Foods to Avoid or Incorporate When Living with Neuropathy
If you are living with neuropathy, it is important to be mindful of the foods you eat. Some foods can aggravate your symptoms, while others can help to ease them. A healthy diet can go a long way for patients living with neuropathy. Below we will discuss some food choices that may be helpful when dealing with neuropathy symptoms. Of course, you should always consult with your healthcare provider about your dietary restrictions before implementing changes.
Pain, numbness, and tingling are just a few symptoms commonly experienced by those battling neuropathy. When determining which food to incorporate into their diet, these patients should focus on foods with anti-inflammatory properties. When looking at what foods to avoid, one should limit their intake of starchy foods and foods high in sodium. This is because excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which can slow down blood flow and lead to nerve damage.
Here are some foods to avoid or incorporate into your diet when living with neuropathy:
Foods to Avoid:
- Foods that are high in sugar – Sugar can aggravate nerve pain and discomfort, so it is best to avoid foods that are high in sugar. This includes sugary snacks, desserts, and processed foods.
- Fried foods – Fried foods are unhealthy and can worsen neuropathy symptoms. They are also difficult to digest and can cause stomach upset.
- Grain products with Gluten – Those with neuropathy should consider avoiding refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pastas, pizza, crackers and other snacks. Recent studies have shown a link between gluten sensitivity and nerve pain, so it’s best to stick to unrefined carb choices listed above.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a toxin that can damage nerve cells and worsen neuropathy symptoms. It is best to avoid alcohol if you are living with neuropathy.
- caffeine – Caffeine can irritate the nerves and make neuropathy symptoms worse. It is best to limit or avoid caffeine if you are experiencing nerve pain.
Foods to Incorporate:
- Lean Protein- lean proteins such as fish and poultry can keep blood cells and nerves healthy because they are high in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps support the central and peripheral nervous systems. It also ensures efficient nerve-impulse transmission. Fish, such as salmon is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which can assist with healing the nerves.
- Vegetables– Leafy green vegetables are not only full of fiber and other nutrients, but contain magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, all of which are vital for nervous system function. Magnesium also works to calm the nerves, which may be helpful for those battling neuropathy.
- Nuts– Consuming nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are all helpful in aiding nerve function because they are rich in Vitamin B. Nuts also keep you fuller longer because they contain healthy fat, which can help prevent overeating. It is very important for neuropathy patients to watch their weight and sugar intake; nuts can be a great snack to incorporate.
- Whole Grains– Brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat or sprouted grain breads are an excellent choice because they are high in fiber, which helps with inflammation.
The neurologists at THE BRAIN CENTER are specially trained in the care and treatment of Peripheral Neuropathy. To learn more information about how our neurology team can help with your diagnosis and treatment, call us at our office at: (786) 565-8735