Pro-Recovery Diet for Addiction Treatment
The most important meal of the day is every meal of the day for someone in recovery. According to Julia Ross, MA, Executive Director of Recovery Systems in Mill Valley, California, a skipped meal is the number one cause of relapse.
Since the brain and nervous system use the amino acids that compose protein for manufacturing neurotransmitters that program our moods and appetites, high-protein foods are the most important element of those three or more meals a day. Alliance programs encourage clients to keep protein-rich snacks on them at all times, so they will never be hungry. Peanuts, tree nuts, cheese sticks or cottage cheese, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and jerky are easily available even at gas stations for a quick biochemical energy pickup and are far more nutritious than a costly energy drink that offers little more than caffeine and sugar.
Eat A Rainbow!
A Pro-Recovery Diet is colorful! Eat a rainbow every day, with green, red, yellow, and purple foods. Avoid what’s white (sugar, flour, rice). If you eat a potato make it a baked potato and eat the brown skin where many nutrients are hidden.
One of the most important nutrients in a Pro-Recovery Diet is a group of vitamins called the B complex. A deficiency of B vitamins is closely linked to the spectrum of emotional problems among addicts from irritability to psychosis. B vitamins are found in whole grains like brown rice and 100% whole grain baked goods, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, chard, and mustard greens, brewer’s yeast, nuts, seeds, and animal-based foods such as dairy, fish, meat, and poultry.
Another crucial addition to a Pro-Recovery Diet are the right kind of fats, called omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in deep-sea fish oil, especially salmon and sardines. Another source is flax seed, which can be ground and added to meals. The omega-3 fatty acids help relieve depression and a myriad of other negative emotions. They also build healthy brain cells and encourage the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is deficient in people who crave stimulants. Apart from their use in addiction treatment, they protect us against heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.