Why Good Nutrition is So Important in Recovery
The drug addiction epidemic has become worse in numbers each year. At this point, almost everyone is affected by addiction in some way. Drugs like alcohol, nicotine, heroin, and marijuana have various negative effects on the body and nutrition. However, the prevention of drug addiction, according to a recent article, will not occur unless we focus more on the physical and biological side of drug addiction to understand the relationship between nutrition and drug use.
We all know how difficult it can be to have a healthy lifestyle and balanced nutrition. It does not matter if you’ve overcome an addiction or not. However, taking care of your body is very crucial in the recovery process. A lack of vital energy often is due to poor nutrition from an unbalanced diet. When the body is low on valuable nutrition, people are more susceptible to returning to their addiction as a solution. Substance abuse has been found to be triggered by eating patterns, poor diet and the brain’s chemical imbalance.
A healthy diet is the key to the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Depletion of serotonin has been repeatedly linked to drug use. The amino acid tryptophan is low in people who eat a high-protein diet and high in a high-carbohydrate diet.
In order to increase serotonin, one must eat a balanced diet to restore serotonin depletion in the brain. Diet is the key to the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and serotonin has been repeatedly linked to drug taking. The dietary precursor for serotonin is the amino acid tryptophan which is low in a high-protein diet and high in a high-carbohydrate diet. Criminals and those with chronic depression have been found to have low serotonin levels.
Poor Diet and Serotonin Deficiency
A diet high in poor carbohydrates and high protein are the causes of abnormally low serotonin levels. In the past 20 years, the amount of meat we consume has increased significantly. The average American diet is high in meat and sugar. Many researchers believe this is why childhood depression in the US is at an all-time high. Serotonin has been linked to mental illness, drug taking and violent crime.
A daily intake of vitamins and minerals is crucial in preventing mineral deficiency and abnormal serotonin levels. Vitamins such as thiamin, zinc, vitamin C, folate, Vitamin E. and others are crucial for brain function. High meat consumption can lead to a depletion of serotonin in a condition call tryptophan.
According to the American Dietetic Associations Guidelines for Nutritional Care of Alcoholics, alcoholics are deficient in Vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, and zinc. In fact, Dr. Dr.Mekhijan, Professor of Medicine at Ohio State University found evidence that most heavy drinkers had a nutritional deficiency.
Animal product consumption and junk food carbohydrates also contribute to addiction issues. Vegetarians have been shown to have a lower risk of drug use than omnivores and have lower alcohol, nicotine and caffeine intakes. The countries that have high drug use tend to be in countries that rely mostly on animal products and refined products such as sugar. The commercialism of good and a decrease in home-grown food causes major problems nutritionally. Less home-grown food is being eaten now than ever before resulting in lower levels of nutrition overall.
As a result, researchers suggest that we focus on eliminating the bulk of meat consumption and process foods from our diet and replacing them with whole foods, plant foods high in antioxidants, vitamin B-rich foods such as whole meal bread, whole rice, beans, nuts and soy milk. It can be difficult to make these changes in the recovery process; however, having a balance diet helps you succeed in overcoming your addiction.
While eating healthy can be hard, it is important to realize that eating poor food robs our body of the nutrients it needs. Our body is like a child and feeding it junk food makes our bodies and mind more likely to rebel. Education is important in ensuring you recovery process is successful. If you are struggling, the time is now to tell someone about it. You are not alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588.
Author: Shernide Delva