Mental health is strongly tied to dietary practices. The term ‘wet brain’ refers to alcoholism that has progressed to the point of starving the brain of other nutrients. Most addiction and alcoholism result in poor dietary health. Spending time, energy, focus, and money on drugs or alcohol, food becomes a second place necessity. As a result, the brain is continually weakened in any of its efforts to fight back against the addiction. Brains are muscles, like any other in the human body. Made of the same fat, water, and tissue as the rest of the body, the brain needs the same vitamins, acids, nutrients, and minerals to maximize its productivity and effectiveness.
Quartz writer Olivia Goodhill lists that omega-3, amino acids, B vitamins, Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium and Iron are good for the brain and mental health. Taking loads of vitamins and minerals from a bottle everyday can be time consuming and costly. Instead of looking to more pills to treat mental health, Goodhill reports that food is a better resource. Many foods contain all the good stuff the brain needs. Incorporating more of these foods more often can be a viable asset to treating mental health issues like depression. Addiction recovery can be greatly supported by a dietary regimen full of nutrient rich foods. Consuming more of these foods provides their benefits to the body as well as keeps blood sugar regulated. Maintaining blood sugar levels is a contributor to maintaining a better mood.
Recovery folks refer to the term HALT to describe the red-flag danger zone of getting too hungry. HALT refers to Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. Hunger is arguably at the top of the list because it can encourage the development of the latter 3 experiences. Irritability can cause anger and loneliness, while dropping blood sugar can contribute to feeling tired. Most often, when someone is in the throes of HALT, they need to eat something and talk to someone. Talking to someone first usually results in being advised to eat.
Foods for Recovery:
- Red Meat
- Sweet Potato
These foods contain the fatty acids, amino acids, omega-3’s and nutrients the brain needs. Eating more whole foods of fruits and vegetables is recommended as well. Dieticians agree that for recovery, consuming three full meals plus snacks is the best way to stay above hunger.
Refuge Recovery offers dietary and nutrition education as part of its holistic approach to addiction treatment. Healing mind body and spirit from detox to sober living, Refuge strives to help clients learn how to live their best lives possible. Call us today for more information (323) 207-0276