How to Understand and Support Your Nervous System

by Melissa Chichester

Imagine a sophisticated communication network instantly transmitting critical information across expansive networks.

Your first thought might be, that sounds like the internet. However, your nervous system works similarly, transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body.

Nerve health is an essential component of well-being, yet it can be often overlooked. 

The nervous system is a complex network of nerves and cells and plays a crucial role in transmitting signals between the brain and various parts of the body. It regulates essential functions such as movement, sensation, and organ function. 

You can support your nerve function and nervous system with multiple lifestyle habits.

What are nerves?

Nerves are long, slender structures that extend from the brain and spinal cord to various organs, muscles, and tissues. They form an intricate communication network in your body. These cells are composed of neurons, which consist of a cell body, dendrites for receiving signals, and an axon for transmitting signals to other neurons or body parts.

What do nerves do?

Nerves serve as the messengers of the body, conveying signals between the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral organs and tissues. Sensory nerves transmit information to the brain, allowing us to perceive and respond to our environment. For example, if you’ve ever burned your finger while cooking or using a hair tool and pulled back, your nerves made that happen. 

Motor nerves carry signals from the brain to muscles and glands, enabling voluntary movements and involuntary processes. This includes breathing, heart rate, and digestion. 

What is the nervous system?

The nervous system is the network of nerves and cells that coordinates and controls how your body responds and acts. 

It consists of two main divisions: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). 

  • CNS: Includes the brain and spinal cord, which serve as the control center for interpreting sensory information and coordinating motor responses
  • PNS: Includes all nerves outside the CNS, connecting the central structures to the rest of the body and facilitating communication between the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral organs.

Lifestyle habits to support nerve health

You can support nerve health in many ways with lifestyle habits. 

Diet: A nutritious diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial for nerve health. Looking for foods high in B vitamins such as leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables help protect against oxidative stress, which can damage nerves.

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Exercise: Physical activity supports nerve function by promoting blood flow, oxygenation, and nutrient delivery to nerve cells. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling enhance circulation. Additionally, strength training helps improve nerve-muscle communication.

Stress management: Stress can also impact nerve health. Practice stress-reduction techniques to reduce nervous system stress and promote relaxation. 

Adequate sleep: Quality sleep is essential for nerve repair and regeneration. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, and prioritize sleep hygiene practices such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and optimizing your sleep environment for comfort and darkness.

>>Lifestyle Habits and Supplements that Support Sleep Health

Cognitive stimulation: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles, learning new skills, and social interactions can help maintain cognitive function and nerve connections in the brain. Challenging your brain regularly promotes neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and rewire in response to experiences, enhancing memory, learning, and cognitive flexibility.

>>Explore B vitamins

Supplements: Incorporating nerve health supplements can provide support for optimal nervous system function, such as Puritan’s Pride Nerve Complex.* 

As we age, our bodies undergo many physical changes including those to the nervous system. This may affect nerve function due to changes in myelin, the insulating layer surrounding nerves. Puritan’s Pride’s Nerve Complex is designed specifically for the nerves, with ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid; Vitamins B-12, B-1, and B-6; and magnesium to support different areas of nervous system health.*

While certain ingredients are beneficial for joint comfort, Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is unique in that it provides support for nerve comfort, as well as nerve function.* It can also help with occasional minor nerve discomfort associated with aging.* ALA  contains antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals in the body.* Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which may cause premature aging of cells.

Meanwhile, Vitamin B-12 supports neurotransmission and nerve insulation, also known as the myelin sheath.* Because Vitamin B-12 may not be as readily absorbable as we age, it is important to ensure an adequate daily intake. 

Certain acid reflux/heartburn medications (proton pump inhibitors) may decrease Vitamin B-12 absorption from the digestive tract as well, making it especially important to supplement with Vitamin B-12. 

What’s more, the addition of high potency Vitamins B-1 and B-6 and magnesium also help promote nervous system health, with magnesium playing an essential role in helping to maintain normal nerve function.*

If you’re looking for a supplement to support nervous system health, this targeted formula is a great choice.* Benefits seen with continued use.

Note: Vitamin B-12 supplements are not intended to serve as a replacement for acid reflux medications, nor should you discontinue taking any prescribed medications while supplementing with Vitamin B-12.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.