There are simple changes that anyone can make in their diet to move toward a better, healthier way of living that will make them feel good naturally. Known as a detox diet, it is often used to help alcoholics and addicts in recovery.
Poor dietary choices, overeating and substance abuse can all lead to consistently low natural levels of dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. The need for increased dopamine drives unhealthy behavior, creating an addictive cycle. Neuroscience research has revealed that a special dopamine-rich, low-glycemic diet can kick-start the brain’s ability to produce dopamine – which helps break an addiction. We literally feed the need for dopamine.
This type of diet has multiple benefits, including ridding the body of toxins, unnecessary fats, salts and sugar. It effectively reduces excessive appetite and overeating, reduces mood swings and promotes a physiologically healthy body.
Recommended foods to eat – and avoid
The detox diet includes a long list of healthy foods, but it cuts out specific foods that are considered high glycemic because they cause a blood sugar spike, which will crash and negatively affect mood and energy.
With this diet, here are foods to eliminate:
- White flour, added sugars, and foods with low nutritional value (chips, crackers, cookies, cake).
Foods to increase include:
- Protein-rich – eggs, cheeses, yogurt, tofu, lean organic meat (not pork), poultry, wild-caught fish.
- Low-sugar fruit – all fruits (except bananas and melons).
- Vegetables – all vegetables (except white potatoes and corn).
- Whole grains – whole-wheat breads and pastas, spelt, barley, buckwheat, farro, quinoa.
This diet helps the brain repair itself – plus it improves mood and overall health. It’s a simple plan that leads to healthy eating patterns and will curb using food to self soothe. You’ll notice the impact within a week. The constant level of dopamine from this diet contributes to a greater sense of control, self-mastery and self-worth. If you also incorporate mindfulness and breath work, there is a gain in greater mental clarity, which can lead to better choices and a more fulfilling life.