15 Recipes That Go Easy on Your IBD

Eating right when you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be a real challenge. For some people with IBD, it's obvious if a food is contributing to the discomfort of the disease, but for others, it's more difficult to tell. To complicate matters more, a food that's just fine today may cause problems tomorrow.

Person chopping vegetables and reading cooking instructions off of an iPad
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There is no one diet that is recommended for every person with IBD. There are times when healthcare providers might recommend certain medical diets, including a restricted fiber diet, a clear liquid diet, or a low residue diet. These diets might be used before or after a test or surgery, or during a flare-up of the disease. In some cases, a diet might be prescribed for a longer period of time, but none of them are typically recommended for use in the long term. This is because one of the goals of the treatment of IBD is to get back to as regular a diet as possible, in order to avoid malnutrition.

Guidelines on Forming a Diet Plan

However, many patients report that advice about diet is difficult to come by, especially when IBD is in remission. Is it OK to eat anything, or should there still be restrictions? That's ultimately a conversation to have with your medical team, but in many cases, diet is going to be a result of trial and error. It's going to be up to you to determine what works best, though your medical team can help you to figure out how to get the vitamins and minerals you need.

There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when planning your diet:

  • High fiber foods may be difficult to digest.
  • Fried foods or foods high in fat may contribute to diarrhea.
  • Dairy products may cause gas and bloating if lactose intolerance is a problem.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables—while a part of a healthful diet—may cause discomfort during a flare-up.
  • Carbonated beverages may contribute to gas and bloating.

There are many recipes developed for people with IBD that may be helpful. Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully—we're all different, and what works for some may not work for all.



Chilled Desserts


Side Dishes


Main Dishes

A Word From Verywell

Diet is a tricky topic in IBD and like many other aspects of this disease, it's different from person to person. Learning what foods work and which don't is an ongoing process. On top of knowing which foods will play well with IBD, nutrition is an important factor to keep in mind. Getting enough vitamins and minerals is vital, which means planning meals so that they have the most nutritional punch. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting a referral to a dietitian who can help make sense of dietary recommendations.

3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Vanhauwaert E, Matthys C, Verdonck L, De Preter V. Low-residue and low-fiber diets in gastrointestinal disease managementAdv Nutr. 2015;6(6):820–827. doi:10.3945/an.115.009688

  2. Ghishan FK, Kiela PR. Vitamins and minerals in inflammatory bowel diseaseGastroenterol Clin North Am. 2017;46(4):797–808. doi:10.1016/j.gtc.2017.08.011

  3. Haskey N, Gibson DL. An examination of diet for the maintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel diseaseNutrients. 2017;9(3):259. doi:10.3390/nu9030259

By Amber J. Tresca
Amber J. Tresca is a freelance writer and speaker who covers digestive conditions, including IBD. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 16.