spinach and sunflower seed success stories

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 1/29/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
if you have questions about the diet please refer to the spinach and sunflower seed (part 6) thread and leave this thread open for just success stories to allow easier readability. thanks!  
this thread is for spinach and sunflower seed diet success stories. it's here to show others that actual people with varying degrees of uc have had success.
i have to make my story short. i was bleeding constantly for about six months between july and december last year. i was on the max dose of colazal and using rowasa enemas every night. i started using cortifoam and that only made it worse. i gave the diet a try and didn't really notice too much the first week with the exception of fluffy green poo. after about the third week the blood started to subside a bit and at about the fifth week there was no more blood or urgency. i went from around 8 bm's a day to 1. i also used to get that left-sided pinchie feeling and that went away as well. i've recently started decreasing my colazal dosage and haven't taken anything rectally for about three weeks. i'm still taking fish oil and probiotics for general health. my plan is to eventually get off colazal entirely and once i'm done with nursing school i'm going to try to wean off the celexa as well. please, if you aren't having any luck with your meds than give this diet a try. it certainly couldn't hurt things.
my initial diet for the first 4 weeks: half a can of spinach each night, 3-4 tbsp of sunbutter throughout the day, around 4 handfuls each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and lots of positive thoughts! if you have a whole foods or the like nearby go there to get your seeds by the bulk. i think i've read that there are cheaper "mom and pop" places to get seeds as well.

Proctosigmoiditis up to 25 cm
Colazal 3 caps 3 times a day
Rowasa enemas every other night / Canasa on Rowasa off nights
Celexa 20mg daily
Fish oil, milk thistle, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri, Alive multivitamin, lysine, bee propolis
Spinach and sunflower seed diet

Post Edited (bokscarracer) : 2/1/2009 5:00:31 PM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 460
   Posted 1/29/2009 6:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I've been wanting to try it so bad but I've been having really bad loss of appetite and I have trouble eating much of anything. I can't do canned spinach (yuck) so I've tried to eat fresh spinach salads but I can only do it for a few days and then I'm sick of it. I know that canned or frozen is supposed to be the best but I just can't get past eating it for more than a day or two. I have no trouble with sunflower seeds it's just that I never feel like eating anything. I'm really discouraged because I've never suffered from loss of appetite for longer than a day or two. Now it's been going on for weeks.

I'm glad that it's worked for so many, I really need to figure out how to commit to trying it.
Female, Age 38
Diagnosed w/c.diff 7/02 when pregnant w/1st and only child during 2nd trimester(wasn't on antibiotics)
C.diff flare within weeks of delivering baby 1/03, Diagnosed with UC 2/03
Current Meds:
75mg 6-MP
Ferrex Forte
Acidophillus, Sacchromyces Boulardii, Oil of Oregano

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/29/2009 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with UC in 2003 but had symptoms for several years prior. After being diagnosed I was in an extremely severe flare and bleeding heavily and going many (10-20) times a day and tried many medications at the time and non of them seemed to help much at all. This flare lasted two years non stop till I started eating several large handfulls of deshelled roasted sunflower seeds daily and a large can of spinach every one or two days. After eating the spinach and seeds for one to one and a half months I went into complete remission with no symptoms and I was not taking any medications at the time. I was quite relieved because I was starting to wonder if I would ever get into remission again after such a terrible and long flare. At the time I wasn't completely sure that it was the spinach and seeds that helped and there was a few times when I quit eating them and symptoms started to return, then when I added them back to my diet symptoms disappeared. After seeing this pattern for a while I was so confident that it was these foods that put me into remission I started experimenting with deliberately removing them from my diet to see what happens, sure enough after a few weeks of not eating them symptoms would start to come back and then adding them to my diet again would quickly put me back to being symptom free. Now I am completely sure its these foods that put me in remission and have been in remission for nearly three years with the exception of the few times that I stopped eating the spinach and seeds and symptoms started to reappear for a short time till I added them back to my diet. I have been on absolutely no medication for UC in the last three years that I have been in remission from this diet.

Post Edited (Cfromutah) : 2/8/2009 11:46:28 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 510
   Posted 1/30/2009 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Had been in my first flare for almost a year. Was working with my GI and he was trying lots of different drugs. And high doses of Pred. Went to a gluten free diet and that helped. Found the spinach sunflower seed thread on here, read if and figured since it was helping other I would give it a try. I ate once can of spinach a day and about 7 handfuls of sunflowers seeds. Also snacked on baby carots ( maybe 3 handfuls a day) Noticed improvement after about 1 week. Now 40 days later, am pretty much symptom free. This diet took me where drugs couldn't. Am still on the drugs but the doc is tapering the pred. and he and I have talked about down the road, soon, on trying to taper off some of the other meds.
I eat half a can of spinach a day now and about 5 handfulls of sunflower seeds. Still eat a couple handfuls a day of baby carrots. I ran into something that didn't agree with me last week, so I upped the spinach back to a full can a day. almost back to normal again, and when I get there will back it off to a half a can a day again.
38 yr old male, NE Ohio, diagnosed Aug 2008, but been with symptom since Nov 2007
30 mg pred, 9 balsalazide, rowesa nightly, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol, 2 probiotic, 2 aloe vera tabs
Following gluten free diet as well as spinach/sunflower regime
**down to 25 mg of pred 12/25/08 **down to 20mg of pred 1/7/09**down to 17.5 mg 1/22/09
MED CHANGE: 1/13/09-- 4 Lialda, 2 Pamine Forte, 1 Florajen3 probiotic, 2 Aloe Vera tabs, Rowesa every other night, 20 mg of Pred, Lomotil as needed, 2 gemfibrozil, 1 norvasc, 1 metoprotol, 1 allopurinol

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 436
   Posted 1/30/2009 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
CfromUtah, other than spinach and seeds what would you say your diet consists of?  I mean do you eat whatever you want or do you think trying to stick to a more natural whole food type of diet helps UC?
28/M/TX single parent of gorgeous 3yo girl (revised 12/12/08)
Severe Colitis (pancolitis) since January 9, 2005
currently:  Mildly Flaring 
RX/day: none! Tapered off Prednisone 9/20/08. Lost job and insurance 10/2007 and stopped taking asacol and Imuran cold turkey
OTC: enzymes everyday, turmeric, seldom use probiotics, vitamins & other natural treatments
Diet: SCD helps tremendously, but am not strictly on it.
Other: Prayer, food combos, good posture, chewing more, etc.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 307
   Posted 1/30/2009 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I can eat seeds all day, but what do you mix your spinach with?
Age: 25 / Male / Florida
Diagnosed: 11/08 / Pancolitis
Currently on Asacol 2 x 3 day (waiting for results)
Prednisone / ended 1/09 (started at 30mgs and tapered down)
Daily Green Tea and 1 Multi Vitamin a day

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/30/2009 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I eat whatever I want without problems but I do try to eat a fairly healthy balanced diet, although I work in construction and usually eat at fast food places with the guys every day at lunch. I don't eat much refined sugar but that has nothing to do with my UC, I didn't eat a lot even before I got UC. And I don't drink soda pop. Never had a cavity in my teeth either so I think not eating much sugar or drinking pop has paid off in that respect. Although every now and again I do go on a little sugar binge and eat a bunch of cookies or ice cream or what ever sounds good but only do this on some weekends or special occasions. There are some things I like to keep in my diet on a regular basis for the nutrients that these foods contain because I think they are important nutrients. I try to eat red meat a couple times a week for the zinc and b-12 content, But I did notice while flaring that if I ate beef for more than one day in a row it did make my UC symptoms a lot worse. I eat chicken a couple times a week for the B-6 and amino acid and niacin content. I eat potatoes two to four times a week for the potassium content, one potato contains the potassium content of two bananas. I eat an orange every day or two for the vitamin C content. And I still eat sunflower seeds almost daily and eat a fair amount of other nuts and seeds because most all nuts and seeds contain a fair amount of magnesium. I eat a few baby carrots every couple days and a few salads a week for beta carotene, or spinach for beta carotene and magnesium. If I remove foods with magnesium or beta carotene UC symptoms will start to come back, I need to get both of these nutrients from foods to stay in remission. I eat oatmeal every morning with two percent milk but I do try to limit my High calcium foods a bit because ingesting high amounts of calcium can interfere with your magnesium balance. And I almost always drink distilled water. Other than trying to keep the food items that I mentioned in my diet weekly I just eat whatever sounds good to me at the time.

Post Edited (Cfromutah) : 2/9/2009 9:40:44 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted 1/30/2009 7:03 PM (GMT -6)   
do you just eat sunflower seed and spinach ? nothing else ?
does it work for people with Crohn's also do you know ?
24 year old female

Diagonsed with Crohns disease in December 2008..

Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Entocort

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 1/30/2009 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
You eat the things you normally eat but add lots of spinach and deshelled sunflower seeds to your diet. I don't know if it helps people with cronhs but it very possibly could.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 1/30/2009 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I was dxed with UC back the summer of '06, and things were pretty well under control with medication until last summer when I suffered my first flare.  After suffering for a couple of months I was put on prednisone and remained on it for 4 months.  I started the spinach/sunflower seed diet in December.  Two months later and I'm starting to feel like an active member of society again.  I still have my bad days but I think that is because as I feel better I start to eat worse.  It is pretty amazing to me that all I needed was some spinach, but whatever does the trick. 
36 y.o. male
Diagnosed w/ UC in May '06, had symptoms since '99
Meds & supplements: VSL#3, Lialda, Allegra, multi-vitamin, Wellbutrin XL, fluoxetine, and vit B-12.
Spinach/sunflower seed diet for over two months with positive results!

Post Edited (beartooth) : 2/1/2009 8:44:30 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 1/31/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I wasn't on the spinach and sunflower seed diet during my last flare, but I did eat a lot of spinach with garlic. It helped the inflammation.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 06 (also have IBS)
Currently in remission

Lexapro (for stress)
Vitamins (a whole bunch of them)
Anti-inflammatory foods: turmeric, seaweed, garlic...
Avoid: anything with high-fructose corn syrup, foods high in fructose, artificial sweeteners

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 731
   Posted 1/31/2009 2:45 PM (GMT -6)   
i've been juicing spinach every evening with carrots and apple for about 2 months. mature spinach does help, i juice about 2 good handfuls. baby spinach didn't help as much and doesn't yield as much juice.
i was not flaring when i started, but felt like a flare was on the horizon (post childbirth) but i have not flared and if i eat my safe foods i only go 1 or 2 times in the morning. i stay away from all processed food (except peanut butter), canned food, fast food etc. so i only eat what i make for myself at home.
i eat the sunflower seeds but not daily.
before i started juicing, my morning poos were getting more and more mushy and skinny and i was going maybe 3-6 times. i would also have an occasional mid-day poo which can be inconvenient as we all know. since i have been juicing, i'm going 1-3 times in the morning (i go 3 times if i know i'm going to town... anxiety really gets me) but the stool is much bulkier, no more skinny poo at all. it just feels much healthier that way.
30, happily married, stay at home mom to 3 year old son and 4 month old son.
currently: possibly in a post-childbirth flare but not bad yet.
UC (probably pancolitis, but no c-scope yet), dx'd June 2006, started having major symptoms sometime in Jan 2006, about 3 months after childbirth. 2nd flare (minor) may 2007.

-Prednisone 8/28/06-2/28/07. and again may '07, 8 week course.
-Prayer! asacol, probio, ground psyllium husk, folic acid, cal-mag

may you live all the days of your life.

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 1/31/2009 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
i have had UC for over a year now with no remission and only relief is from prednisone skull ! i have just started (2 days) 6mp, with much resistance as i am afraid of what it is actually doing to me, but MUST get off the steroid! i just came across this spinach, seed thing and can't believe it could actually help, but i really would try anythig!! for real?? it actually helps? i am 36, with 3 kids and some days can't leave the house or want to get out of bed bcuz of the depression i have been in about not feeling well. what do i do? seriously just add spinach and seeds?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 2/1/2009 12:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I have flares like everyone else and seem to crave carrots and spinich during these times.  When I am finally able to eat, I use fresh spinich and garlic mixed with roasted baby carrots.  It makes a world of difference on how fast I can get out of a flare.  This last one was quick.  The doctor did add Librax which also seems to have helped.
I believe that spinich is definately a help to me and many others with UC.  I am not chained to the toilet, going out and living life again.  I hope it lasts.  I will keep eating the spinich a couple of times a week mixed with my carrots and pasta.  Hopefully, I will be able to down some of my medications.  That is my success story with it.
DX with (pan colitis) UC 9/02 while pregnant
Rowasa (when needed)
Boniva Calcium multivitamin
Iron (when issues appear)
Mild bronchial asthma too
Predinose 40 mg (flaring now)
6MP 50mg started beginning of July 08

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 307
   Posted 2/1/2009 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   

Sooo, after seeing all these threads about this diet, I decided to go get a jar of de-shelled dry roasted Planters kernals (thery are VERY good by the way).  I was a little nervous abou the spinach but last night we had some chicken and i picked up a few frozen packs of spinach...we boiled the spinach and added some garlic powder (another anti inflamatory apparently), needles to say, the spinach was actually really good.

So, i'm going to continue to down my seeds and eat frozen spinach with garlic 2-3 times a week...hopefully it puts me in to a remission for so long that I dont even think about the horrible diesease every again!

Age: 25 / Male / Florida
Diagnosed: 11/08 / Pancolitis
Currently on Asacol 2 x 3 day (waiting for results)
Prednisone / ended 1/09 (started at 30mgs and tapered down)
Daily Green Tea, de-shelled sunflower seeds and 1 Multi Vitamin a day

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/1/2009 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
just wondering if you could put the spinach in an omlette or something? or do you have to eat it by itself?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 369
   Posted 2/1/2009 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
rowana, I eat my spinach without adding anything to it because I think eating it alone gives your body more of a chance to absorb nutrients from it but I know that some other people have had success with mixing it in other foods such as omelets.
If you have anymore questions about the diet please ask them on the thread titled
"spinach and sunflower seeds part 6"

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 365
   Posted 2/1/2009 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been eating spinach and s/f seeds for about 2 months.... I have one "brick" of frozen spinach (Green Giant is my favorite) with dinner and I have a bag of shelled s/f kernels at lunch time - David brand - salted....

I have been taking pred for my recent flare....am down to 30mg now, starting at 40. I feel that the spinach and s/f diet are helping immensely. I am also taking flax oil pills (1x in the am, one at bed) which I have never tried before and also feel they help a lot. Been taking 2x culturelle probiotic pills in the am, and 1x at night. Ativan as needed. Super omega fish oil pills - 1x in the morning.
34 yr old male. UC for 14 years. Started left-sided, most recent scope shows pancolitis. 35mg pred (as of 1/20/09), 12 pills Asacol per day, 1mg Atavan per day (anxiety) when needed, Fish oil pills, Flax oil pills, Culturelle probiotics, Multivitamin. Recent Endonasal brain surgery to remove non-cancerous hormone producing tumor on pituitary gland (and I am still more afraid of my UC!!) "I poop in the woods because I can"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 742
   Posted 2/2/2009 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   

I was diagnosed with proctitis in Nov. 07, and it became very severe and developed into pancolitis by Sept. 08.  I tried numerous medications (see signature) and diets and never had success with any of them.  When my doctor began talking about Humira and Remicade, I had already heard about this diet and decided to give it a shot (I was desperate).  When I first started the diet (9/31/08) I was taking 13 pills a day plus rectal meds and I was down 13 lbs in weight. 

For the first two weeks, my symptoms got worse (probably because I was eating fresh spinach - big no-no).  By the third week, I started feeling better.  During those weeks I changed the rest of my diet to low-residue, so the only "scratchy" stuff was the spinach.  I used sunflower seed butter instead of seeds.

It took several months, but today I take no meds, have gained all my weight back and feel great.  The diet gave me my life back. 

DX:  Pancolitis as of 9/08 (Proctitis as of 1/08)
Current Treament:  Spinach/Sunflower Seed Diet
Previous Treatment:  Canasa suppositories, Cortifoam, Prednisone, Colazal, Symex DuoTabs, Rowasa, Bentyl, Cortenema, Asacol, Iron, Zoloft, Acidophilus.
Status:  Remission

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/3/2009 7:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Since my initial onset of UC symptoms I have always been in a flare of varying degree.  In the beginning it wasnt to bad mostly just blood loss every day.  Then after the birth of my 2 child things got really bad.  Lots of blood loss casuing severe anemia(7.1 at its lowest), 12-15 bathroom trips a day, lots of blood and mucous, extreme fatigue, etc.  At the time I took asacol and upped it to the max dose which didnt help.  Went on pred which did help, but lead to infections which needed antibiotics which put me right back into flare.  Doc wanted me to consider 6mp or Remicade.  I just couldnt accept this.  I started this diet mostly out of desperation to stay away from the bigger meds.  I just happened to have lots of leftover carrots from a stew and had been eating them for several days.  I read the initial thread at this time and thought I'll give it a shot.  I started eating PB&j sandwiches for breakfast, and spinach every 2 days or so and continued cooked carrots about 1 day/week.  I actually saw some improvement in the 1st week.  So I also added sunflower seeds and various other nuts.  2nd week things improved even more.  I think if I remember correctly I reached remission for the first time ever after 3 weeks of this diet, maybe slightly longer.  I stayed in remission from late june 2008 until around end of november.  I had a colonscopy during this time and my Doc was amazed.  Said my UC was inactive.  Unfortutanly since I have backed of the diet to much and went back into flare.  I am currently back to eating spinach every other day and hope to get back soon.  It worked so well the 1st time I am confident I can get back to remission again. 

Currently in Remission since June 2008!! Flaring again :(
High magnesium/ beta carotene diet
37 year old female with left-sided UC
lialda 1 pill  3 2 times/day
Digestive Advantage Colitis formula 1/day

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