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Happy Sunday to you all.

Some are almost a week into their programme. Others are starting today/tomorrow. For those starting now, remember to scroll back and look at the previous posts for support.

Moving on from yesterday’s post, let’s look at what type of food may help with (alcohol) cravings? (Also sugar cravings)

  • Amino acids in certain proteins (tryptophan) are also used to make dopamine and serotonin, the brain chemicals that most directly influence cravings. Tryptophan is the most extensively studied amino acid in relation to alcohol and alcoholism and other cravings/addictions.
  • Tryptophan, specifically L-tryptophan, is an essential amino acid that helps your body make proteins and other brain-signalling chemicals. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that play an essential role in nearly every bodily function, including digestion and the production of the energy you need to get you through the day. Your body cannot produce tryptophan, so a healthy diet is essential to ensure you get enough of this amino acid. Your body changes L-tryptophan to niacin, which is crucial in creating the neurotransmitter serotonin. While the functions of serotonin are complex, serotonin is best known for helping control your mood and contribute to sleep (tomorrow’s post).
  • If you find you have cravings it may be due to insufficient intake of L-tryptophan to manufacture serotonin.
  • Serotonin can be replenished by adding foods known to be high in tryptophan to your diet. This amino acid is found in more than just turkey. Tryptophan-rich foods include:Brown rice (soaked!)
    • Fish
    • Chicken
    • EggsNuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds (tahini)
    • Tofu and soy
  • When you crave alcohol, what does your body really need aside from L-Tryptophan. Your brain is seeking dopamine, the chemical that makes us feel pleasure. Many things besides alcohol release dopamine in the brain, such as listening to a favourite song, getting a massage or exercising – This is why planning self care is so important this weekend!
  • Why are B vitamins so important when withdrawing from alcohol? B vitamins are involved in many processes and they’re often depleted in people who have been drinking heavily for a long time (and/or have high levels of stressors). B vitamins help the body make energy and play a role in the production of serotonin, and they are essential for healthy nervous system function.

Are you making sure you get enough protein and cofactors in your diet?

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