As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Food provides our bodies with the energy needed to get through the day. So, if we provide our bodies with unhealthy food, we’re not preparing our bodies to function as best as they can. However, choosing the right foods during recovery can help our bodies prepare for what lies ahead; bettering oneself by obtaining lasting sobriety. Since most individuals who enter treatment for addiction have no previous knowledge of proper nutrition and may develop unhealthy eating habits due to addiction, it’s important to gain knowledge on healthy eating habits. This way, proper nutrition can be implemented into daily life after treatment. So, what is some good brain food those in recovery can learn to implement?
Eat Brain Food with the Amino Acid Tyrosine
During recovery, individuals will likely experience a reduction in dopamine. Dopamine is a naturally occurring brain chemical that’s responsible for mood regulation, energy, and motivation. And, dopamine levels are affected by almost every substance that’s addictive. So, during recovery, when substances individuals are addicted to are not used, dopamine levels decrease. With it, motivation, energy, and mood also decrease, which can be harmful to recovery efforts. To combat this, consider eating tyrosine-enriched foods. Tyrosine is an amino acid that can help to restore and boost dopamine levels to combat the negative effects of a dopamine depletion during recovery. Some foods which contain tyrosine include:
- Whole grains
- Sunflower seeds
Eat Brain Food with Antioxidants
During active addiction, the body is at risk for a number of things, including illness. Drug addiction can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off foreign threats. So, individuals who enter addiction treatment may not have immune systems which are up to par. To combat this, eat foods with antioxidants which work to restore the proper function of the immune system. Antioxidants are natural components of food which can remove potentially dangerous agents in the body. Food high in antioxidants include:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
Eat Brain Food with L-glutamate
L-glutamate is another antioxidant that works to boost the immune system. But, it also provides individuals in recovery with sugar intake. During recovery, it’s not uncommon for individuals to swap their addictive habits with others like sugary foods. However, too much sugar can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even inflammation which can be damaging to recovery success. Fortunately, there are ways to combat sugar cravings, including eating more food rich in L-glutamate. Some of these foods include:
- Brussel sprouts
Learn More About Recovery Nutrition and Brain Food in Treatment
Looking for a treatment center that includes all you need to know about a healthy recovery, including proper nutrition? Here at Mountainview Recovery Center, we make sure to provide all our residents with information they need to live a better, healthier lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, contact us today!