The pancreas is a vital organ in the human body. The functionality of numerous organs and systems in the human body, along with the health of the whole body, strongly relies on the health of our digestive systems, especially the pancreas which is responsible for the production of digestive enzymes. Also, the pancreas sends hormones to our bloodstream, so that our body can properly utilize glucose from foods and in turn provides us with the much-required energy. The human pancreas is a small gland located behind the stomach, and it is vital to keep this gland healthy at all times. Because the pancreas plays a very crucial role in the digestion of the food we eat, the Pancreatitis diet is one of the most important parts, that we should never overlook, especially when our pancreas is affected.

But, due to many reasons and also may be because of our negligence and maybe abuse also, the pancreas gets inflamed, and the enzymes produced by it are unable to reach the destined location, thereby affecting our health adversely due to the dysfunctionality of the digestive system, leading to an acute health condition called pancreatitis.

Diet and Pancreatitis

What we eat can have a huge effect on how we feel, and more importantly, when we have pancreatitis. Playing close attention to our diet, like following a pancreatitis diet plan, can go a long way in easing out the abdominal pain that you may experience with the condition. Choosing the right foods, and avoiding some, can help our pancreas take a break and recover fast.

When our pancreas is inflamed, it is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes that help in the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat. Apart from losing weight, health and becoming malnourished. Some of the health issues that you may develop with your pancreas dysfunctional are:

  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Type 1 and 2 Diabetes

1. The basis of any pancreatitis recovery diet includes:

  • Food that you eat with pancreatitis should be low in fat and high in proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Your total fat intake should be around 30 gms and should not cross 40 gms.
  • Eating large and sparingly could elevate the symptoms. Eat small, but frequently.
  • Avoid all kinds of spicy foods, caffeine, nicotine, and foods that form gas inside your stomach to avoid harmful and unnecessary stimulation of your pancreas.
  • No alcohol at all. The smallest quantity can cause adverse reactions.

To best achieve all these goals, it is important that for your pancreatitis, you follow the acute pancreatitis diet that encourages you to eat high protein, and nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean protein sources. Stay away from alcohol and fried and fatty foods to prevent malnutrition and get relief from pain.

Foods to repair the pancreas

A pancreas-friendly diet is one that is high in protein from lean meats and is low in animal fats and simple sugars. You should seriously aim towards having more Fruits, Vegetables, Whole grains, Lentils, Beans, and Low-fat or Non-fat dairy and dairy products. Foods rich in antioxidants like dark leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, pomegranates, walnuts, and grapes add a lot of benefits.

Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains controls or limits your cholesterol intake and increases the amount of fiber you eat thus are the best foods to repair the pancreas. These foods thus reduce all chances of developing high triglycerides or gallstones, which may lead to acute pancreatitis. The anti-oxidants in the foods mentioned above fight the free radicals in your body, thus helping in reducing inflammation.

Foods good for pancreas and liver

Any form of damage to our pancreas can result in partial or complete dysfunctionality of the gland. Hence, the best way to keep it healthy and active is by using foods. Here are some of the best pancreas-friendly foods that you should include in your pancreatitis treatment diet:

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower top the list because of their high nutritional value and are extremely beneficial for protecting our pancreas from any sort of damage.

Spinach and broccoli are packed with the goodness of Vitamin K which helps in reducing inflammation and prevent reducing inflammation.

2. Garlic

Garlic is a boon for our pancreas. It helps reduce the amount of sugar in our blood by increasing the amount of insulin that our pancreas produces. Normally, garlic keeps our pancreas in good health.

The strong and anti-inflammatory qualities of garlic help lessen the toxicity of our pancreas and are perhaps the best food to include in any pancreatitis Indian diet.

3. Lemon

Lemon is sour, and sour foods help in the production of digestive enzymes and keeps our pancreas in good health. Kiwis, too have a similar impact on our pancreas.

4. Tofu

Tofu is one of the best sources of low-fat protein that aids in the better recovery of our digestive system and protects our liver and pancreas from any further damage.

Also, yogurt has active probiotic cultures that support digestion and shield the pancreas.

5. Oregano

Oregano is a distinct herb that flavors our dishes. It is also very effective against oxidation caused by diabetes. All these properties of oregano help the pancreas (insulin-producing organ) from any sort of damage.

6. Dandelion

Dandelion roots have been used for a long for the treatment of various types of cancers. It also serves as an effective treatment for the pancreas. Drinking dandelion tea helps in flushing out toxins from our intestines and heals the damaged pancreas tissues.

Foods to avoid with pancreatitis

The pancreas processes almost everything that we eat. Hence, the more we eat, the harder it is on the pancreas. Foods high in sugar, full-fat, and fried foods are not good at all for the pancreas, especially when it is weak or inflamed. Make sure that you limit the intake of:

Organ meats, red meats, full-fat dairy, margarine and butter, French fries and chips, mayonnaise, pastries, baked goods, and all sugary drinks.

Foods high in fat and sugar increase the levels of triglycerides, which in turn boosts the levels of fats in our blood and can increase the chances of developing acute pancreatitis. Also, red meat and processed meats can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Food to avoid high amylase

Hyperamylasemia or high blood amylase levels are in itself not any condition but is a symptom of several underlying conditions and one of the most evident is acute or chronic pancreatitis.

Eating healthy and avoiding certain foods can help reduce the risks of pancreatitis. Processed carbohydrates, sugary and fatty foods with high cholesterol levels, are among the food to avoid with high amylase.

If you are suffering from acute pancreatitis, a chronic pancreatitis diet can be of great help in recovering, along with some lifestyle changes. Follow these simple tips for the best results:

  • To make it easier for your pancreas, divide your meals into 6 to 8 smaller and frequent meals.
  • Take a multivitamin to replenish vitamins in your body.
  • Limit your fat intake.
  • Avoid all alcohol.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Always stay hydrated.

Pancreatitis fasting from food and drink

Experts advocate that the pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting, called pancreatitis fasting from food and drink.  This helps in restoring the organ, that further controls the blood sugar levels and somewhat even reverse the symptoms of diabetes. in a way, this fasting method reboots your body.

This fasting diet is a type of diet in which you spend five days on low-protein, low-calorie, and low-carb foods but high on unsaturated fats. It allows you to consume around 800 to 12oo calories a day.

Liquid diet for pancreatitis

When you have episodes of pancreatitis, you may be advised to follow a liquid diet for pancreatitis. This is because, when your pancreas is inflamed, avoiding all forms of solid food gives the digestive system to rest and the pancreas to heal.

1. What is a liquid diet for pancreatitis?

A liquid diet for pancreatitis consists of clear liquid drinks and is advised only for a few days. It helps in:

  • Keeping you hydrated, provides electrolytes like sodium and potassium to the body, and provides energy from calories that you are unable to eat.
  • Because this diet is nutritionally incomplete, you are kept on such a diet for just a few days (3 to 5 days).
  • Some of the allowed fluids are water, fruit juices, flavored water, plain gelatin, and sports drinks. You may also go for clear fluids available in the market with added vitamins and minerals and boost your nutrient intake.

The pancreas is a vital organ of our body and we cannot live without it. A sick pancreas is indicative of a sick person, but even in the serious conditions, certain positive and good approaches like eating the right and healthy foods, and making necessary lifestyle changes can be a good complement to improve the health of your pancreas and aid in a healthy and prolonged life.

Frequently Ask Questions

1. What is good for the pancreas?

Because the pancreas is critical for the digestion of food, we need to ensure that consume the right foods and follow a healthy diet that mainly focuses on proteins, low in animal fats and antioxidants. Eat lean meats, lentils, beans, clear soups, and dairy alternatives. The best are fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and no-fat or low-fat dairy. Healthy fats like nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish should be consumed in a controlled proportion.

2. Why a low-fat diet for the pancreas?

A low-fat diet can help in giving your relief from abdominal pains caused due to pancreatitis and also helps in reducing any risks of future attacks. High-fat foods, on the other hand, increase your triglycerides levels that boost the amount of fat in your blood and increase the chances of developing acute pancreatitis.

3. What are the best foods to eat when you have pancreatitis?

To ensure that your pancreas stays healthy and you recover fast if you have pancreatitis, focus on having foods that are rich in protein, contain antioxidants, and are low in animal fats.

Add lean meats, lentils, and beans, clear soups, and try dairy alternatives like almond milk and flax milk. Spinach, blueberries, cherries, and whole grains help in digestion and help the body fight against free radicals that can damage your pancreas.

If you have sweet tooth, go for fruits instead of sweets with added sugars. For snacks consider having cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and other fruits.