While foods do not cause acute colitis, some, such as alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, dried fruits and crunchy nut butters, can aggravate symptoms, indicates WebMD. To avoid flare ups, a diet which limits or eliminates these foods is the best course of action for someone with colitis. Other common irritants are popcorn, meat, refined sugar and spicy foods.
A low-residue or low-fiber diet can be helpful to those with colitis, notes WebMD. Eating 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day often minimizes trips to the restroom by slowing down digestion and decreasing diarrhea. It is important to be flexible, as there is not one diet that works for everyone who has colitis, nor does any one diet always work for the same person.
On a low-residue diet, it is healthy to drink fruit juice with no pulp, consume canned fruits except for pineapple, and avoid prunes, Healthline advises. Although smooth condiments and whipped cream are acceptable, it is useful to avoid spicy dressings and sauces, chunky relish and pickles. A diet for acute colitis can include refined white breads, crackers, pasta and dry cereal that are low in fiber.
Foods with added probiotics and prebiotics aid in better intestinal health, states Healthline. It is critical to drink at least 8 cups of water each day and eat small meals every three or four hours rather than large meals all at once.