If you suffer from neuropathy, then you will probably have considered many different remedies and medicine. However, it is also likely that you haven't yet considered the importance of a good diet to help you manage your symptoms and perhaps even reverse some of the damage. There is, however, more and more research to demonstrate that there is a direct link between the foods we eat and our nervous system, both positive and negative.
Importance of Good Nutrition for Preventing Neuropathy
In fact, the first line of defense when it comes to preventative medicine is good nutrition, and the same is true for peripheral neuropathy. Once you have developed it, diet continues to be important in terms of managing and reducing your symptoms, and even healing your nerves. Neuropathy is often caused by other conditions, most notably diabetes, so it is very important that you control your blood sugar level in order to avoid neuropathy. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to certain vitamin B deficiencies, again leading to neuropathy.
Regardless of whether you have neuropathy, cancer, diabetes, an addiction disorder, or any other problem, it is important that you should eat a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. You may also want to consider keeping a food diary, particularly if you have neuropathy, as this will help you to identify which foods make you feel better, or worse.
Neuropathy can be improved or worsened depending on what you eat. There are foods that can cause further damage to the nerves, weakening them even more. It is important, therefore, to know not just what to eat, but also what to avoid in order to stop your tingling, numbness, and/or nerve pain from getting worse.
At the same time, you can consume foods that make your nerves stronger, thereby improving your existing condition and avoiding it from getting any worse. In fact, there are even foods that can help to repair any nerves that have been damaged, which means you could get full relief of your symptoms. So what are the foods you really should include, and what should you avoid?
Foods to Include for Reducing Symptoms of Neuropathy
This is surprising to many people but ginger is a strong, natural, pain reliever. This means that it can help you feel a lot better. Added to that, it contains gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby increasing mobility in people with serious and chronic pain and helping them to become more mobile.
Water has to be a standard component of any healthy diet. It isn't a miraculous healer in terms of neuropathy, but what it can do is provide relief from inflammation. This means that the pain you experience as part of neuropathy does not get any worse. When you start to get dehydrated, your blood starts to thicken and your muscles go into spasm. As a result, inflammation occurs and affects areas where pain receptors and nerves are located. If you ensure that you are always hydrated, your overall bodily functions are better able to function as well, thereby increasing your overall well being.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are filled with various minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fibers. Put together, these help to create a strong immune system while at the same time preventing and fighting disease and illness. People who have neuropathy should increase their intake of fruits and vegetables immediately. Many people who have neuropathy also have diabetes, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables means that you will also be better able to control the symptoms of diabetes.
You should try to eat at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day in order to see some real results. Try to choose those that have very high levels of antioxidants, including berries, cherries, grapefruit, oranges, Brussels sprouts, onions, and bell peppers. Another great benefit of fruits and vegetables is that you can purchase them ready to eat. As a result, you don't have to do a lot of work in the kitchen, which means you will feel much less stressed as well.
Lean protein is necessary for your body to be able to build and repair new tissue. It is important to stick to lean protein, however, so that you don't eat too many animal fats. Good sources include low fat dairy and poultry, and people with peripheral or diabetic neuropathy should consider increasing their level of consumption.
Avoid eating processed foods, as well as foods with high trans and saturated fats, including deep fried foods, cheese, butter, whole milk, and fatty meat. Not only can these make your neuropathy worse, they can also lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes. You should try to add things like fish, tofu, yogurt, low fat milk, legumes, and skinless poultry to your diet, for balanced nutrition, for the best results. Lean protein is not just important to combat neuropathy, it is also has a positive influence on your blood sugar level.
Foods to Avoid
Peripheral and diabetic neuropathy can be caused or worsened by vitamin deficiencies, diabetes, traumatic injuries, alcoholism, and more. To treat it, you will often have to find a way to manage that underlying cause, which includes medication and therapy, but you should also take a close look to your diet as there are foods that can make it worse. These include:
Avoid gluten, particularly, if you have celiac disease. If you are allergic to gluten, consuming it can trigger neuropathy or make symptoms much worse. Gluten can be found in any product made with baking, cake, wheat, or white flower. Hence, switch to gluten free if necessary.
These have a high glycemic level. This means that they significantly impact your blood sugar. You must be able to control your insulin and glucose levels if you are to control diabetic neuropathy in particular. In order to have a better glycemic impact on your diet, you should consume whole grains instead of refined grains
This adds a lot of flavor to foods, but little to no nutrients. When you have a nutritional deficiency, it is much easier to experience neuropathy. You should eat lots of whole grains and vegetables and for that occasional sweet treat, fresh fruits.
These are found mainly in whole fat dairy products and fatty meats. They can lead to inflammation, as well as increasing your chance of having type 2 diabetes.
Due to a number of factors, including the amount of toxins in our environment and the poor mineral quality of our soil, the foods we eat are becoming less nutrient dense than in previous generations. Therefore, it is vital to not only eat organic fruits and vegetables like those listed above, but to also supplement your diet with the proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support optimal nerve health.
You may, for even better effects, also want to consider supplementing your diet with a product like Nerve Renew which is designed for supporting healthy nerves and reducing pain.