Friday, 8 August 2014


They say, 'You are what you eat.'

Good nutrition and eating a healthy balanced diet is essential for the maintenance of good health generally. We know this.  Diet is an important tool to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to promote good health.  There is no cure for MS.  No single diet can treat or cure MS, but poor diet and poor nutrition can worsen existing symptoms of MS such as fatigue and weakness.

It is noted that it is difficult to measure or monitor how effective diet is in managing MS, as for a lot of people their symptoms come and go.  With MS as with a lot of conditions a low-fat, high-fiber diet is recommended.  And actually you do not have to have any condition to recognize that a healthy diet, a low-fat, high-fiber, lean protein, whole grain, low sugar diet, can be beneficial for general health and well-being.  Going easy on sweet foods can help you to manage weight as added or extra weight can be a contributing factor in MS-related Fatigue.  So although no link has been found between sugar consumption and MS, it is probably best not to over-indulge.  A high-fibre diet can help to ease constipation, which is an MS symptom for some people. 

Drinks with aspartame (which is an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages.  In the European Union, it is codified as E951, caffeine and alcohol can irritate the bladder and therefore those that experience bladder-related issues with their MS are best to avoid these drinks.

So a varied, well-balanced, low-fat, high-fiber diet with lean protein, whole grain and low sugar that contains the three major antioxidant vitamins (which are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and viramin E) is recommended.  That shouldn't be too difficult!  Beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues:

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids:apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon;

Vitamin C: berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, and red, green, or yellow peppers;

Vitamin E: broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds;

Antioxidants are important.  I'm not exactly sure how, as that is all 'science' but antioxidants are chemicals that block the activity of other chemicals known as 'free radicals' and 'free radicals' have the potential to cause damage to cells.

It is now suggested that eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day, or adopting a 'grazing' approach may be better for your health and weight management and metabolism rather than eating the recommended 'three square meals' a day i.e. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, as it is easier to maintain blood sugar levels; which ensures energy levels are stable.  Most people will recognise that hunger and blood-sugar levels affect our mood.

So moderation is probably the key.  A little bit of what you fancy probably does do you good. But, there is room for alternative arguments and more research in the future.

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