Today’s post is going to be a bit of a mashup, as I curate some resources from around the web on the topic of nutrition and holistic wellness and how an integration of these elements can vastly improve the recovery of an addict. Personally, I am extremely excited to present a series of posts and Podcasts on the topic where we cover neuroscience, nutrient analysis and gut bacteria as key components to a healthy mind, body and ultimately soul. So, I figured why not share the research as I go and put together a series of posts that highlight the highlights I found during that day’s research and finding. Let us get started!
Nutrition may play a key role in early psychosis treatment, new research says
Early psychosis is associated with nutritional deficiencies, potentially presenting new avenues for improving health among the millions of people affected worldwide, according to new research announced in a November 30 press release.
Research led by NICM Health Research Institute at Western Sydney University in Australia systematically reviewed evidence examining nutritional deficiencies in people being treated for psychotic disorders. The researchers assessed 28 studies examining blood levels of six vitamins and 10 minerals across 2,612 individuals. Participants were assessed either immediately after presenting with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, for the first time, prior to antipsychotic treatment, or within the early stages of treatment.
Early detection and treatment of psychotic disorders is thought to be critical for maximizing recovery. Previous research has shown a strong correlation between long-term schizophrenia and various nutritional deficiencies including vitamins B, C, D, and E. However, previous research failed to assess the full range of nutritional deficiencies, which may be present during the first episode of psychosis.
The research, published in the world’s leading schizophrenia research journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin, found that early psychosis is associated with large deficits in blood levels of critical nutrients, with particularly low levels of vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin D. Furthermore, these nutritional deficiencies were found to be associated with worse mental health in young people with early psychosis.
For me personally, I never paid attention to what I ate in my early 20’s. Later in my early 30’s I started to pay closer attention to a more balanced diet but still did not have the knowledge of what a balanced diet even was. At first, I thought it just meant laying off fast-food and cooking more at home. But just like anything else, the more you learn, the more you realize, you know very little.
Thankfully, I met someone who taught me what to eat, instead of how.
There is a big difference. Food is fuel and during a specific time of the day, week and year my body requires different types of fuel. I live in Cleveland, Ohio where the seasons play a role in how and what I eat. As my energy levels are heavily influenced by the seasons, and thus my willingness to exercise or remain active, I lean on food to give me the pep I need to optimize my health.
This morning, breakfast was a handful of cashews, some fresh raw beets, a sweet potato and coconut oil in my coffee. I am on fire right now in terms of energy level and notice that there is no sugar involved, none.
Too often I hear of people lacking energy, and not connecting the dots to how energy levels impact mental health and thus productivity as it relates to the pursuit of recovery from addiction.
And let’s be honest, I am not a doctor or licensed nutritionist, so I am learning as I go but I do know this, despite whatever addiction battles I have mentally, I certainly do not want to add a litany of physical health issues on top.