nutrients and antioxidants.
Instead of potato chips, I began
snacking on nuts and
seeds to ensure
acids to my
body. I learned
are full of B
vitamins, and that kale offers
a lot of nutrients important to
overall health, such as iron,
vitamins C, K and A—and
it’s anti-inflammatory to boot.
Winter squash, sweet potatoes,
broccoli, beets, onions and bell
peppers all made appearances
in my new eating plan, each
bringing its own spectrum of
vibrant nutrients—and beautiful
colors—to the table.
A few words
PHOTOS BY THINKS TOCK
What I don’t eat
I decided to take my quest for
clean nutrition all the way and
dedicated myself to avoiding as
many chemicals and preservatives
as possible. For me, whole,
unprocessed foods were the way
to go. Processed and packaged
foods are often stripped of
their natural nutrients, and can
contain additives and artificial
I wondered what else could I
avoid that might help me feel
stronger and healthier, more in
control of my health. The list
became longer and longer as I
realized how many ingredients in
everyday convenience foods are
made in a chemist’s laboratory.
Fats are an essential part of our diet, but it’s important to know which fats contribute to good health. Polyunsaturated
fats contain essential fatty acids—“essential” meaning your
body can’t make them so you must get them from your food.
These include omega-3s, which are found in certain fish such as
salmon or mackerel, flax seeds and walnuts. While they have
been shown to lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease
in the general population, study results on the benefits of
omega-3s for multiple sclerosis have been mixed. In addition,
any possible impact of taking them in combination with
disease-modifying medications has not been well studied.
Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect cells from
potentially toxic “free radicals.” Free radicals, or “oxidants,” can
cause damage to cells in the body, including the central nervous
system. Small clinical trials of different antioxidants are already
under way in people with MS. Visit nationalMSsociety.org/
research or call 1-800-344-4867 for the latest results.
Free radicals, or
cause damage to
cells in the body,
Phytonutrients, while not essential in the diet, are nutritionally
beneficial components of plants generally thought to promote
good health. For example, carotenoids, the red, orange and
yellow pigments found in carrots, sweet potatoes and bell
peppers, have been shown to help protect against some
cancers, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.