Getting the right vitamins and minerals plays a crucial role in addiction recovery. When a person abuses drugs every organ in their body will be adversely impacted, and maintaining the right diet will allow your body to heal. The chance for relapse is greatest whenever you’re tired, hungry or angry, so consuming the right vitamins for addiction recovery is another way to avoid it.
How Drugs Drain Nutrients from Your Body
Drug abuse often overworks the liver. This causes the liver to swell, which in turn blocks the production of bile. The pancreas may also swell, which will prevent enzymes from reaching the stomach, which leads to digestion problems. The kidneys of drug addicts are often inflamed, which leads to regular infections and an increased output of water, which accelerates nutrient loss.
Other areas of the body which are impacted by drug abuse are the hypothalamus and central nervous system. This is why drug abusers often have memory problems, as well as the inability to properly coordinate and think. Mucous membranes which line the stomach, esophagus and rectum become sedated and inflamed, which can lead to ulcers and increase the risk of developing certain cancers. Drug addicts are also at increased risk of developing diabetes. It is for this reason that one of the first priorities after an addict undergoes detoxification is to get them the vitamins and nutrients they need.
How Nutrients and Vitamins Heal Recovering Addicts
The most ideal diet for a recovering addict is one which is comprised of forty five percent carbohydrates, twenty five percent proteins and thirty percent fat. Foods containing caffeine or sugar should be eliminated entirely. Amino acids are extremely important for recovering addicts because they lower cravings while reducing the chance of relapse. One example of a good amino acid is L-tryptophan, which is found in soybeans, cod and egg whites. L-glutamine can be found in spinach, meat and beets, and L-tyrosine is found in salmon and spirulina.
The most important vitamins for recovering addicts are the B vitamins, also known as B-complex. Those who are deficient in B vitamins may develop psychosis or become irritable. Foods which contain these vitamins include green leafy vegetables, brown rice, meat and fish. The Omega 3 fatty acids are effective in alleviating the negative emotions that recovering addicts will experience during withdrawal, while growing brain cells which are healthy. Omega 3 is commonly found in fish such as sardines or salmon.
All drugs are similar in that they target the reward system of the brain by flooding it with dopamine. Dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter which can be found in areas of the brain which are responsible for movement, cognition and emotion. Eating a good diet is important because it supplies the building blocks for dopamine. It should also be noted that following a healthy diet doesn’t end when the patient leaves rehab. They should continue to follow the same diet for the rest of their lives so that they can remain as healthy as possible while reducing the chances of relapse.