A good diet can make all of us healthier. The good news for people with multiple sclerosis is that eating well can help manage MS symptoms. Eating well is a cornerstone to living well with MS.
Here are some healthy foods to emphasize in your diet, organized by category:
Cereals, Grains, and Starch
Good news — you can still eat a variety of flavorful potatoes, grains and pastas.
- Enjoy all types of potatoes, including sweet potatoes.
- Also consider, couscous, quick barley, orzo, bulgur, rice, and other pastas. Choose whole grains for a fiber boost.
Meat, Fish, and Other Proteins
- Lean, white meats (chicken, turkey) and fish, can be a good source of healthy fats.
- Canned salmon and sardines have the added benefit of helping to maintain bone health.
- Eggs are a great source of protein; keep a few hard-boiled eggs on hand for a protein-rich snack. Limit yourself to 4 yolks per week.
Vegetables and Fruits
- Raw vegetables and fresh fruits make great snacks and many come pre-sliced.
- Fruits (leave the peels on) and vegetables are also a good source of fiber.
- Add more beans, such as kidney, black or garbanzo beans, to your daily diet; they are high in protein and fiber.
Choose your fats wisely…
Cookies, crackers and fried foods typically contain unhealthy saturated fats which are associated with a wide range of negative health effects like heart disease and stroke.
- Non-fat or low-fat milk, sour cream, cream cheeses, yogurt and cottage cheese are all great sources of calcium.
- One substantial dietary change to consider is using fruit as your main dessert.
- You can use fresh fruits, raw ingredients, nuts and seeds, non-dairy milk, and unprocessed sugar products, like agave syrup and brown sugar, to make many appetizing treats.
- Here are some delicious desserts that incorporate these ingredients:
- Fruit salad/cocktail with a mix of various seasonal fruits
- No-bake brownies with mixture of nuts, spices, and raw cacao powder
- Smoothies with fresh and dried fruits, non-dairy milk, and ice
Pay close attention to reducing sugar intake as part of your healthier diet.
- Drink more water! Sparkling, tap, or bottled are all fine. Water helps with the digestion and transport of nutrients, controls body temperature, and is important for brain function.
- Blend low-fat milk, fortified soy milk or orange juice, yogurt and fruit (great use for brown or soft bananas) for a cool, frosty drink.
It’s a good idea to limit fluids that contain caffeine, aspartame (the artificial sweetener) or alcohol, as they can be bladder irritants.
Evaluate your diet. There are lots of tasty foods and beverages you can enjoy, and new ones you can add, to help manage MS symptoms. Remember, a healthy diet can still be delicious!