Multiple sclerosis patients experience uncomfortable symptoms that significantly impact their daily lives. Caused by the inability of the nerves to transmit signals, this immune-mediated illness causes symptoms like muscle spasms, stiffness, mobility issues, numbness and tingling, and cognitive issues like an inability to think and learn. While there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis, its symptoms can be curbed with a well-balanced diet and healthy eating patterns. Here’s a compilation of a few dietary tips for multiple sclerosis patients:
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Including fibrous foods in the diet helps relieve the symptoms related to bowel movements. To reach the ideal 30-gram mark on the daily fiber intake, one can include a cup of raspberries, boiled peas, apples, broccoli, artichokes, beet greens, nuts, lentils, and legumes in their diet. These can be mixed around through the week for variation.
Include foods rich in vitamin D
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who lack vitamin D experience recurring flare-ups, so it’s recommended to eat foods high in vitamin D. One’s diet can include low-fat dairy fortified with vitamin D, eggs, orange juice, and mushrooms. If the doctor allows vitamin D supplements that don’t interfere with one’s medications, it’s a great way to provide the body with this necessary nutrient. Last but not least, one can try and step outdoors to be under the sun for a short while daily. Being amid nature can also improve mood.
Opt for sources of omega-3 fats
Foods like tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, flax and chia seeds, and walnuts make for necessary additions to a multiple sclerosis-friendly diet. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these foods fight inflammation, lowering the intensity of the symptoms.
Add fermented foods for gut health
Foods high in probiotics contribute to the healthy growth of good bacteria in the gut, which are usually outnumbered in MS patients. So, one should include foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut in their diet to achieve a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Replace the intake of refined flour with whole grains
Processed carbohydrates from refined foods can spike one’s insulin levels, which, in turn, adversely affects MS symptoms. Instead, patients can opt for healthy substitutes like whole-wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, oats, barley, and rye. These foods contain fiber and antioxidants, both beneficial for people with MS.
Avoid processed meats
Completely avoid the consumption of cold cuts, sausages, cured meats, and frozen dinners. Replacing processed meat with fresh produce is a highly beneficial dietary tip for people with MS, although many without any illness are also following it. Lean meat like poultry and fish are better options compared to red meat.
Cut down on salt and sugar intake
MS patients are prone to heart diseases, and excess salt in their diet can increase blood pressure and further elevate the risk. Another reason to avoid salt is to prevent a relapse. As for sugar, foods like cookies, sugar syrups, soft drinks, and candies only add extra pounds to one’s weight and provide zero nutrition. The extra weight could aggravate the symptoms, so a helpful dietary tip for people with MS is to opt for natural sweets like fruits to satisfy one’s sweet tooth.