Three nutritional musts for the healing brain of a teen recovering from Meth addiction
Methamphetamine use not only interferes with neurotransmitter production in the brain, it also destroys nerves and blood vessels in the brain, while also affecting learning and memory. While all people who are recovering from Meth addiction need proper nutrition to help with the healing process of the entire body, it is especially important for teens to get adequate nutrition to help heal the brain following Meth addiction. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, a teenager’s brain is still developing through adolescence. Damage to the brain caused by Meth use can affect a teenager well into adulthood. Proper nutrition during recovery can help the adolescent brain get back on track to develop as it should through early adulthood.
Increase Protein Sources
When recovering from Meth addiction, you need to eat a lot of protein. Protein helps the brain because it contains amino acids. Many amino acids are precursors to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, which will decrease significantly after quitting Meth. You will need to eat foods that can naturally help increase levels of these neurotransmitters not only to help your central nervous system to work better, but to help improve your mood and make you feel better. According to an article in Psychology Today, the brain’s processes all require protein. Be sure to get 2-3 servings of protein a day through meat, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, beans, or legumes.
Increase Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The brain is made mostly of fats, especially those from omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike other types of fat, omega-3 is healthy and important in proper functioning of the brain and nerve signals. This is crucial especially after a bout of Meth addiction. Omega-3 fatty acids also help with functioning of neurotransmitters, helping to overcome the effects of Meth on the brain. These fatty acids help to improve mood and to reduce inflammation to allow the body to heal after Meth addiction. If you choose healthy protein sources, you will likely increase your omega-3 consumption as well. Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, and certain nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseed, all contain omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3 fatty acids are healthy in moderation, do not increase your intake of less healthy fats, such as saturated fats and trans fatty acids.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are known to be high in antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals that can damage the brain tissue.The nutrients in fruits and vegetables also help to reduce inflammation, promote healing, increase learning and memory, nerve cell repair, and more. Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help your brain to overcome the harmful effects of Meth addiction.
Learning Proper Nutrition through Treatment
If you are trying to quit Meth addiction, you can get the help you need through a qualified rehabilitation facility. As an inpatient, you will get nutritious meals to help during recovery and learn the benefits of eating healthy meals. Many outpatient treatment centers will also offer nutrition counseling to those overcoming Meth addiction. Staying clean and eating nutritious meals can help you to reverse much of the damage done by Meth and help you to move forward to a better life.