When we talk about healthy eating, we are often referring to how well we can eat for our physical health and energy levels. However, it is important that we also consider other aspects of our health as a whole.
There are some aspects of our health that sometimes require more attention than others. For example, it can often be beneficial for certain systems within the body if we make sure to consume adequate amounts of specific nutrients.
The human brain is a very complex system, and one that requires certain vitamins and minerals to be consistent in the diet if it is to continue functioning properly. Similarly to the brain, the nervous system also requires nourishment from the food that we eat in order to work as best it can.
The following foods are fantastic to regularly include in your diet when you want to eat to protect the health of your nervous system!
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are easy to include in the diet and are generally rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and also magnesium. All of these things are key to how well the nervous system functions.
The chemicals in the brain that work to regulate the heartbeat, our breathing, and the digestive system are called neurotransmitters. In order for the body to synthesise these neurotransmitters, then the ample presence of vitamin B is required.
Vitamins C and E help to reduce how quickly cells age in the body, and the same is true of how they work in relation to the nervous system.
The presence of magnesium soothes the nerves and has a calming effect on the entire nervous system. Low levels of magnesium can be linked to memory problems and also to the development of neurological conditions, such as epilepsy and depression.
Broccoli in particular is a green leafy vegetable that can work wonders for the nervous system. This tasty vegetable contains an abundance of vitamin K, which is known to enhance brain power and cognitive ability.
Certain studies have suggested that broccoli is additionally beneficial to the nervous system because it contains high levels of compounds known as glucosinolates. These compounds are reported to slow down the break down of certain neurotransmitters, thereby helping to better preserve the function of the nervous system.
All nerve cells in the body are protected by something known as the myelin sheath. This protective sheath contains high levels of fatty acids, which are believed to protect the nerve cell from damage.
Regularly consuming foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids is a fantastic way to help protect the health of the myelin sheath, and therefore protect your nerve cells from damage.
Although a lot of the chocolate that we find in the supermarket these days is highly processed, and therefore not that beneficial to our health, some of it can still be a brilliant addition to a healthy diet.
Check out our past article on how including chocolate in the diet can be a good thing!
The best chocolates to seek out are those that have a higher concentration of cocoa as opposed to any of the other additional ingredients, such as dairy and sugar. 70% cocoa is an optimum concentration to choose, but you can also go higher if you find it is still to your taste!
Additionally, dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, which are compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. The benefit to having a diet that is rich in flavonols is that this can help to keep blood pressure under control and also enhance how well the circulatory system works.
Better blood flow means more blood is available to the brain and the heart, thereby assisting the nervous system naturally.
These little seeds contain an abundance of minerals that are key to nervous system function. Magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc can all be found in beneficial amounts in pumpkin seeds!
As mentioned before, magnesium is great for soothing the nervous system and keeping the memory sharp.
Copper plays a helpful role in controlling the signals that are sent from the nerves. When levels of copper become depleted in the body then this is thought to increase the risk of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Iron is important for many essential functions in the body, and an iron deficiency can eventually lead to serious health complications. Iron is the very centre of our red blood cells, which allow for oxygen to be carried throughout the body and into the brain. Therefore it's easy to see why consuming an adequate amount of iron is essential to optimum nervous system function!
The absence of adequate amounts of zinc in the body can cause the efficiency of nerve signalling to become affected, which can Pumpkin seeds also contain those all important antioxidants that work to tackle free radical damage in the body, keeping our cells healthier for longer.
Eating for the Nervous System
Taking control over your diet in order to live the healthiest life that you can is one of the best decisions that you can make for yourself!
If you would like to delve a little further into the concept of nutrition then you can click here to read all about macronutrients and micronutrients!