What foods are good for nerve repair?

what you need to know

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What foods are good for nerve repair?

If you suffer from any nerve pain such as a pinched nerve, neuropathy, or even neuropathic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Often people go to their primary care doctor and then are referred to a neurologist to evaluate their symptoms. In many cases, the cause of neuropathy is not understood and treatment options can be limited. Some patients find relief of symptoms with medication such as Gabapentin but many find that it comes with unwanted side effects and look to find other treatments that may help reduce symptoms. In our previous posts we have explored just how acupuncture can help nerve pain and nerve health. But what foods are good for nerve repair?

Foods you should consider ADDING into your diet for nerve health

You may have heard the term “food as medicine” or “you are what you eat” and it is one of the health principles you should follow for obtaining overall health as well as helping to decrease inflammation and contribute to nerve repair. An anti-inflammatory diet approach has been found in studies to be very beneficial. This is a diet using, food as medicine, and reducing the 4 F’s: fried, fatty, fast, and fake foods. The underlying principle of an anti-inflammatory diet is low in sugar, high quality and grass-fed proteins, organic veggies and fruit, and eating the whole food (the most natural state of that food). To help break down why you should eat certain foods, I am going to let my Chemistry brain do the talking. As foods contain certain chemical structures that have specific actions.

Let’s look at some specific compounds in foods and why you should eat them to help your nerves.

The role of polyphenols in aiding in the regenerative process has been widely investigated because they have beneficial properties such as being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Polyphenols contain several classifications of other sub-groups such as flavonoids and non-flavonoid polyphenols, which share similar chemical structures. 

Polyphenols can be found in dark greens, fruits like dark berries, and beverages like coffee, red wine, and green tea. Flavonoid compounds can also be found in apples, beans, almonds, pistachios, green tea, and red wine. Non-flavonoid polyphenols contain the property of having tannins and phenolic acids found in many fruits and vegetables. Let’s explore the top 3 flavonoid compounds you need to know about to help nerve repair and regeneration.

Number 1: EGCG

 A key flavonoid compound that you need to know about is EGCG. EGCG has made the news because it has been found to be very beneficial for many reasons and is a main compound in green tea. EGCG can help to inhibit oxidative stress, promote anti-inflammatory properties, and neuro-protective. A recent study looked at rats who had sciatic nerve injury and after being treated with EGCG, showed faster motor function, nerve repair, and improvement in sensory recovery. Interestingly, there are studies that have found EGCG can help to reduce nerve degeneration and improve nerve functioning. EGCG has been found to be a potent stimulator of regeneration after nerve injury because of its antioxidant properties and inhibition of free radical formation. This can be a game changer for those with neuropathy.

Number 2: Hesperidin

Another flavonoid compound you need to know about is Hesperidin. Hesperidin is found in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and tangerines and has been demonstrated to have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antidiabetic effects. Recent studies have found that hesperidia can also help with nerve regeneration and nerve pain. 

Number 3: Quercetin

The last flavonoid compound you need to know about is Quercetin. Quercetin is found in broccoli, lettuce, onions, parsley, sage, and apples to name a few. There has been many studies done on quercetin exploring its health benefits which have been found to promote anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunoprotective, and even helping with decreasing neurotoxicity and promoting neuron health. 

Therefore, adding foods and beverages into your diet like dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, and drinking green tea can work to help promote nerve health. Don’t forget about the power of using Food as Medicine!

If you suffer from neuropathy or nerve pain and looking for safe and effective treatments to help. Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Polyphenols: https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/23/9/5177

EGCG and nerve regeneration: http://acikerisim.baskent.edu.tr:8080/handle/11727/4265

EGCG and nerve regeneration: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1028415X.2017.1419542


Quercetin: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mnfr.201700447

Quercetin: https://www.proquest.com/openview/cb442019c0f7fa7962beafe087e5520f/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=54977

Quercetin: https://www.nature.com/articles/sc2015227

Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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