitis Foundation: Facts About Inflammatory Bowel Disease