-By A. Scott Roberts
M.S. Rehabilitation Counseling
Addictions cause a depletion of essential chemicals in the brain that directly affect you thoughts, moods, memory, perceptions and behavior. Addiction mostly has biochemical underpinnings. With that said, one can understand why replenishing neurotransmitters is vitally important in recovery. Food should be considered a viable source of replenishing neurotransmitters which has far reaching positive impacts on mood, health and well-being.
Research has shown when nutrition was added to the popular 12 step programs - which primarily focused on the psychological or spiritual aspects of addiction, it boosted success. In one study, adding nutrition to the basic 12 step programs showed a success rate of 92%! (As mentioned in the video here).
When drugs, alcohol or junk food are consumed, the liver works overtime to detox the body. This further leads to nutritional deficiencies because the body becomes inefficient in absorbing important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acids and the glutamine.
Addiction can contribute to gastrointestinal conditions, manifested by acid reflux, overgrowth of yeast, bacterial infections and irritable bowl syndrome.
Strong cravings are caused by abnormal functioning of neurotransmitters, including GABA, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. However, high-protein foods are vitally important during recovery because neurotransmitters are synthesized by nutrition, more particularly (amino acids). This includes chicken, fish, yogurt, cottage cheese, fish, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, avocados, bananas, lima beans and soy products.
Nutrition is such an important element in addiction recovery. Proper nutrition decreases withdrawal symptoms, diminishes cravings and boosts neurotransmitters in the brain, naturally. That is why the Truth Of Addiction system includes a downloadable video and ebook called: "Nutrition for Improved Recovery."