Rebalancing Brain Chemistry
Being sober has a noticeable impact on the improvement of brain chemistry. Pleasure centres of the brain, hijacked until recently by uppers and downers, start to regulate themselves and normalise brain chemistry when a person with an addiction embraces sobriety. Unfortunately, pathways in the brain that associate a substance with pleasure do remain, but a quality rehab program with a diverse approach to treatment can go a long way in training the brain to break patterns of dependency.
Importance of Nutrition in Substance Recovery
A comprehensive recovery plan for substance abuse requires a detailed plan involving proper intake of nutrients and minerals.
After the use of alcohol and drugs is stopped completely, a detox program under guidance is the first step. In order to heal the damage done by substance abuse, an after-care program is initiated. It is important that this treatment involve not only ways to stay sober, but also a proactive nutritional plan designed to heal the body. Recent studies show that the correct intake of calories, nutrients and vitamins not only promote healing, but also help control craving for the abused substance.
Micronutrients, which are made up of 13 essential vitamins, support the immune system and promote bone density. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium are important for blood pressure, oxygen transfer and prevention of tooth decay.
Macronutrients are made up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water. These are required by the body daily and in larger amounts than micronutrients. They play a critical role in improving neuroplasticity, especially after prolonged drug abuse.
Using Nutrition to Improve Neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to build new connections and change old ones. It is affected by injury, disease or changes in the environment. Addiction is caused by neuroplasticity as a result of changes in neural pathways created by substances.
Studies show that proper nutrition can improve neuroplasticity by helping the brain replenish damaged neurotransmitters. Here’s how macronutrients can help restore plasticity to the brain:
Carbohydrates: These help the brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for stabilising mood, regulating sleep, and reducing cravings for substances.
Amino acids: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is produced with the help of amino acids. Dopamine deficiency can result in severe cravings, negative mood disorders and aggression.
Dietary fat: Fat plays a beneficial role in neuroplasticity by reducing inflammation and protecting cell membranes in the brain.
Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation and help the brain take in more neurotransmitters.
Omega-6s: When balanced with omega-3 fatty acids, these increase the function of neurotransmitter receptors, increasing the levels of activity in the brain.
Personalised Nutritional Plan for Drug Abuse Recovery
Recovering addicts may worry that there’s no coming back from years of substance abuse. At Rehab Melbourne, our highly qualified nutritionists have the expertise you need to not only stay sober, but also improve your mind and body through all-encompassing dietary guidance.
Call 1800 954 749 or use the online enquiry form for more information about the path to recovery.