The spotlight is on Multiple Sclerosis this month and it’s a cause close to our hearts at Nuzest. My own diagnosis at 22 years old was the driving force behind the company and now good nutrition and the products we have created deserve much of the credit for the fact that now, more than a decade later, I still live a full and active life.
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. It’s chronic, progressive and debilitating. It is also very complex, affecting everyone differently, and with people responding to different treatments and protocols.
It stands to reason that it’s the same with diets – while good nutrition (we believe) is a must, the is no hard and fast rule about which diet is ‘the one’ to follow. None claim to cure the disease, but all have the potential to improve the outcome of MS and assist with managing the effects it has on day-to-day life like fatigue and recovery.
I’m going to look at four well known ‘MS diets’ and what they have in common:
- The Swank Diet – proposed by Dr Roy Swank back in 1949, the Swank diet is low in saturated fat, and high in Omega 3s and whole foods;
- The Overcoming MS Diet – a modern adaptation of the Swank diet developed by Dr George Jelinek that promotes a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle with plenty of added fish, Vitamin D and other micronutrients;
- The MS Hope diet – from MS sufferer (conqueror?) Matt Embry and based around fresh foods and supplementation;
- and The Whals Protocol – a Paleo diet extremely high in vegetables and the only one on the list that strongly advocates consuming meat and animal products (though still only in moderate amounts).
All have loyal followers and all have been known to make significant improvements in the lives of MS sufferers. Despite some differences – namely, whether to reduce or completely eliminate red meat and animal fats, and whether or not grains and legumes are permissible (Jelinek says yes, Whals says no, and Embry is on the fence so long as they don’t contain gluten), these diets have some notable similarities:
- Plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries, with the key being variety. Fruits and vegetables provide micronutrients like vitamins and antioxidants and thousands of naturally occurring phytonutrients.
- Limit consumption of saturated fats
- Consume plenty of Omega 3s and Essential Fatty Acids, through eating fish and supplementation
- Reduce or avoid dairy (though in the case of Swank this is less specific and more due to the saturated fat content)
- Ensure you are getting enough B Vitamins (especially B12)
- Keep your Vitamin D3 stores high, either though sun exposure or supplementation
While each has its own twists, the foundation of all these diets is basically eating a predominantly plant-based diet that comprises a variety of clean, whole foods to achieve adequate macro and micro nutrient intake. Eating like this, whichever diet (or combination of diets) you choose to follow, could be beneficial not just to MS and autoimmune sufferers but for anyone looking to improve their general health and wellbeing.
We created Good Green Stuff to address the issue that not everyone is eating an optimal diet every day, and even those who are may not be getting all the nutrients they need from their food (this is a story for another day). Good Green Stuff sources as much of its vitamin and mineral content from whole foods as possible so you get the added benefit of all the phytonutrients and trace elements.
To achieve the superior levels of nutrients it offers, we have fortified the formula with the most body-ready forms of ingredients for maximum absorption. For example, many people cannot convert folic acid to the natural form of folate used by the body. Good Green Stuff addresses this by using the already converted form Methyltetrahydrofolate. Its a mouthful to say but your body thanks you for it.
It’s completely vegan and packed full of a variety of greens, fruits, herbs and berries. It’s free from gluten, dairy, soy and other common allergens; and is one of the few supplements on the market that contains Vitamin D3 from a vegetable source. For me, Good Green Stuff is the perfect complement to my MS diet and ensures my body is getting the nutritional support it needs every day.