Inflammation Causes Flare-Ups
When your central nervous system gets inflamed, it slows down or blocks signals from your brain to other parts of your body. When that happens, you end up with symptoms like dizziness, numbness, and pain. What this tells us is, the more you can reduce inflammation in your body, the better your odds are to reduce flare-ups. Aside utilizing your diet to reduce inflammation, staying active with MS is also an important lifestyle element to ease symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis Diet Tips
For MS patients, the Mayo Clinic recommends a balanced, lower-fat, high-fiber diet that focuses on natural, unprocessed foods. Focus on limiting fat from animal sources and choosing heart-healthy, omega-3-rich sources like olive oil and almond butter. Recent studies also show a potential link between high sodium intake and more frequent MS relapses. Avoiding salt may seem overwhelming at first, but two great sodium-free seasoning options to keep in your trusty pantry staples are Nutritional Yeast and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute — both pack a flavor punch and could help minimize relapses.
Mediterranean Diet for MS
Using the Mediterranean Diet as a guide may help get you on the right track for your Multiple Sclerosis Diet. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mediterranean Diet, we can help. In a nutshell, below are the foods recommended on the Mediterranean Diet:
- fruit and vegetables
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
- olive oil
The Mediterranean Diet recommends eating poultry, eggs and dairy products only in moderation, and treating red meat as a rare treat. Additionally, the diet advises against sugary beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains and oils, and any other highly processed foods. Cooking Light is a wonderful resource for additional details as well as suggested recipes to get you started.
Studies have shown that MS patients feel worse when they do not get enough vitamins and minerals in their diets. Research currently supports MS patients keeping their Vitamin D levels in the upper range of normal. Supplementing with vitamins and minerals, with the advice of your medical team, may help you have more energy and reduce flare-ups.
Keep Track of What Works for Your Multiple Sclerosis Diet
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet. The best thing you can do is keep a food and symptom journal where you track how what you eat makes you feel. When you spot a connection between a food, make note of it. That goes for flare-up triggers as well as food items that make you feel more energetic. Finding out what works for you is the best way to determine your Multiple Sclerosis Diet.