If you Google the words neurological disorder you will find an unending amount of information. In fact if you take that one step further and ask the question how many neurological disorders are there you may be frightened when you see the long and drawn out list of said maladies associated with the nervous system.
The reason for this is that anything that deals with the nervous system falls under this heading. Of course any type of brain damage is counted here. But then there is also brain dysfunction as in the case of amnesia, or even something called dysarthria which has to do with speech patterns that the brain formulates. Spinal cord disorders also fall here. So does epilepsy, a full body nerve issue that presents as a form of convulsions. Movement disorders like Parkinson’s and MS are also neurological in nature. So is attention deficit disorder. So is bi-polarity. So is Tourette’s. And Alzheimer’s. And autism. And……whoa!
You get the idea this is big category that encompasses a lot of not so great problems. And make no mistake; research is being done now to try to better understand all of this because obviously our nervous system is complicated. It is the thing that animates us and makes us move, talk, and even think the way we do. From a scientific standpoint we still have much to learn about why it works (or doesn’t) and how to best heal it when it malfunctions.
As yet there are no cures for many of the disorders that are part of this category. In some cases there are surgeries and drug therapies that have some effect. But it’s still not consistent. While tragedies like brain and spinal damage are usually the result of unforeseeable accidents, some of the other issues are more an factor of hereditary chance or worse yet interesting lifestyle choices. This means that the old saying prevention is better than a cure can apply here.
You’ve only got this one body and this one nervous system so you should consider taking excellent care of it to the best of your ability. The best vitamin for your nerves is vitamin B6 which is heavily recommended for managing anything nerve health related. In very simple terms B6 helps to form the molecules that transmit messages from one nerve cell to the next. Without the transmission of those messages over “healthy lines” things like thought and movement can be limited or faulty. The science is more complicated than that but basically that is what you need to know.
That said here are 8 of the top B6 food sources for taking superior care of your nervous system.
1. Rice Bran – Bran be it rice or wheat has the largest amount of B6 in it. Rice bran tops the chart with 4.80 mg per cup. You get this by eating brown rice of course! So dig in!
2. Tuna – You may be thinking tuna fish, but eating whole pieces of fish like a serving of yellow fin tuna is a better option with 1.8mg of B6 in it. (a serving is around 6-8oz)
3. Sunflower Seeds – Don’t look at people eating the seeds funny. Join them! The seeds make a great stand-alone snack, but can also be added as an ingredient to bread. (If you don’t make your own bread grocers and health food stores should have seeded bread for you to enjoy.)
4. Garlic, Raw – Boy do we hear this one a lot. The benefits of garlic go well beyond just B6. It’s detoxifying, its immune boosting, it’s great for your heart, and it helps your nervous system.
5. Pistachios – That little green nut that has such a strong flavor is actually really good for you! One cup of pistachios yields .48mg per ounce. Only be careful here. Raw nuts are better. The roasted kind provides less B6 benefits.
6. Potatoes – The potato is actually one of the world’s healthier foods. It is often considered a comfort food and has a bad rap from the French fry format, which is not what we are advocating here. The real plain old potatoes mashed with just a little bit of butter are great for a dose of B6.
7. Dried Herbs and Spices – Chili powder, paprika, tarragon, spearmint and sage are the top providers of B6. They are not used in large quantities but can be added to a lot of different dishes, which also means adding flavor without adding extra fat.
8. Molasses – You probably don’t consider molasses a food, but it can be a substitute for other sweeteners like refined sugar and corn syrup that are used in baking. Give it a try and make even your cookies work for your nerve health.
Remember your nervous system is sensitive and complicated. Do your best to take care of it and it will in turn take care of you.
To your health!
About The Author:
Dr. Alina Rabinovich, M.D. provides general neurology, wellness treatments, and rejuvenation at Midtown Neurology & Aesthetics in New York City. Dr. Rabinovich is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is a practicing attending Neurologist in the Division of Vascular Neurology at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. She is active in clinical work, teaching, and clinical research and recently served as an attending Neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. Dr. Rabinovich obtained her medical degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and completed her Internal Medicine Internship training at New York Hospital of Queens and her Neurology Residency training at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY. She completed her Fellowship training in Multiple Sclerosis at UMDNJ in Newark, NJ. Dr. Rabinovich holds a professional membership with the American Academy of Neurology.