Healthy eating choices are critical for any recovering addict. Addiction works on the reward system of the brain and food is a healthy reward. Unfortunately when addicts come into abstinence from substances the brain starts to demand a reward as it’s been used to getting. Sugar and refined carbohydrates stimulate the same reward centre of the brain. We are substituting one addiction for another! Every tried abstaining from sugar or refined carbs? Let me tell you that this is not pleasant. You literally get withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, pains in your neck and back, your mood becomes depressive and you have a total loss of energy. Your brain screams for its fix. Addicts need to stop these types of eating and learn to receive pleasure from balanced eating in order to stop the over stimulation of addictive foods like refined sugars. The problem here is that you are already craving your drug of choice and by rewarding your brain you keep that pathway way open. Craving for sugar can just as easily be mistaken for craving of your drug and this is obviously very dangerous for an addict seeking sobriety.
What should recovering addicts eat?
– LESS SUGAR , stay away from refined sugars this will help stabilize blood sugar levels which will help with mood swings, depression and anxiety.
– REFINED CARBS, choose whole grains instead.
– MORE PROTEIN, building blocks for neurotransmitters.
– MORE FIBER, fruit and veggies help heal the gastrointestinal system. Try Kefir and Kombucha!
– MORE HEALTHY FATS, choose flaxseed, olive oil, coconut oil, fish oils and omega-3’s.
Healthy supplements for addicts available from Diskem include:
– 5HTP (Serotonin and Dopamine rebuilder)
– GABBA (Effective in fighting anxiety, tension and cravings)
– L-Glutamine (The brain balancer!)
– L-Tryptophan (The necessary amino acid for serotonin production)