Diet for Multiple Sclerosis
Neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis remain unresolved. Their complex nature keeps researchers working diligently toward understanding, treating, and preventing them. Many treatments have emerged, some more helpful than others. However, researchers and patients now often look toward a diet for multiple sclerosis prevention and treatment.
What You Will Learn
- An overview of multiple sclerosis
- Some factors involved, causes, treatment
- A plant-based diet for multiple sclerosis
- More than just diet for multiple sclerosis
Overview of MS
Multiple Sclerosis continues to affect millions of people in the US and other countries. In addition, the disabilities associated with MS cause depression and agitation. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, occurs when the insulated covers of the nerve cells in the spinal cord and the brain receive damage. This destruction affects the functions of the nervous system, particularly the ability to communicate.
Common signs of MS include muscle weakness, spasms, vision difficulties, and partial blindness. Also, symptoms such as desensitization, and trouble in the coordination of movements often develop. With the development of the disease, some of the signs may disappear over time. However, most of them remain unaffected or reappear, regardless of the stage of the disease.
According to the scientific research conducted in the past few years, Multiple sclerosis remains one of the most common degenerative neurological disorder in the U.S. This inflammatory disease usually affects people between the ages of 15 to 55. A recent study suggests the number of people with MS more than 400,000 in the US and around 2.5 million globally. Patients with MS tend to develop more disabilities with the advancement of the disease. Multiple Sclerosis worsens as the disorder continues with its episodes or attacks. These may cause problems of vision or blindness, loss of bladder control, numbness or weakness of an arm or leg. Over time, victims get more severely disabled, often wheelchair bound or bedridden for the rest of their lives.
THE CAUSE- Is It Diet for Multiple Sclerosis
It’s such an unfortunate aspect that we still know little about the possible causes of most of the neurological disorders. Indeed, MS falls into the same situation. However, research shows it tends to occur either due to the failure of myelin-producing cells or the disruption of the immune system. Researchers believe that environmental and genetic factors form the underlying causes.
Diagnosis And Treatments Targeting MS
The diagnosis consists of analyzing and assessing the signs and symptoms primarily. Then, doctors conduct medical tests in order to support the signs.
The most adapted treatment consists of highly expensive drugs that must be taken regularly. However, the treatment shows less effectiveness than desired. It tends to prevent new attacks only after the first attack occurs. Moreover, the treatment medications often cause documented side effects. People with problems in movement and coordination seek physical therapies and they help only to a certain extent.
CAN IT BE TREATED IN ANY OTHER WAY?
When it comes to treating diseases that are known to have no cure at all, experimental treatments prevail. Since the regular treatment for MS has no exclusive outcome, often people look for alternative methods. And rightly so. Indeed, the side effects of traditional treatments with drugs such as steroids often send people searching for an alternative.
Before going into the details of a rather different approach to treating MS, we should set some facts straight first. People with neurodegenerative disorders receive direction to follow a healthy diet. However, surprisingly, the diet is not specifically designed for the patients but for general better health.
Now, you must consider the fact that diets do play a vital role in maintaining the healthy brain functions. A recent study published in the Scientific American, suggests that germs in the gut could be playing a crucial role in Multiple Sclerosis. The results, though not fully decisive and concrete as to what distinctive element was the part of such germs indicate further studies are in order. Due to such recent discoveries, and the advice of the neuroscientists to follow a healthy diet, it is safe to assume that diet can help in minimizing the risk factor and prevent MS.
DIETARY FAT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
As most people know, our bodies require some fats to function properly. However, the type of fat varies. Good fats help our body, heart, and mind in various ways. But other fats may cause great damage.
Fat contained in meat, dairy, eggs, and inorganic oils contain saturated fats. The saturated fat raises bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. This causes clogging and damage to the arteries. The high-fat diets also contribute to obesity and hypertension. And most importantly, they disrupt the course of the natural blood flow which consequently cause multiple disorders. Major concerns include heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and general longevity.
It is important to keep in mind that our brain needs oxygenated blood in order to function properly. In fact, brain cells die when the blood flow disrupts and couldn’t reach them. Therefore, a revolutionary yet simple solution, such as a healthy diet, is the answer. In fact, the diet for multiple sclerosis helps with other health issues, too.
VEGAN DIET REPORTEDLY TREATS MS EFFECTIVELY
Famous Neurologist Roy Swank declared that the vegan diet stays the most effective treatment for Multiple Sclerosis to date. According to Swank, a saturated fat restricted diet aids the immune system to work in the best natural way.
A study published in the Journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, explained the benefits of adopting a low-fat vegan based diet. The results showed great promise for MS progression, general quality of life and disease activity. The vegan based diet also helped with the symptoms of MS. Patients who participated in the study reported less fatigue, weight loss, better insulin, and cholesterol levels, and an improvement in the mood and quality of life.
Why has a plant-based diet for multiple sclerosis not been more widely suggested? The answer, very simply, rests in our current training. Most physicians receive little to no training in diet and nutrition. However, as research continues to lean toward looking to diet for multiple sclerosis treatment, more physicians consider this element.
PLANT-BASED DIET FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS- FEATURES REMARKABLE BENEFITS
Much debate continues over the effectiveness of a vegan diet for MS prevention and treatment. However, research shows that a healthy plant-based food has remarkable benefits for general health. Vegan diets contain far more nutrients and health benefits than an animal-based diet. And for overall health, including the mental health, a vegan diet should be adopted. Potential and proven benefits of vegan diets are as follows:
1-LOW IN FAT
- A vegan diet consisting of vegetables and fruits contains very few fats. Most fruits and vegetables contain good fats, if any, which are essential for health. A low-fat diet means a healthy brain function also. In fact, it keeps the blood flow normal while not allowing an accumulation of dietary fats which could later cause other problems.
2-FULL OF ANTIOXIDANTS
- Fruits and vegetables, full of antioxidants, keep the blood clean and remove toxins from the body. Moreover, these impurities that later potentially cause various kinds of disorders are eliminated by following a vegan diet regularly. Due to antioxidants, vegetables and fruit-based diet is good for sustaining a healthy brain.
- A vegan diet contains a high amount of dietary fiber. Most vegetables and fruits, rich in natural fiber, aid in healthy digestion. A healthful digestive system supports a healthy body and a healthy mind. However, animal-based diets, such as those containing red meat, eggs, and dairy are harder to digest and lower the metabolism.
4-KEEPS THE BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS UNDER CONTROL
- A plant- based diet offers the ideal potential for keeping the blood glucose levels under control. In fact, diabetics, always at a higher risk of strokes and cardiovascular diseases, find a plant-based diet helps them maintain their health.
5-KEEPS THE BLOOD PRESSURE UNDER CONTROL
- A vegan diet provides great help for those dealing with hypertension. Fruits and vegetables keep the blood pressure levels steady. Citrus fruits, in particular, offer the best remedy to retain normal blood pressure levels. Hypertension is the leading cause of stroke and cardiac arrest and a vegan diet help in the prevention of both.
6-A DIET PLAN FOR PEOPLE WITH MS
- Dozens of stories exist of people with MS, who switched to a vegan diet and found it helpful in multiple ways. These patients previously had consumed medications, steroids and had been under therapeutic treatments for years. They had a very little improvement in terms of the disease. In fact, their quality of life increasingly worsened. They began to lose hope, remained depressed, fatigued and overweight.
- However, they came upon a simple yet effective way to a better, healthy life. A plant-based, high fiber, low-fat, vitamins enriched diet proved useful as a primary element of a healthy lifestyle
So here is a diet which ensures better mental and general health for life.
- Cereals, also known as grains, prove useful as energy boosters. In fact, using them on a daily basis maintains our energy levels. For instance, you might enjoy them in breakfast every morning in the form of porridge. Oats characteristically eliminate bad cholesterol from the blood give a full feeling thereby reducing the urge to snack.
- Freekeh , the greener form of wheat and is in common use in African countries for hundreds of years. Because of its health benefits, Freekeh is a healthy option. It can be cooked like rice and contains a very low fat.
2-GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
- Green leafy vegetables provide a rich source of iron, minerals, and vitamins. They must be a part of your daily diet. Eating kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, and herbs of the green family helps in removing toxins from the body. They also help the immune system to function properly. Consuming green leafy vegetables also eliminates iron deficiency. And healthy blood levels mean a healthy brain functioning.
3-PLENTY OF FRUITS
- Probably the best blessing of nature, fruit provide delicious flavors with lots of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants. They keep the body systems healthy and functioning. They also support better mental health. In fact, refreshing fruit can be consumed in more than one form.
- Ideally, start your day with fresh fruit or a smoothie containing it. Fruit salads refresh our afternoons. Smoothies or fresh fruit as a dessert enhance our evenings. In fact, literally hundreds of combinations exist.
- Berries, high in nutrients and anti-oxidants, prove especially good for making smoothies. And they taste delicious as well.
- Fresh fruit and smoothies also increase our liquid intake. Hydration continues to be a problem for many people and fruit offers one solution.
4-ALMOND AND COCONUT MILK
- Plant-based milk provides more nutrition along with necessary hydration. In fact, they offer a flavorful enhancement that benefits our health, too.
5-NUTS IN THE RIGHT AMOUNT
- Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, provide nutrients that enhance our brain health. Worried about memory loss and brain function? Enjoy a few nuts each day. While they make a great snack, they also combine well into many recipes. However, enjoy them in moderation as they contain more fats than other plant-based foods.
6-NOT JUST FOOD, MORE THAN A DIET FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
In addition to the mentioned information, some other things help in retaining a healthy life. These include lots of exercise, plenty of water intake, and a positive attitude towards life. In fact, a plant-based diet for multiple sclerosis, combined with the afore mentioned attributes, may greatly enhance your life. Indeed, with all this, we can all have a stress-free, healthy life. In addition, we stay away from mental and general disorders that could affect our daily lives. And, after all, prevention is always better than cure.
Interested in a plant-based diet for
or other health benefits?
We have plenty of great recipes!
and continue to add many each week!
Although the recipes featured contain only plant-based foods, you may choose to add dairy if your nutritionist suggests it (some dietitions and physicians include raw dairy in a diet for multiple sclerosis). In fact, it’s easier to add such an ingredient, rather than find plant-based substitutes in others.
Also, we believe that a plant-based diet for multiple sclerosis provides a strong base. However, this site is NOT intended to give medical advice. Please discuss this diet and your nutritional needs with a plant-based nutritionist or your own dietician.