7.22.2010

Nutrients for the Nervous System


There are several nutrients that are particularly important for a healthy nervous system. The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, retina, sensory neurons, and nerves. It is responsible for transmitting information throughout the entire body, and without it our cells would have no means of communication and our bodies would stop functioning. So, as you can see, it’s imperative we keep our nervous system healthy! Below are some key nutrients for a healthy nervous system.







B-vitamins: These help the brain transmit information by assisting with production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Best food sources: calf's liver, spinach, leafy greens, chicken, lentils, halibut, eggs.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and therefore helps prevent nerve cells from becoming damaged. It also can slow the process of cognitive decline. Best food sources: raw sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, leafy greens.

Ginkgo Biloba: This comes from a tree, and is known to increase blood flow through the brain’s blood vessels, as well as stimulate brain activity. Many people use ginkgo biloba as a way to help reduce brain fogginess or forgetfulness. Sources: can be purchased as a health supplement (liquid or capsules).

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Since the brain is composed of mostly fat, omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for preventing brain degeneration and keeping the brain healthy. Best food sources: flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, scallops.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: This is a supplement that is derived from plants and may help slow the aging of the brain. It also is known to increase memory and clarity of thought. Sources: high quality meats and dairy; also can be taken as a supplement.

Antioxidants: These powerful nutrients help to protect cells in the nervous tissue and keep them functioning properly. Best food sources: blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, pomegranate juice, fresh vegetables and fruits.

Magnesium & Potassium: These two nutrients work together to help keep our nerves healthy and under control. They relax nerves and muscles, which allows for proper circulation and blood flow. Best food sources of magnesium: raw pumpkin seeds, spinach, salmon, raw sunflower seeds, halibut, sesame seeds, black beans. Best food sources of potassium: swiss chard, lima beans, yams, winter squash, soybeans, avocado, spinach, lentils.



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