Adding foods that are good for people with epilepsy can significantly reduce the frequency of seizures. In addition, tolerating healthy foods also helps improve physical fitness and improve related health problems.
Good food groups for people with epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects about 1% of the world population. People with this condition often have a more sensitive nervous system than usual. Nerve cells can over discharge causing brief seizures, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.
To date, the cause of epilepsy is still unknown. Therefore, this disease is very difficult to treat definitively but can only be controlled through a number of methods. In fact, more than 70% of patients can stabilize their health and lead a normal life if actively treated.
Diet is a significant factor in the treatment of epilepsy. Currently, doctors have adopted a number of special diets for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy and poor response to medical treatments. A balanced diet improves fitness and significantly reduces the frequency of seizures. In addition, nutrients in food also help nourish, regenerate nerve cells and support the prevention of neurological complications related to epilepsy.
To improve health and support the treatment process, patients should add the following healthy food groups:
1. Various kinds of seafood
Seafood is one of the good food groups for people with epilepsy. Epilepsy patients often have to limit foods containing carbohydrates (carbohydrates) to the maximum in order for the body to convert stored fat into energy. Because of the restriction of carbohydrates, the patient will have to increase protein-rich foods to provide adequate energy for the body.
Seafood is a source of protein along with abundant minerals and vitamins for the body. Protein is not only a source of energy, but also helps to improve resistance and promote metabolism of the body.
Compared to meats, seafood provides more minerals and less fat. Therefore, epilepsy patients are often encouraged to add fish, shrimp, squid, clams, oysters, etc. to their daily diet.
2. Meat – Good food group for people with epilepsy
Meat contains fat, which can increase cholesterol and form plaques in the arteries. However, patients with epilepsy can still supplement nutrition and energy through meats such as beef, pork, chicken, duck, lamb, etc.
Red meats contain abundant protein along with essential minerals for the body in general and the brain in particular. However, red meat can raise cholesterol. Therefore, patients should give preference to white meat such as duck, chicken, etc.
Meat contains many amino acids (precursors of protein). In particular, tyrosine and tryptophan are necessary components to produce neurotransmitters inside the brain such as epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, … When the concentration of neurotransmitters is balanced, the brain will work well, increase memory and ability to concentrate. In addition, ensuring a balance of these substances significantly reduces the frequency of seizures.
3. Vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are food groups that are recommended to be added daily even if you do not have any health problems. Firstly, fiber in this food group brings many benefits to the digestive system and especially the intestines. Adequate supply of fiber helps the digestive system to function properly and absorb nutrients from foods and drinks.
The second reason to add green vegetables and fruits to the diet is because this food group provides extremely diverse vitamins and minerals. Nutrients in food help improve health and strengthen the immune system. In particular, plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are known for their free radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, regular antioxidant supplementation is effective in reducing seizures in epileptic patients. This conclusion was drawn from a study conducted on 29 patients over a 1-year period.
Although the scope of the study is relatively small, along with studies on the role of antioxidants, epilepsy patients should add green vegetables and fruits to their diet to support the treatment process. treat.
Because of the restriction of carbohydrates, epilepsy patients should avoid starchy vegetables and fruits such as corn (corn), sweet potatoes, potatoes, etc. Instead, they should add fiber-rich vegetables, tubers and fruits. such as broccoli, cruciferous vegetables, water spinach, bell peppers, citrus, strawberries.
4. Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the essential nutrients for the brain. This vitamin has antioxidant effects and protects brain fats such as EPA and DHA from free radical attack.
Vitamin E also helps maintain the stability of the brain by preventing the permeability of brain cells from increasing. Currently, there have been many studies on the benefits of vitamin E for the brain and these studies have shown very positive results such as vitamin E helps protect brain cells, supports the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, declines awareness,…
To improve health and reduce symptoms of the disease, people with epilepsy should increase vitamin E-rich food groups such as eggs, oils, carrots, sprouts, nuts, beans, etc. Seaweed,…
5. Food group rich in vitamins K and B9
Using antiepileptic drugs can reduce the absorption of vitamin K and vitamin B9. These are all essential nutrients for good health. In particular, vitamin K participates in the synthesis of clotting factors, improves insulin levels and helps fight cancer cells.
Vitamin B9 is an important component in the process of rebuilding muscle tissue, repairing skin cells and replacing old cells with new ones. For pregnant women, getting enough vitamin B9 also helps prevent some birth defects and prevent anemia during pregnancy.
To provide vitamin K for the body, epilepsy patients should add spinach, kale, broccoli, celery, asparagus, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, … Vitamin B9 is abundant in vitamin K. vegetables, fruits, meat, mushrooms and fermented foods.
6. Foods Rich in Omega 3
Omega 3 is a healthy fat that is recommended regularly to improve vision, skin, brain and immune system. This fat participates in the production of nerve cells and maintains the stability of the brain. In addition, Omega 3 also helps protect the central nervous system from the negative effects of free radicals.
The study, published in the journal Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, found that patients with drug-resistant epilepsy who supplemented with about 1080 mg of Omega 3 per day could significantly reduce the frequency of seizures. Experts found that Omega 3 reduced the sensitivity of nerve cells and made the cells less excited as before. As a result, the frequency of epileptic seizures will be significantly reduced.
Omega 3 also offers many benefits for heart health and the immune system. Therefore, epilepsy patients are encouraged to add foods rich in Omega 3 into their diet. Omega 3 is found in foods such as almonds, walnuts, fatty fish, coconut oil, olive oil, chicken eggs, etc.
Some notes when eating for epilepsy patients
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that is almost impossible to treat completely. Currently, with the development of medicine, patients can improve their quality of life by using drugs, surgery and interventional methods of brain stimulation.
In addition, the symptoms of epilepsy can be significantly reduced if the patient has a reasonable diet and lifestyle. When developing a nutritional regimen, epilepsy patients should note the following issues:
- Eat a variety of food groups to provide a full range of nutrients for the body. Do not focus on supplementing a few food groups that cause the body to lack nutrients and lose weight.
- In addition to adding good food groups for people with epilepsy, patients also need to abstain from certain foods and drinks that negatively affect the treatment process.
- In cases of drug-resistant epilepsy and unresponsive to medical measures, special diets such as the Atkins diet or the Keto diet should be considered. These diets have been shown to reduce seizures in patients who have not responded to medication.
- Epilepsy patients with concomitant medical diseases such as diabetes, lipid disorders, high blood pressure, etc. should discuss with a nutritionist for advice on a reasonable diet.
Supplementing the good food groups for people with epilepsy improves health and helps reduce the frequency of seizures. In addition, a balanced diet also helps patients improve their health and stabilize their quality of life