By Dr. Mercola
Dietary recommendations for Bell’s palsy often include foods rich in B vitamins. This vitamin family is known to help support nerve cell activity, as well as help control homocysteine levels (B12, specifically). Excess homocysteine has been linked to an increased risk of various conditions such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.1 The table below will provide you an overview of vitamin B-rich foods you can eat:2,3,4,5
|Vitamin B6||Vitamin B9||Vitamin B12|
• Pasture-raised eggs
• Greenland or Norwegian shrimp
Anti-Inflammatory Foods Can Help Heal Your Cranial Nerve
Since Bell’s palsy is caused by an inflamed Fallopian canal, it makes sense to increase your intake of foods rich in anti-inflammatory compounds to help deal with the swelling. Add the following foods regularly to your diet:6
This common cooking ingredient contains certain compounds that can help reduce inflammation and, thus, pain caused by the disease. It’s recommended that you eat three to four crushed cloves twice a day until your condition improves.
Turmeric is a spice that contains a mixture of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can support your overall health. You can sprinkle a dash of turmeric on your favorite foods, or you can make a turmeric drink to take advantage of this spice’s health benefits.
• Chili Peppers
Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is the source of their spicy flavor, as well as several health benefits. It can help relieve pain caused by Bell’s palsy by depleting your body’s source of substance P, which is a chemical in your nerve cells that transmit pain signals to your brain. In an animal study, hamsters who ate foods with capsaicin displayed lowered levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, as well as reduced plaque in their arteries.7
It may even help you lose weight in the long run by helping you feel full longer, lowering your overall calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue and lowering blood fat levels.8
• Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 essential fatty acids play an important role in brain and nerve function. Sixty percent of your brain is composed of fat, and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a type of omega-3, makes up 15 to 20 percent of your cerebral cortex.
Low levels of omega-3 can cause your nerve cells to become stiff, causing the missing fats to be replaced with cholesterol and omega-6. When this occurs, neurotransmission between cells become compromised. This can lead to an increased risk of various neurological disorders, such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The best sources of omega-3 are usually fatty fish, such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies.
However, you should be careful when purchasing fish. Make sure they come from reputable organic providers, because commercially harvested fish typically contains mercury, PCBs and heavy metals that can harm your health.
Avoid Foods High in Arginine
Viruses like the herpes simplex virus have been tagged as possible causes for Bell’s palsy. They use arginine to multiply and proliferate in your system. It’s recommended that you avoid the following foods high in arginine for now to remove fuel sources of viruses from your body:9
✓ Pumpkin seeds