There are differences between the health concerns described in terms of their nutritional management. However, there are some key foods that support the overall health of the nervous system.
Salmon has to be one of the most palatable of the oily fish for most people. Versatile in use, it is packed with the all-important omega 3 fatty acids that support the health and functioning of the myelin sheath.
Mackerel does have a strong flavour, so one for the true fish fans. However, it is incredibly rich in omega 3 fatty acids and selenium.
Eggs are a complete protein. They have a very low GL so can keep blood sugar levels nice and stable. They are also a very rich source of choline, important for memory and learning. You can also get eggs that have added omega 3, and these are always our top choice.
Lentils, like most legumes, are incredibly rich sources of most of the B vitamins, so provide a multitude of benefits for the brain and nervous system, regulating many important functions.
Spinach is a great source of non-heme iron and magnesium. Two vital minerals for a healthy nervous system function.
Quinoa is a grain that makes a great alternative to rice. Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, white pasta, potatoes etc. all release their sugars very quickly, which causes an initial blood sugar rush. This quickly comes crashing down again once the body’s insulin has dealt with this. The variability of sugar highs and lows impact our mood and ability to think clearly. Quinoa gives you a tasty, simple to prepare alternative that has a very low impact upon blood sugar. It actually contains quite a lot of protein too which further slows down the release of the sugars from whatever else you eat with it.
Kale, like all greens, is very dense in the mineral magnesium that can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system and muscles and can really aid relaxation during anxiety. Kale also has good amounts of iron and vitamin C.
Chocolate is good for you!! Well, cocoa is good for you, especially for the health of our nervous system and for making us feel really quite good. Firstly, cocoa contains very high levels of magnesium that help us feel relaxed. The most exciting thing though is a presence of something called PEA – or phenylethylamine. This is a neurotransmitter that is released in the brain when we fall in love, and just a small amount can give feelings of bliss and euphoria.
Blueberries & blackberries are of great benefit to our nervous system. These are grouped together as they both have almost identical properties. They are both very rich sources of a group of compounds called flavonoids. These have been shown to have a significant effect upon the cardiovascular system, and as such may have a positive impact upon the brain. What they do is cause blood vessels to relax, by stimulating the production of a chemical called nitric oxide, by the inner skin that lines the blood vessels. Nitric oxide then causes the muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax, which makes the vessel wider. The consequence of this is that there is an enhancement of circulation to the peripheries, there is improved blood flow to the brain.