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Change Your Diet, Change Your Brain

Before sobriety, we rarely cared much about our diet. The vitamins and nutrients we put into our bodies was usually an afterthought, if we thought about it at all. In early sobriety, we often find ourselves suffering from residual cognitive impairments. Often, we feel foggy, our memory may still be suffering, and our decision making and problem solving abilities feel diminished. Fortunately, we can begin to turn our attention to what we put into our bodies and begin improving our brain health and healing.

What we put into our bodies has a direct affect on our brain health. Consequently, our moods and emotions can be improved or worsened based on what we are eating. Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that helps with mood regulation. Dr. Eva Selhub, in a 2015 Harvard Health article entitled Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food, explains, that, because 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract “and your gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, or neurons, it makes sense that the inner workings of your digestive system don’t just help you digest food, but also guide your emotions.” When we are having problems with our emotions in early sobriety, we may find it helpful to look at the foods we are eating and making some changes to our diet.

Diets that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like spinach and salmon, have been proven to support brain health and cognitive ability. On the other hand, according to a 2010 National Review of Neuroscience article entitled Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrient on Brain Function, “diets that are high in saturated fat are becoming notorious for reducing molecular substrates that support cognitive processing and increasing the risk of neurological dysfunction in both humans and animals.” Research also indicated that junk foods can negatively affect memory and increase one’s likelihood of developing dementia.

In a 2008 UCLA Newsroom article entitled Scientists Learn How What You Eat Affects Your Brain– and Those of Your Kids, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and physiological science, explains that diet, exercise, and sleep are all capable of altering our brain health and  “This raises the exciting possibility that changes in diet are a viable strategy for enhancing cognitive abilities, protecting the brain from damage and counteracting the effects of aging.” In sobriety, when we make positive changes to our diet, we will find that we are better able to repair our brain health and protect it against possible damage in the future.

Your life can become one of health and happiness in sobriety. You can make the courageous decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana,offers miles of pristine walking trails, outdoor activities, and indoor gym with yoga, and other choices that support the healing of your mind, body, and spirit. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431