The Right Diet And Nutrition For Multiple Sclerosis

right diet for multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition where the immune cells start eating away the myelin sheath around neurons. In the absence of this outer covering, nerve cells progressively lose the ability to conduct impulses to muscles and organs. This leads to symptoms like difficulty in walking, bowel and bladder movements, blurred vision, tingling sensation, pain, depression, and dementia.

Over the years, several scientific studies have found that if the body is encouraged to repair myelin sheath, MS can be prevented from progressing. There’s no sure-shot diet that you can follow for this purpose but including certain foods can help cope with the disease better.

5 Dietary Changes To Be Made In Multiple Sclerosis

The Swank, ketogenic, fasting mimicking and paleo diets garnered a lot of attention for being beneficial for multiple sclerosis. However, due to the lack of solid scientific evidence in their support, it’s alright to adopt any diet as long they have the following.

1. Go For Healthy Fats

low-fat foods for multiple sclerosis

Replace foods

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containing high saturated fats and trans fats with those that have healthy, unsaturated fats. Fatty foods include beef, poultry, lard, cheese, lamb, pork and poultry with skin. Healthier options are those foods with unsaturated fats and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. These are olive and sunflower oils, avocados, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and seafood.

Studies have revealed that people with MS have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Good fats increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels. This prevents atherosclerotic changes in blood vessels that can cause cardiovascular diseases.1

2. Increase Your Fiber Intake Through Whole Grains

more fiber and whole grains for multiple sclerosis

People affected with MS are already vulnerable to issues with digestion. Therefore, it’s important for them to have foods that don’t irritate the gut or affect bowel movements. Make it a point to have whole grains

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as much as possible as they have a lot of dietary fiber.2

If you are already sensitive to gluten, it can worsen with MS. In that case, avoid gluten grains like wheat and choose gluten-free ones like amaranth, buckwheat, rice (brown, white, wild), millet, quinoa, sorghum and teff.

3. Have Lots Of Fresh Fruits And Veggies

fruits and vegetables for multiple sclerosis

A plant-based diet with lots of citrus fruits, berries, leafy greens, and legumes have found to be excellent at reducing inflammation in the body. Antioxidants, vitamin B12, C, and D have the ability to avoid free-radical damage to body cells.

Researchers have found that vitamin D can particularly help in the regeneration of myelin sheath around nerve cells. Individuals with MS, therefore, should get daily exposure to the sun to prevent any deficiency.3

4. Choose Lean Protein

seafood, meat, and poultry for multiple sclerosis

Having lean proteins in the form of white meat from chicken and turkey, low-fat dairy, fish, quinoa, beans, eggs, and legumes can provide the body with essential proteins. Adequate protein intake is necessary for building muscle and strengthening bones.

Many individuals with multiple sclerosis experience muscle wastage with disease progression for which high proteins and daily exercise are mandatory.

5. Limit Sugar And Salt Intake

limit salt and refined sugar intake for multiple sclerosis

Refined sugar and high-sodium in salt are a strict no-no for people with MS. Long-term studies have revealed that high intake of sodium and refined sugar can worsen the symptoms of MS.

Junk and processed foods are high in both sodium and refined sugar. It’s advised to cut back

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on their intake as much as possible to avoid life-threatening complications of MS.4

Ultimately, eating right and having a daily exercise regimen is crucial for preventing any chronic disorder including multiple sclerosis. In the absence of any special diet for MS, it’s best to keep your food choices as nutritious as possible. This will help you manage the symptoms better without allowing the disease to intensify and affect your quality of life.5

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