There are a variety of diets to choose from in this day and age. From a Gluten-free, to a Mediterranean or Paleo diet, there are endless options to choose from. Can these diets offer benefits other than attaining a weight and fitness goal? Although there are no diets that are proven to help with MS symptoms, there are certain nutrients that stand apart from the rest.
Many people diagnosed with MS find ways to relieve the symptoms other than taking the prescribed medicine. Symptoms of MS include:
- Unusual Sensations: These uncomfortable symptoms are usually described as a ‘’pins and needles sensation," numbness, itching or even burning and tearing pains.
- Bladder Problems: This includes more frequent urination and bowel problems, including constipation.
- Trouble Walking: Muscle weakness and spasm is common in people with MS. Issues with balance, numb feet and fatigue can increase difficulty in walking. It is also common to experience frequent dizziness as well as speech, thinking and vision difficulty.
So what are these superfoods that can relieve MS symptoms? It is recommended for those with MS avoid food products that are high in saturated fat and aim to include more:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Nuts and legumes
- Skinless poultry and fish
Although there are no studies that prove any vitamin or mineral can help improve MS symptoms, there are some nutrients that gave gained some attention.
Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that is extremely beneficial for your body. They are also known to reduce inflammation by helping block the body’s inflammatory response. Omega-3s are found in fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel and tuna. They are also found in other foods such as walnuts, olive oil and flaxseed. Other foods that reduce inflammation are fruits and vegetables, particularly those filled with antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Some studies have shown that people who have higher levels of Vitamin D are less likely to relapse. Although there is no proof, it is good to know where you can receive this beneficial nutrient. Sunlight allows the body to create Vitamin D. Just be careful how long your skin is exposed to the sun - there are other risks involving too much sun exposure. Other sources are fatty fish, certain mushrooms, fortified milk and orange juice.
Vitamin A offers many health benefits improving vision, immune function and even skin health. Foods high in Vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, tropical fruits and fish.
Although there has not been enough research to say for sure, it seems that certain nutrients are powerhouses for improving the body’s health. Maintaining a healthy diet and remaining mentally and physically active is always the best medicine for keeping your body strong for inevitable challenges that come.