How can you avoid getting ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, affecting muscle movement. There isn’t yet a cure for this disease, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing it. Make an effort to eat a healthy diet rich in carotenoids, lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Look into your genetic history to see if you are at risk for the disease, and be mindful of possible ALS symptoms that might appear. To help prevent ALS in the future, help to keep research going by donating to the ALS Foundation.

Eat fruits and vegetables that are bright red, orange, or yellow. Carotenoids have been linked to the prevention of onset ALS. These nutrients are also responsible for giving fruits and vegetables their red, orange, or yellow hue. Infuse your diet with as much of this produce as possible, including:[1]

  • Peppers (in each of these colors)
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow zucchini
  • Pumpkin

Consume 3-4 servings of leafy green vegetables per week.
 Beta-carotene and lutein are both associated with a lowered risk for ALS. You can find both of these nutrients in dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce. Try to consume at least 3-4 servings of these foods a week by adding them to salads, sandwiches, wraps, or smoothies.

Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids 3-4 times a week. Omega-3 fatty acids have a wealth of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and lowered blood pressure. They are also linked to a lowered risk of ALS when consumed regularly. Include 3-4 servings of omega-3 rich foods in your diet per week, such as:[3]

  • Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
  • Nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Flax seeds
  • Leafy vegetables

Take vitamin E supplements.
 Research indicates that taking daily vitamin E supplements reduces the risk of ALS. Ask you doctor if these supplements are right for you. In some cases, vitamin E can increase your tendency to bleed, which may be too much of a risk for certain individuals

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