Until fairly recently, it was thought that nerves couldn’t be repaired. Fortunately, science has shown that nerve damage may, in some cases, be reversed. Sometimes nerves can be repaired or regrown, supporting a healthy nervous system and better brain function over time. That’s undeniably good news for those of us who have suffered injury or illness that has affected our nervous system.
Now, there are a number of ways that you can help your nerves to recover from damage. Exercise and warm baths may soothe and help to reverse nerve damage throughout the body. Medication may help to slow or reverse nerve damage in the brain. And, as is true with all other body parts, your diet can help you to improve your nerve health. Research suggests that certain foods have a positive impact on our nerve health, and they may be able to aid nerve regeneration and growth. Here are a few foods you can add to your grocery list to bolster your nerve health:
Vitamin A-Rich for Thymus Support
Your thymus keeps your immune system operating. Consider adding foods that are rich in vitamin A to ensure that your thymus is healthy. Vitamin A can be found in dairy foods, carrots, and various fish.
Vitamin B-Rich Foods for White Blood Cells
Vitamin B helps our body to naturally produce the white blood cells it needs to fend off diseases which can threaten our nerve health. Think soybeans, brown rice, and other vitamin B-rich foods. Vitamin B has also been shown to help reverse nerve pain, which is often caused by inflammation. Now, you should pay attention to individual B vitamins as well, since they offer unique benefits:
Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 might be at the top of the list for a reason. This vitamin is vital for protecting nerves, since it helps to build and maintain the myelin sheath that protects your nerves. This fatty covering fends off illness and damage that may otherwise occur. If you’re striving to improve your nerve health, increasing your intake of vitamin B12 is a good place to start. You can find B12 in a number of fish, including tuna, cod, salmon, sardines, and mackerel. You’ll also find a good source of B12 in yogurt.
Vitamin B1: Next up: vitamin B1. This vitamin helps store fuel for various cells in the body, including your muscular and nervous cells. This powerful vitamin ensures that your cells have what it takes to metabolize and expend energy. That means improved nerve response, and it could help your nerves to replicate and grow in strength. Since vitamin B1 isn’t easily absorbed by the body, you should be sure to consume foods that have B1 consistently. Also, consider adding a B1 supplement to your diet for more benefits. You can find vitamin B1 in sunflower seeds, various beans, and peas, among other foods.
Vitamin B6: Before we boast about the benefits of B6, we’d like to note that you should moderate your intake of this vitamin. The National Academies Institute of Medicine suggests that men and women only consume 100 milligrams of B6 per day, at the most. Consuming more than 100 milligrams of vitamin B6 may be harmful.
That said, B6 is an essential part of a healthy diet. This vitamin actually aids the body in absorbing vitamin B12, and therefore, it works with B12 to provide the nerve protection that we mentioned earlier. Beyond that, B6 aids nerves in communicating with each other, since it’s responsible for producing neurotransmitters. Plus, B6 aids in the metabolic process for cells, and it maintains your blood sugar levels — so, in short, it aids all of your body’s cells in thriving. You can find vitamin B6 in fish, including tuna and salmon, as well as spinach, chicken, and other foods.
Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2 is similar to B6 in that your body relies on it to utilize vitamin B12. Yes, these three B vitamins work together to ensure that your body (and nerves) get what they need. Again, thanks to B2 and B6, vitamin B12 can help to protect your nerves by building their myelin sheath. You can find vitamin B2 in soybeans, spinach, almonds, asparagus, and beets.
Vitamin C-Rich Foods for Immune Support
As we mentioned before, your immune system protects your body, ensuring that all other systems thrive. Vitamin C is a crucial component for immune system functions. Add plenty of vitamin C to your diet to bolster your immunity, and to improve your nerve health. You can find vitamin C in most fruits and veggies. Plus, you can get cupfulls of vitamin C from green tea, one of the best sources!
Vitamin E-Rich Foods to Build Antibodies
If you suffer from an illness that is damaging your nerves, consume plenty of vitamin E to bolster your white blood cell count. White blood cells capture and kill infections and viruses that can harm your body and nervous system. You can find vitamin E in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, and other foods.
Ginger: Nature’s Pain Reliever
If you suffer from nerve pain, then nature has a reliever in the form of food: ginger. Ginger heals nerves with a compound aptly named gingerol. This compound has anti-inflammatory qualities which help to soothe your nerves.
Get a Potassium & Magnesium Balance
Potassium and magnesium work together to help your nerves function. While potassium is essential for neurotransmission, keeping the nerves active, magnesium is essential for relaxing your nerves and muscles. Without plenty of magnesium and potassium in your diet, you could suffer from cramps, spasms, fatigue, and weak muscles. You’ll find both potassium and magnesium in spinach, pumpkin seeds, fruit, quinoa, beans, and peas.
Antioxidants to Relieve Nerve Stress
Antioxidants, as you’ve probably heard, neutralize free radicals which can harm our cells and cause them to mutate. That makes antioxidants a valuable ingredient for a nerve-support diet. Antioxidants like CoQ10 and acetyl-l-carnitine can help to prevent or reverse nerve damage, and they help to reduce pain. Antioxidant packed foods include blueberries, fish, beans, walnuts, green veggies, and beans.
Water to Hydrate
OK, water isn’t really a food, but it provides a number of benefits for your whole-body health, as well as the health of your nerves. Water reduces nerve stress, and it can help to relax muscles. That can mean reduced pain, healthier nerves, and faster recovery from nerve damage. Be sure to drink plenty of water alongside your diet to keep your body and nerves hydrated.
We’re Here for Your Health
We hope you’ve enjoyed our article, and we hope that you’ll find better nerve health with the aforementioned foods. Here at Nova Home Health Care, your health is our concern. We help folks to improve their health from the comfort of their homes. Learn more about our in-home health care services, and improve your wellness with Nova HHC!