Proper Nutrition and Addictions RecoveryDr. Collins
Diet and Nutritional Education Helps to Heal the Addicted Brain
Often times, when an individual enters recovery, the central nervous system is damaged, creating an unhealthy response to stress. The addict may find themselves panicking over simple tasks or small amounts of adversity. Being prone to panic attacks is not conducive to an easy life. In addition, often when individuals enter recovery they are diagnosed with anxiety disorders, a condition which makes it very difficult to manage stress. In the fast-paced modern world we live in, it is easy to experience a high multitude of stress at any time. When in recovery, it is important to utilize coping skills that do not involve substances that were once used to deal with stress. To avoid using alcohol and drugs to reduce stress, some diet changes can be made that will relieve stress, rather than adding narcotic anti-anxiety medications. Learn about our nutritional education at Artesian Wellness & Recovery Centers
Some foods that will aid in managing stress are outlined below:
- Vitamin-B rich foods: Meats, leafy greens, beans, nuts, eggs and rice are good sources of B vitamins. These foods will relieve anxiety and can help to regulate mood.
- Peaches and blueberries: These superfoods are rich in antioxidants that can relieve stress.
- Carbohydrates: These produce the calming chemical serotonin in the brain. It is best eat whole carbohydrates like grainy bread to avoid a sudden spike of energy followed by a crash.
- Cold water fish: These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help the brain manage depression.
- Protein: Meats, cheeses, eggs, beans, soy, nuts, and fish are great ways to keep the levels of protein in your diet which creates dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel happy.
- Tryptophan: This chemical also aids in creating serotonin in the brain. It can be found easily in bananas, poultry, dairy products, nuts, and soy. The high amount of tryptophan found in turkey is the reason why people fall asleep shortly after having their Thanksgiving dinner.
- Dark Chocolate: Chemicals in dark chocolate maintain good moods, and reduces the stress hormone that makes you feel anxiety.
Eating these foods will help transitioning into a life free of drugs and alcohol as vices much more comfortable. Avoiding caffeine and refined sugar, which may agitate withdrawal symptoms, is ideal. Most of these nutrients can be found in the form of supplements if it is not possible to eat them. Regularly consuming these nutrients will balance stress, creating a healthy response for stress.