8 Key Nutrients To Assist With Addiction Recovery

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Many people underestimate the power of power nutrition for fighting addiction. When proper nutrition is used as a part of addiction recovery, it can be extremely powerful.

While they help the body recover, key nutrients also help recovering addicts maintain healthy levels of neurotransmitters. Proper nutrition can boost the mood of a recovering addict and help to prevent him or her from craving drugs. There are eight key nutrients that can assist with addiction recovery.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Many experts believe there is a link between substance abuse and lack of omega-3 fatty acids. For example, memory problems, depression and aggressive behavior are thought to be caused by a lack of omega-3.

When an individual is addicted to drugs or alcohol, he or she is likely to become malnourished, which is especially common with stimulant abuse. Experts believe the malnutrition actually makes the addiction worse. Research shows that low levels of omega-3 is linked to impulsivity, depression and self-harm.

There is also a link between low levels of DHA and suicide. Studies show that cocaine users are even more likely to relapse after treatment if they don’t have adequate levels of omega-3.

Also known as long-chain fats, omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as walnuts, olive oil, avocado, sardines and salmon. The two main versions of omega-3s are EPA and DHA.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is actually a B vitamin that is soluble in water. Folate is a vitamin that occurs naturally in a wide range of foods, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin.

Most people prefer to purchase this vitamin in the form of a dietary supplement, and it’s very effective in this form. Many cookies, crackers, bakery items, pasta and breads have folic acid in them because federal law says companies must add it to such foods.

This key nutrient is an important part of addiction recovery because it prevents the negative mood states that cause relapse.

Vitamin B12

Here is a nutrient that is part of the family of B vitamins. This nutrient is important for addiction recovery because it helps maintain a healthy, calm nervous system while supporting adrenal function.

It’s also important for the synthesis of DNA. Foods derived from animals are some of the best sources for this nutrient. Shellfish, poultry, fish, meat and eggs all contain it.

Vitamin B6

This nutrient helps recovering addicts because it stabilizes mood, so it helps to prevent relapse. Individuals can get vitamin B6 from beans, nuts, whole grains, milk, eggs and fish. Vitamin B6 is an integral part of addiction recovery because it makes the body more efficient at producing neurotransmitters, which are the messengers in the brain.

Protein

Put simply, protein is a special molecule and can be broken down into amino acids. While the body can create many amino acids itself, there are nine acids that it can only create from food.

The body breaks protein down into these amino acids. Protein is an important part of addiction recovery because it gives the body the amino acids it needs for a variety of bodily functions, which helps prevent relapse. Meat, fish and eggs are especially rich in protein.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a term used to describe a retinoid, which is a compound that is biologically active, and it can be found in animal and plant tissues.

It’s best to get this key nutrient from vegetables, fruits and animal sources. This nutrient is responsible for immune system health, so it’s a great tool that aids with addiction recovery.

Magnesium

Here is another key nutrient, and it’s the hardest mineral for the body to absorb because it has a massive molecular structure. Hyperventilation, muscle spasms, vomiting, nausea, agitation and confusion are all symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

Since all of these symptoms can cause addicts to relapse, magnesium is a key nutrient for addiction recovery. It can be obtained from foods like dark, leafy greens, vegetables, pumpkin seeds and cashews.

Potassium

Here is the eighth key nutrient for addiction recovery. Potassium is important because it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which controls digestion and rest.

It’s important for recovering addicts to be in a parasympathetic mode because it’s very conducive for healing of the body, which is why it’s perfect for addiction recovery.

When combined, these eight key nutrients for addiction recovery are extremely powerful for preventing relapse and encouraging long-term sobriety.