I self-describe as a chef by training, food scientist by education, writer by passion, and advocate for people with disabilities by necessity.
Those first two parts of my bio (and even some of the writing bits) are part of the reason I am in an ever-constant struggle to keep my weight in check.
My orbit of the food world gives me access to some of the most incredibly delicious meals one could imagine. Reduced mobility, steroid-whacked metabolism, and general aging issues mean I must now plan out my consumption of these delicacies like so many other parts of my life with multiple sclerosis (MS).
I’ve written before of my current use of an intermittent fasting regime to help keep my weight in check. That plan also seems to have positive repercussions for our shared disease as well.
Now, after reading a study released by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City, I have another reason to focus my eating habits beyond just my weight.
MIND Diet May Benefit Those With MS
According to their study published in May 2021 in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, aspects of two specific dietary styles shows increased brain tissue integrity for people with MS.
The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, has been the focus of research for other brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.
This new study showed benefits of the MIND diet in a small cohort of 185 people with MS who were diagnosed within the past five years.
While the researchers admit that the study was limited to only those very early in their MS journey, they saw enough potential in their results to secure further funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to continue following the research subjects for coming years.
What Will I Be Eating on the MIND Diet?
The specifics of the two diets (Mediterranean and DASH) include increased consumption of green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, fish, and healthy oils while reducing red and processed meats, fried foods, and dairy products — though the study did show that a higher intake of full-fat dairy products was associated with fewer MS brain lesions.
Increased omega-3 fatty acids from fish in the diet was associated with greater structural integrity of brain tissue of the subjects as well.
RELATED: Three Easy Ways to Include Salmon in Your MS Diet
A “healthy” diet, balanced in fruits, vegetables, and whole foods and low in animal protein has long been seen as a way of preserving general health. By tweaking such an eating plan only slightly, there is growing evidence that we could be doing our brains a good turn as we keep our bodies fit and well-fed.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.