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Herbs and superfoods can support you on your road to recovery and well into the future. Some are proven to help relieve withdrawal symptoms and even curb cravings while also offering beneficial nutrients and adaptogens to support both mind and body during a stressful time.
Our incredible intake team is ready to answer all your questions and guide you through the process.
June 29, 2023
Recovery is a dynamic process that requires a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to an individual’s needs and condition.
Addiction can impact a person’s physical and emotional health for prolonged terms. Recovering from any substance abuse disorder (SUD), therefore, requires awareness about how they affect the body and mind. Be it narcotics, opioids, or stimulants – abusing any of these substances can disrupt one’s behavioral, psychological, emotional, and physical state. It can also harm the functioning of gut bacteria, disrupt hormonal balances, and even rewire our brain chemistry.
That is why nutrition forms an integral part of the recovery process. Ensuring balanced nutrition that aids the healthy functioning of the mind and the body is paramount for a sustainable recovery.
The brain and the gut are closely connected. The gastrointestinal tract and the brain communicate with each other through the gut-brain axis. It’s a link that can impact cognition, memory, and emotional responses.
Microbes in the gut can send metabolic signals to nerve endings that are present in the intestine to impact our mood and cognition. This is especially pertinent for people who struggle with addiction, as substance abuse disorders can disrupt the brain’s reward pathways and make users more susceptible to addiction. Gut health is intrinsically tied to one’s emotional well-being, and changes in gut flora can profoundly impact the development of a substance abuse disorder.
Recovering from addiction requires nourishment for both body and mind. Proper nutrition can effectively work towards changing the composition of your gut microbes to improve mental and physical health. Ensuring the consumption of nutritionally dense foods helps your body recuperate from withdrawal and repair your metabolism, organ function, and mental health.
Consuming nutrition-dense foods (called ‘superfoods’) and herbal supplements helps ensure your body gets the dietary input it needs to make a sustainable recovery. Addiction can wreak havoc on a person’s metabolism by suppressing appetite, depleting the body of essential vitamins and minerals, and hampering the absorption of nutrients in the gut.
Superfoods also help in recovery by decreasing many side effects of withdrawal like nausea, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Here are some potent superfoods that can be significant in the recovery process
Fibers present in vegetables like kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts help in maintaining blood sugar levels and reducing cravings and irritability. High levels of vitamins A, B, and C, as well as calcium and potassium, make these vegetables an excellent source of minerals and vitamins to improve gut bacteria and help in recovery.
Omega-3 fats present in fish with high-fat content like salmon and tuna contain DHA, which is essential for improving brain function. Consuming fish rich in these fats and vitamins helps reduce inflammation, anxiety, and nausea. Unsaturated fats present in seafood increase the absorption of vitamins that aid the recovery process.
Prolonged addiction can destroy muscle tissue and cause increased cravings that make one susceptible to relapse. Protein helps reduce cravings by repairing damaged tissue and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Consuming a diet rich in protein can improve mood and emotional well-being as well, as the amino acids present in poultry and eggs help release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
Fruits high in water content, fiber, and antioxidants like blueberries can help remove toxins and free radicals from the body. This helps with the functioning of the immune system. Detox can be harsh on the body and blueberries can help the body remain hydrated while providing antioxidants and vitamins that decrease inflammation and reduce nausea.
Botanical remedies have long been associated with deep-healing abilities. Herbs and herbal supplements can improve one’s physical well-being and contribute to natural healing processes in the body. Long-term use of stimulants, opioids, or alcohol can damage organs that affect metabolism and absorption of nutrients. Damage to the liver and the pancreas can cause a host of complications like liver cirrhosis, diabetes, and lowered life expectancy.
Some of the herbs that are important in recovery include:
Considered to be a herbal form of Valium, valerian root is a herb that can be consumed as a pill, a tincture, or as a herbal tea. Withdrawal can often lead to anxiety and insomnia, and this herb has powerful sedative qualities which decrease restlessness and improve sleep. It also helps with detoxification and soothing the mind.
This herb can be used in soups and salads as a garnish. It is known to have purifying qualities, besides helping detoxify and reduce inflammation in the body. It also works as a diuretic, improving kidney function as it replaces lost minerals. It is particularly helpful in draining the body of toxins and assisting in liver detoxification.
It is a herb that improves liver function by clearing the body of toxins. Milk thistle contains silymarin, a compound that helps in liver regeneration and reverses the damage caused by alcohol and other substances. In particular, alcohol-induced cirrhosis hampers liver function, and consuming milk thistle can help rid the body of toxins present in the bloodstream.
This is another helpful herb that can be used as a tincture or a tea and is known for its mood-enhancing properties. Withdrawal can cause cravings, irritability, and insomnia - symptoms that can be addressed by consuming Lemon balm. It works as a sedative and reduces anxiety and irritation.
These unique foods and herbs aid and complement the recovery process and help achieve long-term sobriety.
Hollywood Hills Recovery is a premiere rehabilitation center that provides the peace and tranquillity necessary for sustained recovery.
We provide in-patient programs that include medication and counseling to provide a path toward holistic well-being.
With a treatment plan that includes chef-cooked meals, in-residence music therapy, and breathwork exercises, Hollywood Hills provides an innovative recovery plan that can help you or your loved one enjoy the joys of sober living through a whole-body approach.
Our treatment plans are customized for each client, while our aftercare programs are designed to reduce the chance of relapse.
Contact us today to learn more about our programs and ensure a lasting recovery!