What Are Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Why Should People with RMS Eat Them? By the LEMTRADA Team • June 6, 2018
Relapsing multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease in which overactive immune cells in the body attack healthy parts of the central nervous system. This inflammatory process can do significant damage, which can result in lesions in the brain and spinal cord.
Doctors have known for years that some foods cause inflammation, while others are anti-inflammatory. So if a person living with MS eats an anti-inflammatory diet, might it have a positive effect?
This is where it gets a little tricky. What’s certain is that today there are more medications approved for relapsing MS than ever before. Working with your healthcare team to find the right medication for you is a very important step to help treat your condition. Once that is accomplished, you can think about whether you might receive added benefit from eating a more tailored diet. While it’s important to note that there is no specific diet proven to benefit people living with relapsing MS, many delicious foods are readily available that are believed to fight inflammation. Let’s take a look at these anti-inflammatory foods.
Say "Yes" to Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Most anti-inflammatory foods are just that…foods. What does that mean? It means there are no ingredients, so to speak, other than the food itself. And chances are you know a lot of them already and associate them with being healthy. Here are some anti-inflammatory foods you can try adding to your meals:
These foods can help reduce inflammation by acting on the immune system to reduce the production of inflammatory mediators. They also provide antioxidants that can help reduce inflammatory stress. Overall, eating a healthy diet helps the body's immune system work better.
Say "No Thank You" To Inflammatory Foods
Inflammatory foods got their name because they can actually cause inflammation. Unsurprisingly, many inflammatory foods are what we’d call “junk food.” But hey, we’re all human, and sometimes it’s hard to eat healthy all the time. The important thing is to limit your consumption of inflammatory foods and replace them with healthier options. Here are some foods to avoid:
- Fried or greasy foods, like French fries
- Soda or anything artificially sweetened
- Processed or red meat, like hot dogs and burgers
Limiting your intake of these foods may help to reduce inflammation.
Tips for Grocery Shopping
When you go grocery shopping, it’s a good idea to have a plan. Make a list before you go the store, and stick to it. Another good strategy is shopping mostly on the outside aisles of the grocery store. This is where the healthier foods, like the produce and lean meats, like fish and chicken, are usually located. Generally, you should avoid processed boxed foods. And lastly, don’t shop when you’re hungry! You’re more likely to stray from your list and grab unhealthy foods.
Check out Rachel’s post to read how she makes healthy meals at home. How do you incorporate healthy, anti-inflammatory foods into your diet? Let us know in the comments.
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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