Three nutritional musts for the healing brain of a teen recovering from substance abuse
Substance abuse is a serious issue that is affecting thousands of people around the world, including many teenagers. Unfortunately, substance abuse is a disease that damages the brain. When a person actually takes time to learn about what abusing drugs or alcohol can do to the brain, they will see that the results are very scary. It can destroy the brain’s nerve cells and disrupt neural circuitry. This is going to affect a person’s behavior, their mood, their memory, their decision-making abilities and their cognitive functioning. This is extremely serious. Parents are especially concerned about what substance abuse is doing to their teenager’s brains and bodies.
Thankfully, the brain is actually a very forgiving organ, and nerve cells in the body can regenerate themselves over time. For the brain and the body to begin to heal, certain things need to be done. Firstly, a teenager needs to get help dealing with the substance abuse. A rehab facility is highly recommended. Secondly, using techniques taught by a skilled psychotherapist can stimulate growth in the brain and repair damaged nerve cells. Thirdly, a young person is going to need to receive critical nutrients and eat a balanced diet to adequately heal their body.
Three Essential Nutrients for the Healing of the Brain
The brain needs energy through complex carbohydrates. This would include whole grains, starchy vegetables and beans. Why are these so important? The brain likes to use glucose, or sugar, for energy. Even though the brain only makes up about 2 percent of the entire body, it uses more than 25 percent of the energy that is used in the body. For the brain to heal properly, it needs to have plenty of energy. This means that a person, including one with substance abuse issues, should consume at least 120 g of carbohydrate every single day. These should be consumed throughout the day to ensure that there is still energy in a person’s liver when they sleep. This is the time when the brain does the majority of its healing.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for nerve repair. They can be found in fish oil, flax seeds and nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids make the membrane of the nerve cell receptors more flexible. This allows them to capture the chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. Fat is essential for the brain’s wiring system.
Proteins provide important amino acids. These amino acids convert into different chemicals that help normalize and replace neurotransmitters in the brain. These control different behaviors by helping to stabilize the mood of someone involved with substance abuse. This can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Proteins can be found in fish, lean meat, dairy products, beans and nuts. They can also be found in soy products.
Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle can help a teenager’s brain to repair itself as he or she recovers from substance abuse. Getting enough sleep is absolutely essential. When a person is asleep, this is the time when the brain heals itself. Drinking plenty of water is also important. Eating a balanced diet, including the three must have nutrients mentioned above and lot of fruits and vegetables, is going to help a teenager feel better and provide him or her with what is needed to have a healthy body.
Substance abuse is a very serious addiction. It can do horrible things to a person’s body. The teenage years are a time when a person’s body is developing and growing. It is a terrible time to be ravaged by the ill effects of dangerous substances. If you are concerned about your teenager’s substance abuse, contact one of our professionals today. We are fully staffed with loving, caring and knowledgeable medical professionals who will be able to help your teenager on the road to recovery and a healthy life.