In 2012 at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with CRPS -Complex Regional Pain Syndrome- in my right hand due to a string of injuries and bad surgeries. Since then it has quickly spread to my right shoulder and my left hip and leg. My doctor can’t give me a reason for the spreading and I can’t wait for an answer to be discovered.
More and more we’re hearing miracle stories of people curing themselves with food. Men and women curing cancer and diabetes, all just by changing how they ate. As a journalist with CRPS/RSD I had to believe I could cure myself with food and that is what I’m setting out to do.
In my research there are foods that cause and worsen nerve pain and some that cure and help, so using myself as a guennia pig I’ve started on a new diet that seems simple and inexpensive. This diet is low in meat and poultry and free of artificial sweeteners and preservatives, all which can worsen nerve pain. My new diet is high in vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids and B12, all known to reduce nerve pain and even reverse damage.
Artificial sweeteners and preservatives have been known to cause fibromyalgia and seizures. “Artificial” is the key word here, if we are trying to repair our bodies, we need to remove all foreign objects including chemicals such as artificial sweeteners from our diets. Along with that preservatives, fake dyes and basically anything you can’t pull from the ground or from the sea. Think all natural, the way our ancestors cooked 100 years ago.
When you cook or heat food it loses ½ of its nutritional value including vitamins and protein, so it is important to eat as much raw food as you can. Furthermore in my research countries that consumed 5% or less of animal protein in their daily diets had 1/10 of the diseases and cancers than the countries that consume high amount of animal proteins such as the United States.
Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, eases nerve pain, repairs damaged nerves, lowers your risk of developing autoimmune diseases, slows the aging process and increases metabolism.
Foods rich in Vitamin C
Bell and sweet peppers as well as hot peppers, guavas, papayas, thyme, parsley, kale, mustard greens, spinach and garden cress. Brocolli, cauliflower, brussle sprouts, oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, cherries, black currents, mellon, kiwi and tomatoes.
Omega 3 fatty acids improve immune system function, decrease inflammation in your body, prevent nerve damage and lessen nerve pain.
Foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, halibut and tuna, flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, fish broth, basil, oregano, broccoli, spinach, free range eggs, brussel sprouts, olive oil, nuts, cabbage, tofu, green beans, kale and strawberries.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is fairly common and can cause nerve pain. Your nervous system requires vitamin B12 for proper function and maintenance.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B12
Farm raised meat, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy products, fish and shellfish and beets.
Water is so important to nerve health! SUPERCHARGE your water with Vitamin C rich drinks, see my vitamin C rich drinks in my new cookbook.
TIME TO GET IN THE KITCHEN!
I find that a veggie/fruit smoothie in the morning helps to get more Vitamin C and Omega 3 in my system right away, later I choose a raw or mostly raw lunch also heavy in Vitamin C and Omega 3 and concentrate on the B12 and meat (to keep my family happy) for dinner with a vitamin c side dish. My goal is always to have 2 or more nerve healthy ingredients in each meal.
This diet has helped me drop almost most of my medication in half or more, and my daily pain levels of 4-8 are now down to 0-4 with only a few spikes a month. I also have adopted a new “attitude” about my nerve pain. I try to only think of it in the past tense. For instance I don’t dwell on how I feel right now, but when I felt good yesterday. I found that after speaking about my pain with a support group member my pain spiked, but when I was distracted my pain was less severe. Try it for yourself and see if a little self-trickery can help you cope with the pain better.
With some new pain relieving recipes and a good attitude I can live a much more comfortable life. I’m not cured, but if I take it easy and listen to my body and eat these foods I don’t need to take much pain medication.
Below are a few recipes heavy in Vitamin C, Omega 3 and or B12:
Fruit smoothie combinations, add all ingredients to blender and mix until smooth adding water to achieve desired consistency.
-Apricot (Vitamin C), orange (Vitamin C), 1 cup spinach (Vitamin C & Omega), 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (Omega).
-Orange (Vitamin C), 6 Strawberries (Vitamin C & Omega), 1 cup spinach (Vitamin C & Omega), 2 tablespoons ground flax seed (Omega).
-5 Strawberries (Vitamin C & Omega), 1 banana (Vitamin C), orange (Vitamin C) ½ cup kale (Vitamin C & Omega).
Salads are a great way to get a big raw meal, here are a few of my favorites.
Beet Salad- this salad combines both raw and cookies vegetables and fruits. With beets (B12), oranges (Vitamin C) avocados (Vitamin C), parsley (Vitamin C)and extra virgin olive oil (Omega 3) you have a well rounded nerve healthy meal.
Strawberry Spinach Salad- this summer salad is a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition with a lot of flavor. With spinach (Vitamin C and Omega 3), strawberries (Vitamin C and Omega 3), walnuts (Omega 3), extra virgin olive oil (Omega 3), chicken and cheese (B12) it’s an ideal nerve healthy lunch or dinner.
Steak Salad- this family friendly meal makes a great dinner or lunch, and it’s packed full of nutrition with spinach (Vitamin C and Omega 3), tomato (Vitamin C), basil (Vitamin C and natural pain reliever), extra virgin olive oil (Omega 3) and steak and cheese (B12).
Sushi is also a great option as raw Omega 3 and B12 rich fish will greatly benefit your nervous system. Just as I have, keep searching! Don’t take “I don’t know” for an answer! If enough of us dig for information we can cute each other.