Foods To Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a serious and well-known autoimmune disorder that strikes more than 2.1 million people worldwide. It gradually damages the myelin sheaths that protect your nerve fibers, and over time, may even permanently destroy your nerves, which affects the communication between your body and your brain.

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Scientists are still uncertain what really causes this disorder. What complicates it even further is that the symptoms and severity differ from person to person. However, it is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including dietary, environmental and genetics. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for MS, but extensive research and studies in recent years have shown that certain foods, especially those with anti-inflammatory properties, can improve quality of life by reducing flare- ups and the various symptoms of MS.

Listed below are some of the most important foods that can help treat MS symptoms.

Multiple-Sclerosis-Irritable Bowel

Proteins Rich With Vitamin D and Omega 3’s

MS patients are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, a condition that makes your bones weaker and more prone to injury and breakage. Thankfully, Vitamin D can help protect you from this disease and strengthen your immune system simultaneously. It may also help reduce the body’s inflammation that leads to MS symptoms.

Luckily, there are some commonly sold foods that are rich in Vitamin D. So load your shopping wagon with fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel, yogurt, eggs, cereals, and fortified orange juice. Fatty fish are also rich in Omega 3’s, which also fight inflammation and improve brain function. Alternatively, if these foods are not compatible with your diet, you can take Vitamin D and Omega 3 supplements, or you can get these nutrients from flaxseed oil as well.

Turmeric Spice And Fresh Ginger

Turmeric is an orange-yellow colored spice that is quite common in Indian dishes, but it also tastes delicious and goes very well in many different traditional dishes. Its main ingredient, curcumin, helps protect nerve cells and help promote strong and normal immune system function. You can sprinkle it on just about anything, from cooked vegetables to whole-grain rice. While curcumin is considered to be safe for most people, it may inhibit the effectiveness of certain medications. Therefore, it’s recommended to first check with your doctor before you start taking curcumin supplements.

Fresh ginger can be ground up to be used as a baking spice, chopped and added to stir-fries, or cut up to make a soothing cup of tea. But in many parts of the world, ginger is best known as a medicinal plant. Studies indicate that it can help calm the immune system, fight memory problems and muscle pains, which are common MS symptoms.

If you’re not a fan of spices, you can take ginger and turmeric supplements. However, they are not nearly as potent.

Foods Rich In Fiber

When it comes to fiber, you should look for “insoluble” fiber. You’ll find it in prunes or prune juice, green leafy veggies, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and several other whole grains. Your body doesn’t fully digest this fiber, so it gets passed through your digestive system. This is a good thing, as it helps prevent constipation, a common problem for people with MS. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, you should aim to get at least 25 grams of fiber each day. However, fiber does have one drawback – it absorbs essential water which can lead to constipation, one of the common MS symptoms. So make sure you also drink plenty of fluids each day to counteract this.

Antioxidant Rich Fruits And Vegetables

Antioxidants can also help ease inflammation. You should try to consume five servings of fruits and veggies per day. If you eat them regularly, they may help you prevent symptom relapses or reduce their severity. Produce also possesses plenty of fiber, which keeps your digestive tract running smoothly. Load your bowl or plate with onions, apples, citrus fruits, berries, or black grapes. If you want a more fun way to enjoy these fruits, you can make a fruit salad, dry them as a sweet dessert, or simply blend them together to make a tasty, satisfying fruit smoothie.

Green Tea & Other Sources Of Caffeine

Have you been experiencing excessive muscle weakness and fatigue? Before you reach for your medicine cabinet, try a nice, relaxing cup of green tea.
A small study found that some of its compounds, including a major one called EGCG, may help ease these symptoms. Participants saw positive results and improvements in their MS symptoms after they drank green tea every day for at least 3 months. The drink may also boost the immune system, ease inflammation, and slow the effects MS can have on your memory and cognitive function.

If you’re a passionate coffee or dark chocolate lover, then you’re in luck. Caffeine has also been found to have a positive effect on some MS symptoms, as it’s yet another great inflammation fighter, helps your bowels and gives you a significant boost of energy and focus.

Dairy Alternatives

Some studies have shown a link between cow’s milk and MS. One very possible theory is that the lactose in dairy products can irritate the immune system. Plus, if you have lactose intolerance, then it’s best to stay away from dairy as much as possible. If you want to try cutting back on typical dairy products, replace your usual milk, ice cream, butter, and cheese with versions made from either goat’s milk, almond, soy, rice, or oats instead. Don’t forget to look for products that are enriched with calcium to help protect your bones.

Final Thoughts

Always consult with your physician before changing your diet or taking supplements.

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