Neuropathy, or more accurately peripheral neuropathy, is a condition caused by nerve damage in the extremities. Sometimes, curing nerve damage is possible, but more likely not. There are many causes, but in the United States, the leading cause is diabetes. Usually starting in the hand or feet, numbness, weakness, tingling, pain and muscular weakness indicate nerve damage. Treatment aims to prevent further damage to the nerves.
First and foremost, always talk with your healthcare professional regarding your symptoms, including changes in diet or supplements. The following eight food choices have shown some efficacy in supporting nerve health. If you have diabetes, also speak with a nutritionist to make sure you are making good food choices.
A good diet is a great way to treat underlying causes and not just the symptoms.
Western medicine, over recent decades, is starting to recognize the power of a proper diet for good health. Neuropathy has already struck, and it’s time to pull it together and adjust your diet — before neuropathy becomes more of a part of your lifestyle.
1. Cod, tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines and even yogurt are excellent food sources of vitamin B12. Our nerves need adjacent fat cells for protection, and B12 is essential for bolstering growing cells. Specialty cells, called the myelin sheath, surround nerve cells. The sheath protects nerves from damage.
2. Think legumes loaded with vitamin B1 — lentils, black and green beans, navy beans, and sunflower seeds. This B vitamin is a significant player in converting carbohydrates into energy for the nervous system and body.
3. Flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This fatty acid is associated with helping with pain and quick recovery from sciatic nerve pain. Thus, inferring a benefit for nerves in the body.
4. Ginger root is associated with pain relief of damaged nerves due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger root is often used in tea and some food recipes.
5. Loaded with magnesium and potassium, spinach, beans, peas, quinoa and fresh fruits are vital for nerve communication by creating a gateway for signals. Quelled by magnesium, overactive nerves relax.
6. Now for the antioxidants. “Free radicals” are the enemy of the nervous system, and antioxidants come to the rescue reliving painful nerves. Dark green vegetables, beans, fish, walnuts and blueberries are good sources of antioxidants.
7. Vitamins B6 and B2 are twin sisters of the vitamin world. B6 helps the body use B12 (above), and B2 helps the body use B6. This little triangle is essential to fully utilize each in their work to primarily support the work of B12. The best sources of B6 are chicken, tuna, salmon, and spinach.
8. Good sources of vitamin B2 are beet greens, spinach, soybeans, almonds, and asparagus. Remember it’s essential to eat B2, B6 and B12 together as much as possible.
Neuropathy can lead to severe life-altering consequences. Good medical care and a good diet are essential. Follow doctor’s orders and look forward to a healthier lifestyle. Once one is diagnosed — it is time to act.