How Proper Nutrition Can Reduce Anxiety
Using diet to help with addiction recovery
Anxiety is a problem that plagues a lot of people, especially women. The Anxiety Disorders Association of America revealed that women are twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder than men. Even with a high level of official diagnosis of anxiety disorders, most women are not diagnosed until after they have already suffered for many years. And, even with a diagnosis, many women still don’t get the help they need. Some try to handle the problem themselves by turning to alcohol or drugs, which often leads them to need addiction treatment in addition to help for their anxiety.
Common Anxiety Triggers
While every woman’s exact experience with anxiety and course of treatment is something that needs to be personalized, experts suggest that certain dietary habits can reduce anxiety levels. Alcoholic beverages that are initially consumed because of their short term calming effect will actually make a person more edgy as it moves through the system. Caffeine is also a common culprit that is likely to make a person more anxious. Food additives have also been linked to shifts in mood and often result in increased irritability.
Helpful Food Suggestions
When experts look at what should be consumed in order to help with anxiety, the list is topped by protein, complex carbohydrates, and water. Although protein doesn’t directly link to anxiety increased energy can help you feel more in control of the day. Complex carbohydrates are believed to create a calming effect on the brain and include foods such as oatmeal, quinoa, and whole grain cereals and breads.
Simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and sugar are digested quickly and also can cause sudden spikes in glucose levels which can bring about highs and lows and aggravate anxiety and other mood disorders. This is especially of concern for those who have recently undergone addiction treatment.
In addition to aggravating anxiety and other mood disorders and intensifying addiction cravings, too many high glycemic foods may lead to other health problems. These include, but aren’t limited to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and gastrointestinal diseases.
Nutrition Coaching as Part of Addiction Recovery
Because anxiety can play a big role in bringing on cravings or temptations to go back to using addictive substances, anything that can be done to reduce anxiety is beneficial. At The Brentwood House, nutrition is a very important component of the program. Our Malibu Beach Recovery Diet is centered around a low glycemic diet plan that encourages complex carbohydrates that are digested more slowly and do not cause the glucose spikes that simple carbohydrates do. Complex carbohydrates are also more filling, and can also help with weight reduction, if that is a goal.
The Malibu Beach Recovery Diet system pairs its food plan with specific amino acids and natural supplements that also help in recovery. Achieving the right glycemic balance combined with the supplements help program participants raise their dopamine levels naturally which reduces cravings, anxiety, depression, and encourages healthy sleep cycles.
The Psychological and Spiritual Components
While proper nutrition provides a good base for addition recovery the psychological and spiritual components are also important. Individual, group, and family counseling are designed to free clients from addictive components of their personality and create a healthier outlook by teaching sober thinking and decision making and helping to rebuild self esteem.
On the spiritual side, activities like yoga and meditation create positive synergy and a greater sense of well being, and can be fantastic supplements to a traditional 12 Step program.