Ulcerative Colitis Diet - Vegan Nutrition with Jill Nussinow, MS, RD

Jill NussinowJill Nussinow is a Registered Dietitian, culinary educator, cookbook author, speaker and consultant and all around proponent of a plant-based diet. She teaches vegetarian and vegan cooking at Santa Rosa Junior College in California and other places around the US. She has a son who is almost 15. One of her greatest joys is sharing her enthusiasm for vegetables and pressure cooking with anyone who will listen.

Hello. I am vegan and almost want to burst with joy over how healthy I am! However, I am so sick of people around me getting sick, yet not wanting to listen to me when I suggest that the food they eat may be making them ill. My cousin was recently diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and his doctors assured him that it has absolutely nothing to do with what he eats, nor will what he consumes help him heal. I couldn't disagree with this more! I just would like to know your thoughts on this as I am only a first year Dietetics student and no one wants to hear me through. Thanks so much for your response! I cannot even wait to hear what you have to say about this! My father, who recently passed away, had ulcerative colitis as the result of a hospital stay. The cause was unknown, and often is, but my father did internet research and discovered that the advice is to follow the diet that works for you. He found that following a vegan diet helped keep his symptoms at bay, but that might not be the case for everyone.

One thing that seems to help is eating foods that help the gut flora: that means including probiotics from fermented foods such as natural sauerkraut, kim chi, miso or fermented soy, coconut or other nondairy as yogurt or kefir, and prebiotics from foods such as beans, Jerusalem artichoke, whole grains and onions, among others. Some people prefer to take supplements but I truly believe that eating the food is the best way to help your body. Eating both prebiotics and probiotics seem to have a synergistic effect. Fellow Registered Dietitian, Patsy Catsos, has authored a book titled, IBS--Free at Last!: A Revolutionary, New Step-by-Step Method for Those Who Have Tried Everything. Control IBS Symptoms by Limiting FODMAPS Carbohydrates in Your Diet. It may have useful information for your cousin to help control ulcerative colitis symptoms.

The other key with many GI disorders or conditions is the relationship to stress. Many conditions are made worse by stress and many stressed out people seem to get GI disorders. So, learning how to manage stress can help, no matter what condition the rest of you is in. For that, I recommend meditation, yoga and/or stress management classes. I hope that this helps.

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