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Introducing: Healthy Eating for Peripheral Neuropathy by Bill Nolan

Introducing our new featured blog: Healthy Eating for Peripheral Neuropathy

We all know that healthy eating is vital to our health and may even help manage the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy. Our new guest contributor, Bill Nolan, will be offering us healthy eating tips and recipes on a monthly basis. Keep checking in for more ideas and more recipes!

Good Diet = Better Health for People with Peripheral Neuropathy

Diet. What do you think of when you hear this word? Many people think of not eating foods they like, foods with no flavor, or taking the fun out of eating! I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s likely that you’re reading this because you are someone who has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy (PN), are a caregiver for someone with PN, or are just curious about the condition. My name is Bill Nolan and I am a patient myself. I was diagnosed last year and have been having symptoms for 2 ½ years. I am also a professional chef and culinary educator. Over the course of my career I’ve always believed in the diet-health connection. You’ve heard the catch-phrases before, you are what you eat, vegetables are good for you, too much of a good thing isn’t good. My favorite way to get my point across to people is to compare ourselves to our cars. Would you put water in your gas tank? Of course not, it would ruin the engine and the car would be useless to you. Cars were made to run on gasoline, so that’s what you “feed” them. It’s the same with our bodies, they need nutrients, not useless junk, to function. This will be the foundation of my posts, and how this in turn ties into PN.

The first thing I need to do is to offer this disclaimer: I am not a dietitian! Rather, I consult with registered dietitians and offer the best advice possible. That said, what I will be trying to accomplish with these posts is to talk about specific foods and offering you recipes that include them. As this blog grows, it’s possible we can also talk about basic cooking techniques, how cooking all or most of your meals yourself is the best way to go, and how to streamline your kitchen to make it all easier on you and your family.

Keep a lookout for these nutrients!

Dietitians and scientists have identified certain vitamins, nutrients, and foods that may help manage neuropathy. These include:

  • B vitamins, including B1 and B12

Great B1 sources: Asparagus, sunflower seeds, green peas, flaxseeds, Brussels Sprouts

Great B12 sources: Salmon, Trout, Canned Tuna, Sardines, Yogurt, 100% fortified breakfast cereal

  • Folic acid / Folate

Great sources of Folate includes: Citrus fruits, bananas, peas, beans, romaine lettuce, cucumber, spinach, asparagus, broccoli

  • Antioxidants:

Found abundantly in fruits and vegetables

Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Cancer Society,, Chemo Care

Additional considerations for dietary changes include:

  • Avoid malnourishment
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

A Recipe to Try: Roasted Broccoli

I am a firm believer that when it comes to food, the simpler the better. Minimal ingredients and simple techniques are what we strive for. As promised earlier, with each post I will be sharing recipes from my personal collection. These fall under the banner of my business, Nolan Hospitality, and for the most part are recipes I’ve discovered, tweaked, or created myself. For our first recipe I present to you Roasted Broccoli, by Michael Ruhlman. This is by far my favorite way to prepare this vegetable, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Happy Cooking.

Roasted Broccoli

More about Bill
Bill Nolan, a professionally trained chef and current owner of Nolan Hospitality, a food-focused company based in Darien, Illinois, has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant and education industries. Passionate about food and health, Bill believes in the diet-lifestyle-health connection and loves to share his knowledge with others through writing, classes, and presentations.
Bill will be offering us tips and recipes on a monthly basis. Keep checking in for more ideas!

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