Just listened to recent podcast. Quite a CV. Some big brains at FasCat!
With your background, any advice on nutrition for nerve growth? I had a bad brachial plexus nerve damage, going on 3 years arm is functional but still doesn’t feel 100% right. Most advice I got from medical staff was vitamin B1 supplements.
Hi Nate - thanks so much for your message, and so happy to hear you enjoyed the pod!
Sorry to hear about your brachial plexus nerve damage. There are definitely some nutrition-based strategies you can take to improve this. Peripheral nerves are susceptible to damage by a wide array of toxins, medications, and vitamin deficiencies.
Several strategies include Vitamin Bs, as clinical data has shown direct effects of deficiency in worsening peripheral nerve damage, and increasing Bs with improvements.
Vitamin B12 is a main culprit (with corresponding folate deficiency) as well as B6. Copper and Vitamin E deficiencies are also culprits. As is alcohol intake.
Have you had any recent blood work completed? These may help identify what you’re deficient in. Alternatively, I use the Cronometer app to track athlete’s food and determine deficiencies.
As for ways to improve, here are a few tips:
- Green and leafy vegetables. Broccoli, spinach and asparagus all contain vitamin B, a nutrient important for nerve regeneration and nerve function. Spinach, broccoli and kale also contain a micronutrient called alpha-lipoic acid that prevents nerve damage and improves nerve function.
- Fruits. Eat at least one fruit daily to help heal damaged nerves. Berries, peaches, cherries, red grapes, oranges and watermelon, among others, are loaded with antioxidants, which help to decrease inflammation and reduce nerve damage. Plus, grapes, blueberries and cranberries have been found to be full of a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called resveratrol.
- Zucchini. A type of summer squash, zucchini is actually a fruit. Like other fruits, it’s rich in antioxidants and, therefore, good for nerve cells. It’s also a good source of potassium, which promotes effective nerve transmission, and magnesium, which calms excited nerves.
- Sweet potato. This root vegetable offers several nerve health benefits: An abundance of vitamins A and C, which provides antioxidant protection for cells. Sweet potatoes also have natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Animal research has demonstrated that nerve and brain tissue has shown reduced inflammation after eating purple sweet potato extract. And the high fiber content of a sweet potato won’t spike your blood sugar because it causes starch to burn slowly.
- Quinoa. Although it’s commonly considered to be a grain, quinoa is actually a flowering plant that produces edible seeds. Quinoa is a great source of potassium, which aids effective conduction of messages through nerves. It’s an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and folate. This superfood also contains protein, fiber, iron, copper and vitamin B6.
- Avocado. This unique fruit is full of healthy fats. Like quinoa, it has a healthy dose of potassium, which promotes effective nerve conduction. Avocados also help increase your body’s absorption of antioxidants.
Hope this info helps. Let me know if you’d like to dive into a more-detailed analysis of your nutrition!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I have started to pay more attention to my macro and micro nutrients. Cronometer looks like an excellent tool. In addition to the nutrients, balancing my fueling can be challenging as a busy person. Overall, seems to need much more attention as am I well into my forties.
Was inspired by your IG smoothie recipe. Bought a blender and made that yesterday. Many more in my future!
Awesome! Glad you like that smoothie recipe - you will feel invincible when you drink it! Lots more recipes like that. Feel free to check out my Nutrition Consult if you want to dive in deeper! Nutrition Consult with Dr. Lauren, PhD – FasCat Coaching