We all know the adage, "You are what you eat." Maintaining your health is one of the first steps to managing MS, and a big step to maintaining your health is eating well every day.
Eating well does not require eating expensive or unusual foods. Quite the opposite. Simple foods from the basic food groups will serve your body and your health.
You CAN maintain good nutrition--and here are ten ways to get started.
Ten Ways to Improve Your Diet
- Eat three fruits every day. Keep a bowl of fruit on hand to satisfy those sugar cravings.
- Add beans to your diet. Black bean soup, bean burritos, red beans and rice, and bean dip are examples.
- Increase your vegetable intake. Double up veggies at your evening meal. Add sliced tomatoes to your lunch. Snack on raw vegetables.
- Stop eating when you are satisfied. Be aware of portion sizes—most restaurant meals could feed two people. Take leftovers home for another meal.
- Eat whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole grain cereals.
- Enjoy two sources of low-fat dairy products every day: milk, yogurt, cheese.
- Use olive oil or canola oil.
- Limit saturated fat. Read the labels. And remember that fatty meats or cheeses, butter, and whole milk products have large amounts of saturated fat.
- Eat three meals every day. People who skip meals tend to make up the calories anyway.
- Drink more water. Plain water. It's caffeine and calorie free.
There's more to nutrition. A good diet can help you fight fatigue as well. Here are five tips:
Nutrition Tips to Help Manage Fatigue
- Never go longer than four hours without food. You don't have to eat a lot. Have a small snack.
- Shrink your meals so you eat more frequently. For example, save half your lunch and eat it three hours later.
- A small protein snack in the afternoon, such as a mozzarella cheese stick, beef jerky, cottage cheese, or peanut butter may make you more alert.
- Avoid big helpings. Avoid sugary desserts. Both will increase fatigue!
- Avoid over use of caffeine. If you use caffeine as a pick-me-up throughout the day, it may lead to restless sleep and increased anxiety.
With a little effort, and a pinch of will power, You CAN feel better, fight fatigue, and maintain good nutrition!
Contributing editors: Staff, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis