Healthy Diet Has Positive Effects on Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

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healthy-foodA new study finds that healthy diets and healthy lifestyle habits may help reduce symptoms for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers looked at 7,000 people with MS and found that those with the healthiest diets had the fewest symptoms and less disability than those who didn’t eat as well.

The study also found that participants with an overall healthy lifestyle were nearly 50% less likely to have depression, 30% less likely to have severe fatigue, and more than 40% less likely to have pain.

So what constituted a healthy diet? A healthy diet was defined as one which focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, and less red meat, less processed meat, and less sugar from desserts and sweetened beverages. Participants with a healthy diet ate an average of 1.7 servings of whole grains per day and 3.3 servings of fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes. That was about two times that of the least healthy participants. These people experienced a 20% improvement in symptoms like fatigue, pain, mobility and depression.

Here are some great tips from on how you can get more fruits, vegetables and legumes into your diet.

• Add berries, sliced peaches, or other fresh or frozen fruit to your breakfast cereal
• Add an extra serving of fruit to your favorite smoothie recipe
• Make vegetables the star of your meals rather than just a side-dish
• Keep a bag of broccoli coleslaw or other type of coleslaw. Saute in a little olive oil and water and use in place of noodles
• Add sprouts to your sandwiches or wraps
• Add a handful of mung bean sprouts to your favorite Asian noodle dish (either cooked or raw)
• Make meatless Monday something you do on Monday, but also Tuesday or Wednesday
• Use applesauce in your baked goods (you will need to adjust the liquid to dry ingredients ratio)
• Opt for fresh or dried fruit, like dried mango slices, in place of dessert.

Photo from here, with thanks.

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February 2023