Nourishing Your Body: Natural Energy Foods when living with Ataxia

By nourishing your body - MIchaelmantz ataxia blogs2

Fueling your body with the right foods isn’t just a choice – it’s a powerful tool in your journey to living with the challenges of ataxia. By embracing a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and vibrant fruits and vegetables, you’re not only nourishing your body but also unlocking a natural source of sustained energy. 

One method to support your body’s needs while living with ataxia is by making thoughtful and nutritious dietary choices.  For those of us living with this movement disorder, we battle with diminishing balance and coordination issues. And that struggle frequently leaves us feeling exhausted.

Incorporating energy-boosting foods into your diet can help you manage the symptoms and maintain a higher quality of life. By nourishing your body, let’s explore a range of natural foods that can provide sustained energy and support your overall well-being.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are a fantastic source of sustained energy, particularly for individuals dealing with ataxia.  Foods like whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat), legumes (beans, lentils), and starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash) release energy slowly, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes. These foods are also rich in fiber, which supports digestive health and can alleviate some gastrointestinal issues often associated with ataxia.

Protein-Rich Foods

Protein is essential for maintaining muscle strength and repairing tissues, both of which are vital.  Incorporating lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes can provide the amino acids needed to support muscle function. Consuming protein alongside complex carbohydrates can also help to balance energy levels and keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are a valuable source of energy and are crucial for overall brain health. Incorporate sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) into your diet. These fats provide sustained energy, support cognitive function, and contribute to heart health, which is essential for managing ataxia-related challenges.

Fruits and Vegetables

Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, making them essential for anyone dealing with ataxia. They provide a variety of nutrients that support immune function and help combat fatigue. Berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables are particularly beneficial choices due to their high nutrient content.


Staying hydrated is often overlooked but is crucial for maintaining energy levels. Dehydration can intensify fatigue and negatively impact brain function. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and consider incorporating hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, and herbal teas to support your fluid intake.

Small, Frequent Meals

Rather than consuming three large meals, opt for smaller, more frequent meals and snacks. This approach can help stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent energy crashes, and provide a steady stream of nutrients to support your body’s needs.

Vitamins and Minerals

Certain vitamins and minerals play a significant role in energy production and nerve function. Vitamin B-complex, magnesium, and iron are particularly important. Foods like whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and legumes can provide these essential nutrients. 

I provided a list of the vitamins I have used for years in a previous article and you can read that HERE


While dealing with ataxia can be challenging, making informed and mindful choices about your diet can significantly impact your energy levels and overall well-being. Incorporating a balanced mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables can provide sustained energy, support muscle function, and help manage the symptoms of Ataxia. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before making any major changes to your diet. Especially if you have specific dietary restrictions or medical conditions. By nourishing your body with the right foods, you can take positive steps toward managing ataxia and enhancing your quality of life.

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