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What are the Best Foods for Epilepsy Patients

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Epilepsy is a severe chronic brain disease or a neurological disorder characterized by frequent seizures. These can be convulsions, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, panic, unexpected aggression, mood swings, and other symptoms. Drug therapy is used to treat this disease. But this is not enough to maintain health, so an epilepsy diet is always prescribed for such a disorder. It includes the consumption of:

  • non-starchy vegetables
  • greens
  • nuts
  • fruits and berries
  • meat
  • fish

This diet includes only healthy foods that are enriched with vitamins, and that can provide nutrients. So, it is considered the best diet for epilepsy because it includes foods that can reduce epilepsy attacks. But this does not mean you can eat everything you think is healthy. Some products may be helpful, but not for those with epilepsy. So, to better understand which products are beneficial, we have prepared for you a list of the best foods for epilepsy patients.

 

Why do You need to Follow the Diet

It is challenging to prescribe the correct diet for epilepsy, but it is necessary. It will help the body perceive the active substances of anticonvulsants and other drugs. And the combination of a good diet with appropriate medicines from a doctor will improve even health faster. A balanced diet always benefits the body, regardless of disease. But with epilepsy, if you eat the right foods, this disorder will not progress because the nutrients in the foods alleviate the disease. There are also other reasons to follow a diet:

  1. Loss of excess weight, which interferes with the normal functioning of organs.
  2. Reducing the risk of disease.
  3. Improvement of heartbeat and normal blood circulation.
  4. Suspension of epilepsy symptoms.
  5. Increase in energy.
  6. Reduction of stress and anxiety.
  7. Improved brain function and good concentration.
  8. Reduction of epileptic seizures.

Eating foods that are useful for epilepsy and avoiding foods that harm the body is key to health. This way, you can slow down the development of epilepsy and avoid its manifestations. After all, good food contributes to the excellent functionality of the entire body’s systems.

Whay do you need to follow the diet

Healthy Fat

Fats are vital for maintaining human health. They are as important for our body as proteins and carbohydrates because they help increase physical activity. Fats also have the advantage that they contribute to the proper functioning of the nerves, brain, and heart. That is why consuming food with fat is essential for people with epilepsy to improve their health. Such food includes:

  • Eggs
  • Avocados
  • Coconut
  • Olive oil
  • Yogurt
  • Seeds

Adding these products to your diet can give the body energy and reduce the body’s anxiety during epilepsy.

 

Lean Protein

Protein contributes to the development of the brain and the formation of new cells. Without a sufficient amount in the body, it begins to consume resources from muscles and tissues. But things like lean protein can help people to avoid such problems with epilepsy. So keep a list of products with lean protein:

  • Red caviar
  • Low-fat cheeses
  • Veal
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanut
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Dairy products

Before consumption of these products, you should also monitor the amount of them. Why? Because excess has bad consequences for the body. So we advise you to consult your doctor about the amount of lean protein daily.

 

Fluids

One of the most important things to avoid problems with epilepsy is drinking enough water. Therefore, there should be a balanced diet and a normal amount of water consumed per day. Doctors recommend drinking 1.8-2.4 liters of water per day. Adequate hydration of the body reduces convulsions, improves the concentration of attention, and contributes to the good functioning of all body systems. So, to retain fluids in the body, it is recommended to eat:

  • Dairy products
  • Mushrooms
  • Almond
  • Bananas
  • Cereal products

It can significantly improve a person’s condition if they consume such foods regularly, and, as a result, epilepsy will not cause seizures.

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Their consumption can not wholly cure epilepsy or avoid spasms forever. But since fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins, they can strengthen the immune system and increase blood flow to the brain. Therefore, the best thing to slow down the disease is to include fruits and vegetables in your diet for epilepsy. It can include:

  • Beet
  • Carrots
  • Grapefruit
  • Cucumbers
  • Banana
  • Cabbage
  • Pineapple
  • Cranberry

But, you should know the amount of their use per day to maintain the norm of vitamins in the body. Therefore, we recommend that you consult with a specialist so that they choose the proper epilepsy diet.

 

Carbohydrates

Many believe carbohydrates should be removed from the diet because they harm health. But it is not so at all. The main function of carbohydrates is energy. They are a source of power, thanks to which our body works. So, they are necessarily needed, but in small quantities. The average daily rate of carbohydrates is about 400 g, but for people with epilepsy, it is about 300. So, we advise you to eat:

  • Oat groats
  • Buckwheat
  • Whole grain bread
  • Bulgur
  • Brown rice
  • Lentils and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

If you still have questions if such foods can cause seizures, then no. It is because they are healthy carbohydrates which can energize your body.

 

Products with a Low Glycemic Index 

With epilepsy, eating properly and filling the stomach with useful food is essential. It includes products with a low glycemic index. These are primarily natural products that contain a lot of vegetable fiber and help deal with epilepsy. So, the benefit of such food is explained, first of all, by its high fiber content and the low level of industrial processing. Such products include:

  • Fresh apricot
  • Pearl groats
  • Brown lentils
  • Green bean
  • Pear
  • Tomato
  • Pasta cooked “al dente.”
  • Carrot juice (without sugar)
  • Kiwi

So if you want the best diet option for epilepsy, we advise you to add them to your diet.

 

Seafoods

Seafood is an excellent source of high-quality protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and vitamins A, B, D, and E. Regular seafood consumption provides the body with essential amino acids. Also, it has a good effect on brain functions because it protects neurons from damage and diseases. Thus, it can ensure clearer brain functioning, and as a result, such foods will cause seizures much less often. So, seafood that should be added to the diet:

  • Shrimps and crabs
  • Mussels
  • Oysters
  • Seaweed
  • Squids

But if all these products are artificially grown, they can harm health. Therefore, remember that all seafood must always be fresh and natural to benefit from it.

 

Read about physical activity in epilepsy to find out a new useful information in our other article.

 

What Foods Should You Avoid if You Have Epilepsy?

What foods should you avoid if you have epilepsy

Epilepsy diet cures convulsive syndrome and prevents secondary manifestations of the disease in the body. That is why there are quite a few restrictions on consuming certain foods for people with epilepsy. For example, sugar and caffeine have the worst effect on the body. Their consumption can cause stress that leads to seizures. So, people need to avoid such things with epilepsy. But besides this, some other products also have a bad impact:

  • Alcohol – long-term alcohol abuse can increase the risk of developing epilepsy.
  • Gluten – the number of epileptic attacks may increase (it is found in such products as sausages, ice cream, chips, and food additives).
  • Trans fats – can increase the risk of heart disease (butter, cookies, cakes and margarine).
  • Sugar – many sweets cause high blood pressure, constant fatigue and frequent epileptic seizures.
  • Food with a large amount of salt – retains fluid in the body, which contributes to increased spasm of blood vessels (crackers, chips, fried seeds, cheese, pizza).
  • Smoked products – sausages sold in stores contain many spices and substances that harm the intestines.
  • Coffee – can impair memory and make epilepsy worse.
  • Pickled and salted dishes – cause kidney disease, hypertension, arthritis, and heart attack (sauces, vinegar, pepper, horseradish, mustard).
  • Carbonated drinks – contain caffeine, which is not included in the epilepsy diet because it worsens spasms and causes frequent fatigue.

If you use these products with epilepsy, their symptoms will worsen significantly, and they may turn into worse manifestations. Therefore, the best decision is to follow a diet for epilepsy and replace unhealthy food with a healthy one.

 

Bottom Line 

As you can see, epilepsy requires serious health care. But all this can be alleviated with the help of the epilepsy diet. A diet is properly selected foods your body needs. Following it, this significantly improves a person’s condition, both physically and mentally, because the risk of epileptic attacks is reduced. So, it’s why the key to the health of people with this disease is to follow a diet.

 

FAQs 

  • Is banana good for epilepsy?

Yes. In 2018, researchers found that a banana can reverse spasms in people with epilepsy. Also, it helps the disease not worsen and get nutrients. It is why this fruit is beneficial and often added to the epilepsy diet.

  • What can make your epilepsy worse?

Epilepsy can worsen if you do not take the appropriate medication and do not follow the prescribed diet. These are the most important things for maintaining health, so their absence can complicate the disease. Also, the reason for this can be alcohol consumption, stress and lack of sleep.

  • Can food trigger a seizure?

In fact, there is no exact evidence that certain foods can trigger seizures. But if you use those products that are prohibited for epilepsy, seizures can appear much more often. Such products can include, for example, a lot of sugar and caffeine consumption.

  • What juices are good for epilepsy?

To improve the condition of people with epilepsy, they are prescribed grape juice. It  contains many vitamins that help improve immunity and can reduce the appearance of spasms. Carrot and cucumber juices can also be good options.

  • What is the best vitamin for epilepsy?

Vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, Vitamin B9 and AEDs, taurine, folic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids. All these vitamins could affect people with epilepsy in good ways. But you should take it only with a doctor’s prescription.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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