Studies have shown that alcohol and other substances can deplete the body of essential nutrients. For example, alcohol has been shown to deplete many vitamins, including A, B1, B2, B6, folic acid, B12, C, D, and E. Minerals are also depleted, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium, and amino acids such as tryptophan, taurine and glutathione deplete greatly as well. As you can imagine, when substance abuse is involved, and the body is depleted of these much-needed sources, mental illness is more likely to be developed or worsened, and a person’s mental, physical, and spiritual health is likely to plunge. These deficiencies are what make nutritional guidance so important in recovery.
A study conducted by researchers from Malaysia argued that calcium and magnesium deficiencies are the major sources of pain and nervous/muscular disorders in individuals with addiction during detoxification programs; thus, it would make sense that an uptake in nutrients is needed to replenish the body. Along with a general lack of nutrients the body has after being exposed to substance abuse, the brain needs nutrients in order to help a person get back on track in recovery.
When someone forms an addiction, the brain often slows down dopamine production significantly; dopamine is responsible for cognitive thinking, pleasure, and motivation. The reason this occurs is because the brain comes to rely on the chemicals that the drug provides, because those chemicals bind to receptors in the brain that act just as dopamine does. When a person enters detoxification, their body is no longer receiving the large surge of dopamine that it received from the drugs used before – leading a person to experience depression, irritability, compulsions to use substances, lack of motivation, and more. For this reason, nutrients are needed to get the brain’s dopamine process back into gear. Foods that boost this production are: fava beans, duck, chicken, ricotta cheese, oatmeal, mustard greens, edamame, dark chocolate, and more.
As you can see, nutrient intake is incredibly important not only during detoxification, but throughout one’s treatment program and the rest of their life. Along with exercise and adequate sleep, nutrients are needed to replenish and restore the body’s system so that it can function optimally. Speak with a representative at a reputable treatment center today to learn more about how you can incorporate healthy nutrients into your diet.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.