1. A low-salt Mediterranean diet. Most studies agree that the Mediterranean diet — rich in fish, olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and nuts — is an effective anti-inflammatory diet. That makes it a wise choice if you have MS, an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, Dr. Rensel says. Some researchindicates that a Mediterranean-style diet helps maintain brain health and may reduce the risk of MS.
Other studies have found that too much salt in your diet can trigger MS symptoms. “If you have MS, limit sodium to less than 2,000 mg a day,” Dr. Rensel says.
2. At least 150 minutes of moderate movement per week. Regular aerobic exercise can improve fatiguefrom MS and potentially some brain repair functions. “I recommend that patients with MS follow the same exercise guidelines as the general population as they are able: 150 minutes of moderate movement per week,” Dr. Rensel says. “A combination of aerobic activities and stretching has helped many of my patients improve stamina and reduce MS symptoms.”
3. Vitamin D levels between 40 and 70 ng/mL. Various studies suggest a link between vitamin D and MS. People with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to develop MS. And people with relapsing MS have lower vitamin D levels than the general population.
“The evidence isn’t clear on how much vitamin D to take, but keeping vitamin D levels in your blood between 40 and 70 ng/mL seems to help minimize disease progression in most studies,” Dr. Rensel says.