Amino Acids: An Essential Part of a Mood-Boosting Menu

The Power of Amino Acids

If you or a loved one is recovering from addiction, then you’re probably familiar with the mood swings that accompany withdrawal. Although sudden personality shifts are normal during treatment, there are ways to manage them.

A few weeks ago, we published an article that explained how balanced nutrition can support addiction treatment. By consuming all of the essential micro- and macronutrients and by abstaining from alcohol and unhealthy foods, recovering addicts are more likely to maintain a stable mood and a positive outlook – both of which are necessary for preventing relapses.

In this post, we will go a step further and explain how nature’s power source, amino acids, can support the path toward an addiction-free life:

Amino Acids Support Addiction Treatment Programs

According to The Nourished Life, amino acids – which are found in abundance in many foods, such as animal proteins, seafood, nuts, and seeds – can boost deficient brain chemicals. This essentially means that amino acids can lift a person’s mood, make it easier to sleep and provide the necessary energy to battle compulsive behaviors.

High protein foods come from amino acids
Amino Acid Filled Foods
These three foods provide a rich portion of amino acids and should make your weekly grocery list:

  1. Beef

Beef is high in protein and packed with the amino acid glutamine. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, glutamine is one of the most common amino acids in the body. It plays a role in almost every biological function.

Most importantly, if you experience a lot of stress, your body will need an increased amount of glutamine to maintain your mood. While addicts experience many emotions, the stress of resisting their vice can become overwhelming, and add glutamine to their diets may provide much-needed relief.

Glutamine is also found in milk, cheese, and even cabbage. But your best bet for a healthy portion of this mood-lifting amino acid is a thick cut of beef.

  1. Milk

 Have you heard of phenylalanine? Milk – in addition to strengthening your bones – will do wonders for your emotional well-being thanks to this amino acid. Increased phenylalanine consumption can have a direct impact on your mood and energy.

This amino acid is not naturally manufactured by your body and, therefore, it is vital to incorporate milk – or other dairy products – into your diet. As a bonus, high dairy consumption will help stifle cravings and alleviate chronic pain.

  1. Seaweed

 It’s not something you would normally eat outside of a sushi restaurant, but studies have shown that seaweed has a laundry list of beneficial properties. Most important, it can help alleviate stress and anxiety.

This boils down to its high tryptophan content. Tryptophan is another essential amino acid that is involved in the body’s production of serotonin – the so-called “mood” chemical. A deficiency of serotonin can lead to anxiety, excessive anger, mood swings, insomnia, and depression.

A healthy portion of raw seaweed contains 739 milligrams of tryptophan. Also, the chemical composition helps purify your blood, and most varieties of seaweed contain calcium and are rich in B vitamins.

If you or a loved one is struggling with the emotional hardships of addiction recovery, then a few dietary changes may help quell some of the stress. However, nothing can replace the support and treatment provided by a top rehabilitation facility.

If you would like to learn about the treatment programs at Prescott House, contact us today at 1-866-425-4673.


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