Can you eat spinach with a colostomy?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat spinach with a colostomy?”. We will also discuss what is a colostomy, what are the reasons to indicate it, also which foods can be consumed, and which foods should be avoided.

Can you eat spinach with a colostomy?

Yes, it is possible to eat spinach when you have a colostomy. In fact, it has been recommended to be consumed as a food in a soft diet to recover from surgery. However, it has also been reported that after its consumption it can cause diarrhea, so if you have this symptom you should suspend its consumption. 

Spinach is a food that belongs to the group of fresh vegetables and has a great contribution of vitamins such as B9 and folic acid which can help in our nutritional status. This vegetable contains fiber, mainly in the stalk which can cause diarrhea, because of its high fiber content depending on the condition in this case colostomy. 

It is recommended to eat in small portions and, depending on the symptoms, continue with your usual consumption. 

What is a colostomy?

A colostomy is a surgical procedure that consists of making an opening through which a segment of the large intestine is taken out through the abdominal wall, where it is fixed to allow the passage of fecal matter.

This opening can be temporary or permanent and is called a stoma. A stoma is a path that leads from the large intestine to the outside of the abdomen as mentioned previously. 

This is necessary for solid feces and gasses to leave the body without passing through the rectum. To finish the process, the feces are collected in a bag that is carried on the outside of the body.

What is the reason for performing a colostomy?

Can be performed for a variety of reasons, which include when there is a complicated diverticular disease (complex acute diverticulitis), where a segment of the diseased bowel must be removed, externalizing the end of the bowel so that it can continue to function properly.

It may also be due to the presence of obstructed rectum-colon tumors and trauma to the rectum, for example in gunshot wounds with injury to the rectum. As well as can be due to a birth condition such as a blocked or missing anal opening. Finally, another reason can be cancer. 

What foods can you eat with a colostomy?

After surgery, a bland diet is recommended, which should be easy to digest and low in fiber. A bland diet includes foods such as vegetables and tubers with low fiber content such as carrots, zucchini, pumpkin, and potato. Also include vegetable broths. Ripe fruits, not acidic like pear, apple, and banana. Likewise include refined or white cereals such as white rice.

It is important to remember that having a special condition, in this case, a colostomy, it is important to consult with a doctor or a nutritionist to have a specialized diet according to our requirements. However, the following table shows foods that you can consume. 

Food group Food
VegetablesPotatoes, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce
Fruits Ripe bananas, honeydew, cantaloupe, seedless watermelon
Canned fruitsApricots, peaches, pears
Protein low in fatEggs, tofu, skinless poultry, fish
Nut buttersPeanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, walnut butter
Refined cerealsWhite bread, crackers, white pasta, white rice
Low-fat dairySkim milk, nonfat yogurt, cheese
FluidsWater, pulp-free fruit or vegetable juice, broth, sports drinks, decaf tea or coffee

What foods to avoid with a colostomy?

Within the colostomy diet, there are some food groups that you should avoid in order to prevent symptoms that may cause any damage or complications during the procedure. The foods to avoid are as follows:

  • Avoid vegetables and tubers with high fiber content
  • Avoid raw or flatulent vegetables such as cabbage, artichoke, leek, and asparagus
  • Avoid whole grains, as well as bakery foods that may contain high-fat dairy products such as pastries and cookies.
  • Avoid legumes because of their high fiber content and difficult digestion.
  • Avoid consumption of sausages 
  • Avoid fried foods like chicken wings, bacon, fried fish, mozzarella sticks, and donuts
  • Avoid spicy foods for example food that contains, curry, hot sauce, hot peppers, and salsa of jalapeño 

The bottom line 

As noted in the article, spinach can be consumed, however, we must be careful if it causes diarrhea due to its fiber content, it is important to suspend its consumption in case of presenting this symptom. 

Other FAQs about Spinach that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we have addressed the query “can you eat spinach with a colostomy”. We have also discussed what is a colostomy, what are the reasons to indicate it, also which foods can be consumed, and which foods should be avoided.