Linda J. Wilk, MAPC
Feeding Addiction Recovery!
Updated: 4 days ago
As I’ve been building and publicizing this website and blog, I’ve been hearing from people who have known me through my career as a family therapist and addiction counselor. Many questions arise about the need for overall health in supporting recovery, and in addressing all aspects of self in complete recovery. To address the questions you are asking, I will be interspersing blogs that address the scientific and nutritional issues of self with other topics. One discovery I have made is the site, www.aminoacidtherapy.com. Run by Christina Veselak and her team, this is the most complete site around to gain comprehensive information such as what follows below! Supporting your loved one's Addiction Recovery Supporting a loved one in their addiction recovery journey is crucial for their well-being. As family and friends, understanding the impact of drugs and alcohol on the brain's neurotransmitters can help you supply informed support. In this guide, we will explore how drugs and alcohol affect neurotransmitters and how amino acid supplementation, along with proper nutrition, can play a role in their recovery. How Drugs and Alcohol Affect Neurotransmitters Drugs and alcohol can disrupt the delicate balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to cravings, mood imbalances, and cognitive issues. It is important to understand the key neurotransmitters affected:
The Role of Nutrition in Supporting Recovery Proper nutrition is essential for overall well-being and can play a significant role in supporting addiction recovery. Here are some key aspects:
Protein: Including protein-rich foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds supplies amino acids that support neurotransmitter synthesis.
Balanced Diet: Encourage a well-rounded diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats to ensure adequate nutrient intake for best brain health.
Hydration: Drinking enough water supports overall brain function and helps flush out toxins from the body.
Incorporating Amino Acid-Rich Foods Certain foods have amino acids that support neurotransmitter synthesis. Encourage your loved one to include these in their diet. When you can begin to build these foods into your diet and eat clean food (those without preservatives, additives or sugars).
L-Glutamine: Foods like beef, poultry, fish, dairy products, legumes, and nuts are rich in L-Glutamine, which aids in restoring GABA levels and reducing cravings.
L-Tyrosine: Lean meats, eggs, dairy products, almonds, avocados, and bananas are great sources of L-Tyrosine, which supports dopamine production and reduces withdrawal symptoms.
L-Tryptophan: Encourage the consumption of turkey, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts, and seeds to supply L-Tryptophan, which aids in serotonin synthesis and promotes mood balance.
Amino Acid Supplementation In addition to nutrition, amino acid supplementation can be beneficial for neurotransmitter support. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional experienced in amino acid therapy. Some commonly used amino acid supplements include:
L-Glutamine: Supports GABA production, reduces cravings, and aids in repairing damaged tissues.
L-Tyrosine: Helps restore dopamine levels, reduces cravings, and supports withdrawal symptom management
I want to thank and give full credit to Christina Veselak and her team at the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition for the information contained in this blog. I also want to alert those who are in recovery to the fact that there is a new recovery network available through Christina’s organization, called the “Feeding Recovery Network Meeting”. These meetings are available online and the info is on the www.aminoacidetherapy.com site on their calendar. If you want to read more about the way the brain and body use amino acids and how it affects our moods, I’d recommend any one of Julia Ross’ books. Her most recent is The Craving Cure. More and more people are catching on to the brain and body science of amino acids. Stay tuned!