Nerve Transmission… Your Thoughts?
Ever thought about how your nervous system actually works? Or are you like most people and have too many other things going on in your life that it goes completely unnoticed? Probably the latter, but as for me, it is a different story. I have thought about it and learned about it so that I could have a better understanding of how to reach the highest levels of health. To give myself the best chance possible to live a long, exciting, successful, and prosperous life.
So how does it work? Well, I’m no expert in the field of Bioelectricity or Electrophysiology, but I know enough to write about it in its simplicity. First, as humans, we have a Central Nervous System that is housed in the spine. Next, these nerve fibers have to branch out to reach the extremities, or peripheries, of the body (the torso and limbs) to make us completely human. This is what we call the Peripheral Nervous System. You can see how it got its name. How original right? Then again, that’s the point. Let’s keep it simple. The Peripheral Nervous System is what is attached to different types of cells that have receptors allowing for different stimuli to vibrate them. Say, if light hits the eye, or some object touches your skin, or you hear a sound, then these cell receptors have been stimulated by some outside object (source or frequency). Upon stimulation, or vibration, something pretty cool happens.
Each of these cells have the elements of Sodium and Potassium, regardless of which type of sensory system they are attached to (humans have 5 senses of sensory perception). Potassium is on the inside of the cell mostly, and Sodium is on the outside of the cell mostly. Once these cells have been stimulated, the Na-K Pump (Sodium = Na, Potassium = K) acts like a windmill almost and allows these 2 ions to travel through a channel in the cell’s membrane (protective fat layer). When these 2 atoms are in a water solution, they get dissolved and become ions. This is why the human body must always be supplied with enough water. If dehydration occurs, the nervous system does not operate efficiently and things go wrong, quickly.
Ions are considered electrically charged particles because their atomic structure has been altered due to the presence of water. This is the basis for how signal transmission of the nervous system works.
As this pump moves these ions from high concentration to low concentration, there is also an electric field that resists this movement from happening. As Potassium goes from inside the cell to the outside, and as Sodium goes from outside the cell to the inside, there will become an imbalance in charge, which will create a voltage that sends an electrical current (signal) from a tiny patch in the membrane to the next neighboring patch. This ultimately creates a voltage for the next cell to “fire” the signal and on down the line it goes.
This process can be interrupted in multiple ways. 2 of them I will discuss briefly as they are related to human nutrition. One of them I mentioned earlier is water. If the body is constantly being supplied with water, it will be able to maintain a sufficient level so that chemical reactions can occur easily. Also, as I previously mentioned, the water helps to dissolve the Potassium and Sodium to make them electrically charged ions. With these charged particles and a sufficient level of water, the nervous system can operate somewhat well, but there is still a large part of it that can cause failure of transmission.
Something to take note of is that pure water is not a very good conductor of electricity, but ions in water create a solution that is a very good conductor of electricity.
With that in mind, let’s get to the second cause of failure that is related to human nutrition – Fatty acids. The important Fatty acids I am talking about are the Omega-3 Fatty acid, Lecithin, and Sphingomyelin. There is plenty of other “fats” or “lipids” in the mix that are important, such as cholesterol, other phospholipids, and other sphingolipids. I realize these seem like big words to pronounce, but that’s not what’s important.
The 3 important fatty acids I mentioned (Omega-3, Lecithin, Sphingomyelin) are the ones that make up the insulation for the Nervous system, be it in the brain or the rest of the body. Some nerve fibers have insulation that is called a myelin sheath, but not all of them have a myelin sheath. There is no coincidence in why is it called the myelin sheath, since these are made from Sphingomyelin.
In getting back to nerve signal transmission, electricity is only going to transmit efficiently if there is a conductor (ionic solution) and something to insulate it so it doesn’t leak. Remember, electricity will always find the path of least resistance. So if you provide insulation to the nerves, this is the resistance necessary for the nervous system to direct where the signals need to go.
To paint you a picture, imagine a constant “lightning” or electrical storm going on inside your body from all sorts of stimuli causing the nervous system to fire all the time (thoughts, food, touch, sight, etc.). If there is a constant “lightning” storm going on, then it would be in your best interest to provide a constant supply of water and fatty acids so that you can purposefully direct where you want the signals to go. If one or both of these (water and fatty acids) are missing or deficient, then the electricity is going to follow the path of least resistance and therefore cause the body to malfunction due to the signal coming up short of its intended destination. You are only as strong as your weakest link!
This naturally leads me to the last section of this post – where do I get the elements involved with creating an efficient AND effective nervous system? This answer – you need to drink filtered water and keep your hydration level high enough at all times. Second, you need to eat foods that will provide you with enough Potassium and Sodium at all times. Just about all vegetables and fruits contain these elements in good amounts and some nuts, seeds, and meats will provide them as well. Lastly, you need to get the fatty acids to complete the equation. These fatty acids will come from eggs, especially the egg yolk, all grass-fed and wild meats and seafood, and your vegetable, nut and seed oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil, etc.
If you read that last paragraph again, it pretty much sums up what Nourish Wild is all about and how our human ancestors thousands of years ago ate – wild and grass fed meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, some nuts and seeds, and plenty of water. Throw in the occasional grains of oats, rice, or corn and you’ve got a super healthy way of eating. However, there is one other missing link here. You must learn to eat many of these foods in their raw or fresh state (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds). You will want to cook your meats, seafood and eggs, but when possible try to cook them in stainless steel pots and pans and on low heat.
Cooking fast and/or with high heat is a recipe for inflammation and dis-ease.
This can and should be completed in your own home where you can enjoy these foods in their natural and untouched (unprocessed) state knowing they will provide you with the energy to get through your day, week, month, year, and life.
Eating is not a chore or hindrance to your life. It is how you live a healthy life so that you can do the other finer things that make life exciting and worth living. The psychology is to enjoy every bit of your food and water, knowing you are getting critical nutrients and biochemical elements to sustain you for a long, exciting, successful, and prosperous life!
Be kind to your body, especially to the brain and nervous system. If not, it will not be kind to you and will not come full circle.
And on that note, what are your thoughts?