foods to eat for health pancreas

What is pancreatitis?

The pancreas helps you regulate the way your body processes sugar. It also performs an important function in releasing enzymes and helping you digest food.

When the pancreas is swollen or inflamed, it cannot do its job. This condition is called pancreatitis.

Since the pancreas is closely linked to the digestive process, it is affected by what you choose to eat. In cases of acute pancreatitis, pancreatitis is often caused by gallstones.

But in cases of chronic pancreatitis, where flare-ups recur over time, your diet can play a big role in solving the problem. Researchers are discovering more about the foods you can eat to protect your pancreas and even help heal it.

What to eat if you have pancreatitis
To keep your pancreas healthy, focus on foods that are rich in protein and low in animal fats and antioxidants. Try lean meats, beans, lentils, clear soups, and dairy alternatives (such as flax milk and almond milk). The pancreas won’t have to work as hard to address these problems.

Research suggests that some people with pancreatitis can tolerate up to 30-40% of calories from fat when they come from whole-food plant sources or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Others work better with less fat, such as 50 grams or less per day.

Spinach, berries, cherries, and whole grains can protect your digestive system and fight free radicals that damage your organs.

If you’re craving something sweet, eat fruit instead of added sugars because those with pancreatitis are at high risk of developing diabetes.

Consider cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas, and fruit as snacks. Your pancreas will thank you.
What not to eat if you have pancreatitis
Foods to limit include:

red meat
fried foods
French fries and potato chips
ghee and butter
Full-fat dairy products
Pastries and sweets with added sugars
Drinks with added sugars
If you are trying to combat pancreatitis, avoid trans fatty acids in your diet.

Fried or heavily processed foods, such as french fries and fast food, are some of the worst foods out there. Organic meats, full-fat dairy products, potato chips, and mayonnaise top the list of foods to limit.

Cooked or fried foods may trigger pancreatitis. You will also need to reduce the refined flour found in cakes, pastries, and biscuits. These foods can stress the digestive system by causing insulin levels to rise.

Diet to cure pancreatitis
If you are recovering from acute or chronic pancreatitis, avoid drinking alcohol. If you smoke, you will also need to quit. Focus on a low-fat diet that doesn’t tax the pancreas or cause it to become inflamed.

You should also keep yourself hydrated. Keep an electrolyte drink or water bottle with you at all times.

If you’ve been hospitalized for a bout of pancreatitis, your doctor will likely refer you to a dietitian to help you learn how to permanently change your eating habits.

People with chronic pancreatitis often experience malnutrition due to decreased pancreatic function. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are commonly found to be deficient as a result of pancreatitis.

diet tips
Always consult your doctor or dietitian before changing your eating habits when you have pancreatitis. Here are some tips they might suggest:

Eat between six and eight small meals throughout the day to help recover from pancreatitis. This is easier on the digestive system than eating two or three large meals.
Use MCT as your primary fat because this type of fat does not require the digestion of pancreatic enzymes. MCTs can be found in coconut oil and palm kernel oil and are available in most health food stores.
Avoid eating too much fiber at once, as this can slow down digestion and lead to less than ideal absorption of nutrients from food. Fiber may also make the limited amount of enzymes less effective.
Take a multivitamin supplement to ensure you get the nutrition you need. You can find a large selection of vitamins here.
Causes of pancreatitis
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking too much alcohol, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Pancreatitis can also be genetic or a symptom of an autoimmune reaction. In many cases of acute pancreatitis, the condition is caused by a blockage of the bile duct or gallstones.

Other treatments for pancreatitis
If your pancreas has been damaged by pancreatitis, a change in your diet will help you feel better. But this may not be enough to completely restore pancreatic function.

Your doctor may prescribe supplemental or synthetic pancreatic enzymes to take with each meal.

If you still have chronic pancreatitis pain, consider an alternative therapy such as yoga or acupuncture to supplement the pancreatitis treatment your doctor prescribed.

An endoscopic ultrasound or surgery may be recommended as the next procedure if you

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