If you’re anything like us, when you were little your parents probably told you to drink your milk and eat your greens in order to grow up big and strong. While that’s all true, healthy eating isn’t just good for your bones and your muscles. A healthy diet nourishes all the many cells and systems in your body, including your nerves.
That’s a big deal, because due to the rising incidence rates of diabetes, obesity, and other health issues, nerve damage (otherwise known as neuropathy) is also on the rise, particularly in the feet and legs. While medicines and other therapies are often crucial in the proper management and treatment of neuropathy, as well as kicking unhealthy habits like smoking, a healthy diet is also a major component in restoring nerve function and preventing further damage.
So, what should be on your healthy nerve dinner plate? Overall, you’re looking for a diet rich in vital, nerve-nourishing nutrients, such as B-complex vitamins (B1, B6, B12), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, magnesium, and copper. You also want antioxidants (which help slow the aging process for nerve tissue) and a moderate amount of healthy fatty acids (Omega-3s) to restore nerve-protected myelin sheaths.
Some great options include:
- Fruits and vegetables, particularly leafy green veggies like spinach and kale
- Whole grains
- Lean, healthy fish
- Low-fat meats and dairy products
Avoid added or refined sugars, refined grains, and saturated fats. Some people may also benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten from their diets. It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake; an occasional drink is fine, but excessive drinking will worsen neuropathy symptoms.
We know building healthy habits can be hard at first, but we know you can do it! However, properly managing neuropathy and keeping nerves healthy requires a holistic approach. If you’re having any problems with sensation in your lower limbs, please visit Dr. Harvey Danciger in Palm Desert, CA for an evaluation and treatment options. You can request an appointment online, or schedule one by phone at 760-568-0108.