Holistic Nutrition & Prevention

Vagus nerve boosters for inflammation, immunity, mood and more

By Mercedes Kay Gold, CNP, CPT

The core pillars for a healthier life may differ between health experts, but most would agree nutrition, exercise, water and sleep are linked to longevity. There is also a nerve in the body receiving lot of attention lately. The vagus nerve has been overlooked for quite some time, but no more. The vagus nerve runs from your brain through your neck and chest to your abdomen. It controls our mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating the vagus nerve can help reduce anxiety, boost digestion and dimmish inflammation throughout the body. Good news. You can start boosting yours today.

Here’s some happy holistic helpers to stimulate the vagus nerve

  1. Sleep is restorative, but on the right side is a no though. Sleeping on your left side is key!
  2. Eating a whole food plant-based diet is fiber-filled and stocked with nutrients, but egg yolks and organ meats are a great addition to menu planning.
  3. Amino acids are the building blocks of the body. The body produces non-essential amino acids, but essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet. Animal-based foods contain all the amino acids so they’re a snap to obtain. Following a plant-based lifestyle is no problem as long as you are eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts and seeds as well as grains. Hemp and quinoa top the list.
  4. Exercise is key to life but yoga and Pilates, in particular, are vagus nerve nourishment.
  5. Eating cold-water fatty fish supplies an abundance of omega-3s, supporting the vagus nerve.
  6. Salt is necessary. Eating a whole food diet is unprocessed and its imperative to add a sprinkle of Himalayan or sea salt.
  7. Intermittent fasting is more than a trend. Eating within a six -to eight-hour window is healing and a huge health helper.
  8. Breathing helps alleviate stress and anxiety, all while showing vagus nerve support. Let’s not forget to sing, laugh and hum every day!
  9. Massage is more than feel-good love; touch is top-notch for the vagus nerve.
  10. Sunny days are dreamy for D vitamin stockpiling, but cold-water immersion is the way to go for reducing inflammation. Start off with a short shower, but freezing cold.  Feeling brave? Cryotherapy or a polar bear plunge is perfect.

Taking care of the vagus nerve takes care of you!

Mercedes Kay Gold is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Holistic Nutritionist who loves helping others live their best life when not spending time with her children and grandson, Theodore. She can be reached at mercedeskaygoldfitness@gmail.com or visit www.mercedeskaygold.com

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