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'diet' posts

Why you should have fiber in your diet

Fiber is a general term for the various plant cells that give plants their structure – it helps trees stand up tall, and is what makes fruits and vegetables crunch when you bite into them. No fiber naturally exists in meats or dairy products; fiber is found only in plants. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, along with other foods such as whole grains, are good sources of fiber.

Benefits and Types of Fiber

High fiber foods help to...

Beat the heat! Easy, healthy, no-cook meals for multiple sclerosis

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have heat and temperature sensitivity.  Hot weather, running a fever, strenuous exercise or taking a hot bath or shower can cause a temporary worsening of symptoms. The last thing you probably want to do the mercury rises this summer is turn on your stove or stand over a hot burner. Fortunately, many healthy meals can be made quickly without ever cranking up the heat in the kitchen.

Each week for the next four weeks, I will share a new no-cook recipe; each with in a healthy, low fat diet. Each recipe will highlight one ingredient as a nutritional standout with an explanation for why these foods should be included in your diet. They all make about 4 servings, but can be adjusted up or down as needed, and are ready in 20 minutes or less.

This summer, don’t let the heat be an excuse for skipping a healthy meal and going to the drive through. Instead, enjoy the air conditioning at the grocery store and pick up supplies for one of these healthy meals.

Let’s start with a simple salad containing nutritious whole grains:

Recipe: Zucchini and White Bean Salad with Whole Grains

 

Super food ingredient: Whole Grains

Whole grains are ...

Cook food right to fight cancer (and other health problems)

After exercise, nutrition is the top factor in prevention of disease, including cancer. Eating the right foods, in general, and the right specific foods during illness can have a profound effect on quality of life and also recovery.

The question is, however, which foods and spices are the most beneficial during cancer treatment and beyond.

The standard American diet is a bit heavy on simple carbohydrates. In addition, because it is also high in processed foods, nutrient deficiencies, like magnesium, Vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, are quite common. In general, a shift towards diets containing ample portions of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and low simple carbohydrates (25 grams for women and 35 grams for men per the American Dietetic Association) and five servings of leafy greens and fruit is beneficial. Diets should include minimal soda as well as minimal artificial sweeteners. Whenever possible use high burning oils, like coconut oil, to cook with if you are frying foods. Using whole, unprocessed foods containing minimal preservatives are also a good bet. An example of this would be using real butter instead of margarine as a condiment.

Conventional cancer treatment ...

The anti-inflammatory diet and multiple sclerosis

We have all seen inflammation on the surface of our bodies. Redness, heat, swelling or pain after a cut or sprain are examples of this process at work. In these cases, inflammation benefits the body by bringing more nutrients and immune activity to the injured or infected area, helping it to heal.

When inflammation occurs without purpose or is persistent, it can cause damage and illness. This type of abnormal inflammation is the root of many chronic diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS).

Many factors contribute to chronic inflammation including stress, exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke and dietary choices. We have control over some of the causes of inflammation. Learning what foods have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body may be beneficial in reducing long-term disease risk.

The anti-inflammatory diet is a balanced, sensible way of eating. It not only influences inflammation but also provides your body with adequate energy, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. Here are a few recommendations for eating to reduce and prevent inflammation:

Easy make-ahead meals to beat MS fatigue

In my last post about eating well with multiple sclerosis (MS), we discussed meal planning and prep to help enable you to eat nutritiously through the week.

Maybe you’ve decided to carve out some time to make a list and prep some food for the week. Good for you! Need some inspiration?

Here are a few recipes that will produce left overs that hold up well and can be packed up for healthy lunches. Don’t forget to include plenty of extra fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain cereals and non-fat dairy products to be eaten as breakfast and snacks.

Meal 1: Chilled peanut noodles with grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli

Click here for the recipe.

The whole-wheat noodles give you a good dose of fiber to help keep you regular and the protein from the peanuts will help you feel full longer than other vegetarian pasta dishes. Cook enough chicken for you and your family to have a 4 oz. portion both for dinner lunch the next day, plus an extra pound for another recipe later in the week.

This noodle dish can be served room temperature right after it is made. It is also great eaten cold the next day. If you are sensitive to heat and don’t want to heat up you kitchen re-heating food then you will love this dish.

Meal 2: Slow-cooker vegetarian chili with a whole grain roll

Click here for the recipe.

This dish is ...

Organizing an Efficient Kitchen to Fight Fatigue with MS

In the last few weeks, I’ve shared tips to help create healthful meals that are fatigue-friendly for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Your meal plan is set and your pantry is stocked with nutritious, easily-prepared foods. Here are a few helpful kitchen gadgets and some minor adjustments that can make cooking more efficient and feel like less of a chore:

  • Secure your cutting board. When you are not able to buy pre-cut vegetables and fruits and need to do the chopping yourself, make sure to secure your cutting board. Placing a non-slip mat or wet towel under the board works well. This keeps it from slipping when you slice, dice and grate.
  • If you are sensitive to heat, keep the kitchen cool. Try ...

Stocking a Fatigue-Fighting Pantry for Multiple Sclerosis

Most people have experienced feeling too tired to prepare a meal, or the comfortable convenience of fast food options. For many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be a persistent issue that leaves them feeling without a choice.

However, a little planning can make preparing healthy, fatigue-fighting meals possible. A small amount of preparation every week can go a long way in saving you time and energy and allow you to eat healthfully all week long. Start by sitting down each week and make a meal plan.

Here are some nutritious, easily prepared food ideas to consider to putting on your shopping list:

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