MS and Nutrition: What You Need to Know

Paleo, Mito, Mediterranean and Ayurvedic Eating Plans


When you live with multiple sclerosis (MS), the foods you eat can make a significant difference in your overall health. While the research on diet and autoimmune diseases like MS is ongoing, I for one have reversed my MS symptoms through food. You'll notice throughout this article I do NOT use the word "diet", rather I refer to it as "eating plan". Because diets are meant to be short-term, whereas an eating plan is a lifestyle. All eating plans should be gluten-free.

My clients among hundreds of others are finding relief from symptoms by modifying their overall nutrition program and using my "adding-in" technique. For some, simply making a few minor changes in their daily food choices is enough. But for others, adopting a different eating plan seems to help reduce existing symptoms and keep new ones away.

The role eating plans plays in MS

Nutrition plays a vital role in boosting our health and well-being. And if you live with MS, you should know how important diet is in managing symptoms like inflammation, brain fog, mobility issues and fatigue + so many more. Symptoms are different for everyone, however there are many common ones.

For people living with MS should follow an anti-inflammatory eating plan that’s:

  • high in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables

  • low in fats

  • keeps red meat to a minimum

  • Add-in more quality protein

Because MS is a demyelinating autoimmune disease and autoimmune diseases involve inflammation, the positive effects of an anti-inflammatory eating plan may have on the disease are based in decreasing inflammation in the body and improving gut health.

For my clients and anyone living with MS I highly recommend following one or combined eating plans: Paleo (whole foods), Mediterranean, Ayurvedic or Mitochondria (Mito).

Because most of the suggested dietary modifications involve healthy foods that may benefit anyone’s overall health, making many of these nutritional changes is generally a safe option for people with MS to try.

What to know: The Paleo Eating Plan for MS

The Paleo way is being adopted by a variety of communities, including people living with MS.

What to eat: The Paleo way includes anything people could eat during the Paleolithic era, such as:

  • lean meats

  • fish

  • vegetables

  • fruits

  • nuts

  • some healthy fats and oils

What to avoid: The plan leaves little to no room for:

  • processed foods

  • grains

  • most dairy products

  • refined sugars

That elimination of these foods, many of which can cause inflammation, can be helpful for people seeking ways to reduce inflammation to help manage their MS symptoms.

An article from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society says the first step to adopting the paleo eating plan is to eat natural foods while avoiding highly processed food, especially foods with a high glycemic load. These are carbohydrate foods that significantly raise blood sugar.

Additionally, it calls for the intake of game (undomesticated) meats, which makes up about 30 to 35 percent of the daily caloric intake, and plant-based foods.

Find delicious Paleo recipes here

What to know: The Mitochondria (Mito) Eating Plan for MS

The Mito food plan may be described as an anti-inflammatory, low-glycemic, gluten-free, low-grain, high-quality fats approach to eating. The plan focuses on supporting healthy Mitochondria through the use of therapeutic foods that improve energy production.

What to eat: The Mito plan includes foods that support the mitochondria through therapeutic foods such as:

  • high quality proteins

  • legumes

  • dairy alternatives

  • fruits

  • nuts & seeds

  • healthy fats & oils

  • non-starchy vegetables

  • limited quantity starchy vegetables

  • gluten-free grains

  • grass-fed meat

  • wild-caught seafood

Healthy mitochondria are pivotal for cellular survival, overall vitality, and graceful aging. Simply stated, the Mito food plan uses food for optimal energy while preventing accelerated aging in our most susceptible tissues. Properly feeding our mitochondria is based on our unique body type (Dosha), therefore properly allowing food to turn into fuel, while reducing inflammation in the body.

Find easy & delicious Mito recipes here

What to know: The Mediterranean Eating Plan for MS

A Mediterranean plan is a style of eating based on the Southern Mediterranean region (i.e. Spain, Greece, Italy).

What to eat: The eating plan includes foods that mainly consist of:

  • lots of fruits

  • lots of vegetables

  • salads dressed with olive oil

  • fish

  • bread

  • pasta

  • healthy whole grains

  • eggs

  • beans

  • nuts

  • seeds

  • animal protein consumed mainly in the forms of fish and poultry

  • red win taken with meals

Find easy Mediterranean recipes here

What to know: The Ayurvedic Eating Plan for MS

This type of eating plan is designed for your unique body type (Dosha). It combines the therapies of healthy foods, herbs, spices, nutrition, massage, exercise, lifestyle changes and more.

There are three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha

Each describing one of three universal, generalized types found in people around the world, and also categorizing the nature of their mental, spiritual, and physical state, all wrapped into one.

What to eat: for Vata body type - (not full list)

  • fruits - guava, mango, grapefruit

  • vegetables - spinach, sweet potato, carrots

  • nuts & seeds - nut butters, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds

  • beverages - lime water, tulsi tea, water

  • grains - oats, quinoa, rice

What to eat: for Pitta body type - (not full list)

  • fruits - apples, applesauce (in moderation), apricots, cherries, blueberries, dry figs, grapes, limes, pears, peaches, plums (in moderation), pomegranates, prunes

  • vegetables - sweet & bitter veggies, asparagus, cooked beats, bitter melon, broccoli, brussell sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower

  • grains - whole grains; amaranth, barley, basmati rice, dry cereal, couscous, gluten-free crackers, granola

  • nuts & seeds - soaked and peeled raw; almonds, coconut, flax seeds, unsalted popcorn, unsalted pumpkin seeds

  • oils - coconut, flax-seed, primrose, avocado, olive, sunflower, ghee

  • spices - cooling spices; cardamom, fresh ginger, fresh basil, cloves, fennel, coriander

  • animal products - egg whites, buffalo, white chicken meat, fresh water fish, white turkey meat, venison

  • sweeteners - pure maple syrup, honey (limited), sucanat

What to eat: for Kapha body type - (not full list)

  • fruits - apples, apricots, pears

  • veggies - mushrooms, eggplant, cauliflower

  • seeds & legumes - black-eyed peas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds

  • beverages - coffee (in moderation), orange peel tea, clove or cinnamon tea

  • grains - corn, millet, rye

Find Ayurvedic recipes here

I am Jen Martin, Certified Master Health & Wellness Transformational Coach. I specialize in helping those with MS (as I have MS too) and other auto-immune disorders to reverse symptoms and heal from the inside out.

Visit for more information

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