Sardines are an excellent source of omega-3s.
Photo: Laårk Boshoff / Pexels
The nervous system plays a role in almost every aspect of our health and well-being. The activity of the nervous system controls daily activities such as waking up; automatic activities like breathing; and complex processes such as thinking, reading, remembering, and feeling emotionsexplains the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
There are foods and nutrients that support a healthy nervous system, so you can help keep it running like a well-oiled machine. The nervous system transmits signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When this system works optimally, the “road network” carries messages to and from the brain without making mistakes.
Nutrients that support a healthy nervous system:
1. Fatty acids
Essentially fatty acids are very important for the health of skin, nerves and cell membranes, says Joan Salge Blake, professor of nutrition at Boston University via US News.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats, the body cannot produce them from scratch, but must obtain them from food. Omega-3 rich foods include fish, vegetable oils, nuts, flax seeds, flaxseed oil, and leafy greens.
Harvard Health explains that omega-3 fats perform a number of functions, especially building cell membranes throughout the body and brain.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of omega-3 they could promote healthier brain cells and less deterioration of the brain.
2. Vitamins B 12
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep neurons and blood cells healthy. In addition, it contributes to the elaboration of DNA, the genetic material present in all cells.
“Of all the vitamins, the one that is very important for brain development, as well as maintaining or preventing depression or brain degeneration among the elderly,” says Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia, and neurological problems can develop, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Other symptoms include balance problems, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to the nervous system, warn the National Institutes of Health.
The best sources of vitamin B12 are beef liver and clams. You also find this vitamin in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
Folate is vitamin B9. The body needs folate to make DNA and other types of genetic material. It is also a necessary vitamin for cell division in the body. Not only can folate deficiency lead to megaloblastic anemia. People with low blood folate levels may be more likely to have depression and anxiety.
Beef liver is one of the richest sources of folateAlso boiled spinach are a good source, black-eyed peas, asparagus and Brussels sprouts.
The body needs potassium for almost all its function, including for the proper functioning of the kidney and the heart, muscle contraction and nerve transmission.
Severe potassium deficiency can lead to decreased brain function, increased blood pressure, reduced calcium in the bones, and increased risk of kidney stones.
Lentils, beans, squash are some of the foods richest in potassium.
Nutrition and brain health experts recommend a balanced diet and stay away from inflammation-inducing foods such as refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes, cookies and white rice, fried foods, drinks and foods with lots of added sugar, processed meats, and unhealthy fats like butter and lard.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.