Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects millions of people all over the world, including more than two million in the US alone. Types of epilepsy, once called the “ailment of royalty” range from mild “Peti-Mal” seizures which are usually a momentary lapse of concentration, to severe or “Grand-Mal” seizures such as the type suffered by Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, in which the sufferer looses all bodily control, including control of urination and defecation.
There have been recent studies made concerning the effect of diet on epilepsy, including following special diets which are low in sugars and other carbohydrates, especially what are known as “junk foods”. While these diets have not been proven to be completely effective to relieve the severity of epileptic seizures or prevent them altogether, studies concerning nutrition and its effects on epilepsy are showing that it is possible to relieve the severity of these seizures by changing one’s nutrition.
Nutritional recommendations for epilepsy suffers include eating and drinking the juice from raw, green leafy vegetables, beets, carrots, and other vegetables with high vitamin content (see our Natural Diet section). Add raw milk and cheese products, raw seeds and nuts, plus soy protein to your diet, plus bio-type sour milk yogurts, especially organic yogurts. Switch to using olive oil instead of other vegetable oils, including taking at least two tablespoons of high quality virgin olive oil a day. Instead of eating large meals three times a day, it’s better to eat several smaller meals and never large amounts of food at night. It’s also recommended not to drink large amounts of liquids at once, especially at meals, as this can bring on seizures.
Certain items such as coffee and tea containing caffeine, refined sugar, alcoholic beverages, fried foods and excessive animal protein should be substantially avoided; as well as using artificial sweeteners, especially Aspartame.
A number of beneficial vitamins and minerals should also be taken by epilepsy sufferers, including Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B-3 (niacin), magnesium, Folic and Pantothenic Acid, calcium and zinc.
It is also very important to engage in a moderate exercise program to improve blood circulation, especially to the brain. And most important, stress must be avoided as much as possible.
Epilepsy sufferers usually take a number of medications which, if taken together with other drugs, such as birth control pills and medications to control conditions such as hypertension and asthma may interact with epilepsy medications. By following the above diet recommendations, it may be possible to reduce the amount of epilepsy medications required as well as the frequency and severity of the seizures.