Nutrition not only aids the body in recovery but also plays a pivotal role in supporting brain health.
Complex carbohydrates, fatty acids, water, and vitamins are essential nutrients crucial for optimal brain function. Vitamins can be classified as either fat-soluble, such as A, D, E, and K, or water-soluble, like C and B vitamins.
One of the key advantages of proper nutrition is its positive impact on brain health through neuroplasticity—the brain’s capacity to form and reorganize connections. This ability becomes particularly vital during recovery when the brain needs to adapt after being repeatedly rewarded by drug or alcohol use for extended periods.
Let’s explore some specific ways nutrition influences brain health during recovery:
Carbohydrates: Consuming healthy carbs promotes the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can reduce substance cravings, stabilize mood, and improve sleep quality.
Amino acids: Amino acids facilitate the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter crucial for preventing heightened aggression, intense cravings, and negative mood changes.
Dietary fat: Dietary fat aids in the regeneration of neuroplasticity through two key steps—it reduces inflammation and safeguards the integrity of cell membranes.
Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to decreased inflammation and enhance the uptake of neurotransmitters by the brain.
Omega-6s: Omega-6 fatty acids, when combined with Omega-3s, work to enhance neurotransmitter receptor function and activity.
The importance of improved brain function through proper nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. Optimal brain function enables patients to learn and retain coping skills necessary to remain focused on their sobriety goals.
Without it, patients may struggle with the therapeutic elements of the treatment program and encounter greater challenges in their recovery journey.
If you or a loved one is in need of healing, call Brooks Healing Center today to speak with one of our healthcare professionals!