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Anti-Inflammatory Diet and MS

Can an anti-inflammatory diet help with MS? Well, if you think about it, inflammation is your immune systems response to the things that irritate it. In MS, a flare-up occurs when your immune system attacks your nervous system causing inflammation and your symptoms - either new or the same - to become worse. Many times your neuro will prescribe steroids or other drugs to counter the inflammation.

What foods are in an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Can you just add a few foods that are anti-inflammatory and call it a day? You probably could, however, to get the most benefit you should try to eat a diet high in these types of foods. Not only will you gain the most health benefits, but you will become less likely to suffer as may exacerbations.

Here is a short list of foods that you should include in your diet. Eating some of these everyday, will help counter inflammation in your body. And they are not only good for you, but they are inexpensive and won't cause more problems like so many prescription drugs can.

  • blueberries
  • wild salmon and other fatty fish like mackerel, sardines, and tuna
  • shitake mushrooms
  • kelp
  • leafy greens, like spinach, kale, collards, and also broccoli
  • fermented vegetables
  • garlic
  • avocado
  • celery
  • papaya
  • red cabbage

And these are only a few of the things you can eat. But what about what you shouldn't eat? What causes inflammation in the first place?

Foods you should not eat

If you're going to add foods that help to get rid of inflammation, it only makes sense that you stop eating the foods that cause it, right? Well here's a quick list of the top culprits - foods that you should try to eliminate from your diet as much as you can.

  • refined sugar
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • vegetable oils like peanut, soy, corn, and most vegetable oils
  • grains
  • processed foods 
  • saturated and trans fats
  • dairy

These foods, as well as others, may be triggers for causing inflammation in your body. Only you know how you feel when you eat certain things, so learn to listen. 

Top herbs that reduce inflammation

Here is a video that shows the top herbs you can use in the kitchen that help stop inflammation. Keep these in stock and add them to your recipes regularly. You don't need to go overboard. Just add what you would normally put in a dish to make it taste good.

And a few more herbs and spices to keep on hand:

  • thyme
  • cinnamon
  • sage
  • oregano
  • pumpkin pie spice

The second video shows a juice recipe you can add to your diet to help with pain and inflammation. He talks alot at the beginning, so be patient or skip to around 5:00 to get to the recipe quicker.

Is there a specific anti-inflammatory diet? I'm not entirely sure about that one. It may just be an umbrella term that includes recipes with only those ingredients that will not cause inflammation. A better search may be anti-inflammatory diet recipes.

This way you can pick out the recipes that include and exclude what you want and don't want. Personalize it. Make sure not to include those foods that you are sensitive to.

If you have a health problem like MS, I've always felt the best approach to diet is to find one that works and then make it a life style. That's it, don't be afraid to change your life. Look at all those things that haven't been working for you up until now and eliminate them. Replace the bad stuff, with the good, healthy foods. 

Then, make a commitment to try it for at least 30 days. If you feel better and haven't had an exacerbation or relapse during that time, then maybe you're on to something. It won't hurt to try.

A good article that talks about inflammation, autoimmune illness and the Paleo diet, is here, by Robb Wolf - (Opens a New Window). He suffered with what he found out later to be an autoimmune disease and used diet to help heal himself.

And check out this page about the AIP Diet and MS.

Go from Anti-inflammatory Diet back to Multiple Sclerosis and Diet.

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Cir & Akrista

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