Your nerves can be compared to superhighways upon which signals from your brain travel to various parts of your body. They control your muscles, tell your brain when you’ve been hurt, and even tell certain organs and glands when to produce hormones. Here are seven ways to maintain good nerve health throughout your life.
#1 – Eat a Nutritious Diet
Your nerves are sheathed in a layer of fat called myelin, which is much like an insulator. If it isn’t properly maintained, your nerves will let you know. Symptoms of degraded myelin include muscle weakness, vision problems, and chronic pain with no known cause. To prevent this, make sure you’re getting plenty of healthy fats, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 in your diet. These vitamins and nutrients help keep myelin healthy.
#2 – Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been scientifically proven to aid in the production of dopamine and serotonin. These are “feel-good” hormones that also act as neurotransmitters, meaning they carry signals from your brain, through your spinal cord, and eventually to the nerves throughout your body. As such, green tea is a great addition to your diet if you want to maintain good nerve health.
#3 – Take a Barefoot Walk
Although this method is often met with skepticism, there are plenty of people who truly believe in the connection between the body and the earth. It is believed that walking barefoot on grass facilitates the transfer of necessary electrons from the earth into your body, which can help regulate your nervous system. A study conducted in 2002 found that patients who walked barefoot on grass regularly had less inflammation, a more consistent heartbeat, and better overall blood viscosity than those who walked on grass wearing shoes.
#4 – Exercise
You’re likely aware that exercise is a vital part of keeping your body healthy, but it’s also important for your brain and your nervous system. When you exercise regularly, several things happen. First, your lungs develop more capacity, which means they can more efficiently transfer oxygen from the air into your bloodstream. Second, the circulation throughout your body improves as your heart becomes stronger. Both things can greatly improve your overall nerve health.
#5 – Eat Foods Containing Copper
Although too much of any heavy metal can be poisonous to the body, studies have found that many people – especially those who consume a Western diet – get too little copper in their diets. Your body needs copper to create the neurotransmitters that send signals through your nerves, and studies have found that copper deficiency can directly lead to the degeneration of your spinal cord. The best sources of dietary copper are kale, spinach, and other leafy greens.
#6 – Take a Deep Breath
Breathing deeply and slowly gives your nerves ample time to relax and recharge, which is vital to your overall nerve health. Just like regular exercise, deep breathing allows your blood to become more oxygenated, which helps to nourish your nervous system. Multiple studies have found that deep breathing also increases the production of hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
#7 – Protect Yourself from Environmental Toxins
Finally, numerous studies have shown that certain environmental toxins can wreak havoc on the immune system. What’s more, chances are good that you may be exposing yourself to some of these toxins without even realizing it. Cigarette smoke and alcohol are both detrimental to the nerves, as are chemicals found in household cleaning products and air fresheners. Lessening your exposure to these can improve and maintain nerve health well into your golden years.
Your nerves are information highways that allow your brain to communicate with organs, glands, muscles, tissues, and everything in between. Without them, your body wouldn’t be able to function properly. Optimal nerve health is achievable by simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle.