Energy is precious commodity for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis. According to some studies, over 90% of us experience fatigue. Fatigue can be the direct result of an MS attack or as a result of other conditions we may experience such as sleep disorders, depression, or muscle weakness. I have chosen to tackle fatigue head on in two ways: 1) exercise and 2) veganism.
Vegans eat a plant only diet, nothing coming from animals – no meat, fish or dairy. I have tried several different types of diets – Atkins, Fit for Life, Zone, Vegetarian and Macrobiotic to name a few. None have left me feeling as healthy or as energized as Veganism.
I don’t really know why this is although I do have a few thoughts as to why it may be:
- Fruits, vegetables and legumes digest in under 90 minutes; meat and dairy take up to 4 to 5 hours. One can logically deduce that it requires far more energy to digest meat and dairy products. I have more energy available to me than a non-vegan as I am not using it for digestion. My body is energized by the food I eat, not robbed of energy from it. Think about how you feel after eating a great big bowl of salad vs. a steak or turkey dinner.
- Most packaged/processed foods contain some type of animal product – a very common one is whey. Because of this, I tend to avoid processed foods. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state. Additives are used to color, disinfect, deodorize, texturize, preserve, sweeten, hide odors, flavour and so on. I am of the belief that through the process of altering the food it loses its nutritional value. I also believe that the ingredients used to alter the food are hard for your body to process and digest. The end result is no energy gain from the food and lots of energy lost having to digest it. Think about how long boxed products last. It can’t be very easy for your body to break these products down and eliminate them from your body.
It is said that balanced vegan diets are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and fibre and people who eat the most plant-based foods tend to be some of the healthiest. Being healthy, for me, has made it much easier for me to mange my MS. I have enough energy that I am able to manage a full time job and maintain a 2-3 hour a day workout routine. I have discovered through active experimentation that veganism works well for me.
- Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Diet: Fact or Fraud?
- How Being Vegan has Helped My MS
- Vegan Action
- Vegan Society
- 57 Health Benefits of Going Vegan
Using nutrition to help manage your disease. I encourage you to contact me so we can share it with others.