Addictions - whether food, drug or alcohol - overlap in that they are all based in the brain.
Addiction is not a willpower issue - it is a brain disorder.
Addicts typically suffer from ragged nerves, anxiety and lack of impulse control. These are all issues tied to a weak brain. Mind you - NOT a stupid brain, or low IQ. Just a brain that doesn't have enough fat to protect the nerves from stress, trauma, toxins and high-sugar diets.
Our brain mainly consists of FAT.
What this means is, that when we go on a low-fat diet, or we just don't get enough of the right fats, our brain health weakens. We get more jittery, it feels like we have no buffer zone. Like our nerves are raw and exposed and we need that after-work drink (make that drinkssss) or just a joint to calm down. Or you know, just a cigarette to relax a bit... or we empty the cookie cabinet.
All these behaviors are super slippery, because they are somewhat socially acceptable.
And thus, we often pretend, that we do not have a problem. Well, the difference between an addict and someone who just enjoys that glass or two of wine, will depend on whether you are ultimately drinking it to feel normal. Are you going to your drug-of-choice to try to make up for a brain that is slowly moving in a direction that will CRAVE a fix in order to not get aggressive or feel emotionally nutty - that's a red light.
You want to have a strong brain that can withhold the stressors of life, toxins that you are exposed to daily and remain cool as a cucumber in high-pressure situations.
There is nothing less attractive as when we can't deal with our emotions and boil over.
It is not good for our own sanity nor does it attract the right people into our lives. Aka like attract likes, and if we are emotionally unstable, we will tend to attract similar people into our lives - similar job situations etc. Life is too short for that.
Recognizing that when we are emotionally fragile, the biochemical aspect of that is always related to not enough of the right fats for stable brain health and nerves.
As infants while our brain was developing, we were fed a diet mainly consisting of saturated fats in the form of medium-chained fatty acids from mother's milk. What this translates into is that our brain requires good quality saturated fats to remain stable, healthy and sharp performing.
In recovery fats are essential to focus on, because any addict's brain is starved from fats - drugs and high-sugar foods do that to the brain.
That is why most people in recovery feel edgy, nutty and emotionally frantic. they feel like they are indeed crazy now that they don't have their drugs to keep them somewhat sane. Do not give into this type of thinking -yes you feel nutty now that the drug is not masking your starved brain any more. That is why you want to feed it and nourish it.
Not all fats are brain fats.
Too many unstable plant fats in the form of omega-6 will wreck havoc on your health. seed oils are highly unstable and oxidize rapidly - oxidized fats are damaged fats are bad news for your brain. this includes corn, soy, safflower, canola and seed derived oils particularly. Keep in mind, that we are not what we eat, but what we digest. Omega-6 unsaturated oils are scientifically shown to oxidize extremely rapidly, and should not play the major role that they do in most of our diets today. You brain is built by saturated fats - not unsaturated, so for brain health we need to focus on replacing what is lost.
It takes 600 days to replace 50% of the fat cells in your brain.
This is when we can truly call ourselves recovered on a biochemical level. Up until that point, we need to stick to a structure to cater for a fragile biochemistry and avoid triggers. This means sticking to sleep, meditation, nourishing foods, advanced nutrition therapy + avoiding chemicals and diets --- and get enough brain fats!
So without further ado:
What Are The Top 3 Fats That Heal The Addicted Brain?
- Organic grassfed butter, ghee and heavy cream: Contains wide range of vitamins rarely found elsewhere, important for combating brain inflammation incl. vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D.
- Virgin coconutbutter: Contains lauric acid + medium chain fats similar to those found in mother's milk. These are your brains preferred fats for optimal health.
- Krill oil: Contains Astaxanthin, a keto-carotenoid, and EPA and DHa that helps to improve nerve signalling and neurotransmitter communication - aka it improves your mood, cognitive functioning and makes you more stress-tolerant.
References: Ayu. 2010 Apr-Jun; 31(2): 134–140. The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation Hari Sharma et al. Lipids Health Dis. 2013 Jan 25;12:6. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-12-6. Enhanced cognitive function and antidepressant-like effects after krill oil supplementation in rats. Wibrand K. et al. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 1992;3:304-308.Addition of lipases to infant formulas produces antiviral and antibacterial activity. Isaacs CE, Litov RE, Marie P, Thormar H. FASEB Journal, 1991;5: Enveloped Viruses in Human and Bovine Milk are Inactivated by Added Fatty Acids(FAs) and Monoglycerides(MGs). Isaacs CE, Schneidman K. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 35:379. N 1982.Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diet containing medium-chain triglycerides. Baba. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Jun;57(6):1110-4. Fish oil supplementation reduces cortisol basal levels and perceived stress: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial in abstinent alcoholics. Barbadoro P.