Diet Sources for preventing Multiple Sclerosis :
Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is very essential for the overall health of an individual, especially for MS patients. It helps in managing the symptoms of MS and also lengthens the time between the relapses. A nutritious diet can help MS patients boost their physical and mental health. MS is an autoimmune disorder and therefore, it is very important for patients to keep their immune system healthy.
⦁ Food rich in prebiotic (fiber) content – Garlic, Asparagus, Onion, Leeks, Artichokes, Chicory.
Intake of at least 5- 7 grams of prebiotic rich food daily will aid in maintaining a healthy gut.
⦁ Other fiber-rich diet includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and seeds. This helps in good bowel movements and also keeps the heart healthy.
⦁ Vitamin D: It is very essential for MS patients. Researchers recognize that reduced levels of Vitamin D might be one of the leading causes of MS. Therefore, it is recommended for MS patients to have good sun exposure and try to increase the intake of vitamin D in their diet to lower the risk of disease progression.
⦁ Biotin: A variety of Vitamin B, also known as Vitamin H, Biotin if taken in high dosages may prove to be beneficial for MS patients. It can be found in foods like eggs and yeast.
⦁ A balanced diet with proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
⦁ Intake of white fish and shellfish is really beneficial.
⦁ Daily intake of cod liver oil either in the form of capsules or fish is essential for MS patients.
⦁ Olive oil to be used during cooking
⦁ Food lower in concentrated sweets and sugars
⦁ Patients are also advised to take multivitamins on daily basis.
⦁ Adequate fluid intake
⦁ Physical exercise is very important as obesity in patients with MS can lead to various other problems. So patients should keep a check on their weight too. Exercising improves blood circulation, boosts body metabolism and also increases the secretion of “feel good” hormones in the brain.
Foods to be avoided:
⦁ Saturated Fats:
Saturated fats are known to raise the levels of LDL, or (bad) cholesterol in the body. According to the scientific reports, it is found that MS patients are at an increased risk of heart problems. So the intake of foods with saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol affecting the heart and other organs too. Animal products such as red meat and full-fat dairy products must also be avoided.
⦁ Trans Fat:
Packed and processed food items should be strictly avoided e.g. baked cookies, baked buns, pies, etc. Food items with Trans fat lead to inflammation in the blood vessels and further affect the heart (cardiovascular problems).
Avoid taking an extra amount of sugar as it increases weight which is not good for the patients suffering from MS. Obesity also leads to fatigue (a symptom of MS). It can cause a hindrance in the patient’s daily activities and exercise.
It is one of the major causes of relapse in MS patients as it decreases the life expectancy of the patients by increasing the blood pressure.
⦁ Processed Carbohydrates:
Foods like white bread, white rice, and cold breakfast cereals increase the blood sugar levels and have an adverse effect on the patient’s heart. Instead, the patients can have brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain pasta. Food items rich in fiber content can improve constipation (a symptom of MS) and also give a feeling of fullness for a long time.
⦁ Gluten-free diet:
It is recommended to take a gluten-free diet, as it is seen that patients with MS are intolerant to gluten. This can help them feel better.
⦁ Avoid Caffeinated Drinks :
Caffeinated beverages help in fighting fatigue but may worsen the symptoms of MS in a long run.
MS patients need to manage their disease and its symptoms vigilantly and on a daily basis. Thus it becomes imperative for the patients to carefully monitor their diet and hence prevent frequent relapses, which might also lead to the faster progression of the disease.
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