Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs because of sudden damage to the brain. The American Association of Neurological Surgery explains that TBI “is a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.” When the brain suffers a trauma, it has the propensity to affect all areas of one’s functioning. The specific symptoms that develop because of a TBI will vary significantly, as they depend on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, as well as the area of the brain that was injured. There are a variety of treatments that can help an individual recover from a traumatic brain injury. Every individual is unique and will require a customized treatment plan that is inclusive and considers all aspects of one’s life when it comes to recovering from a TBI. Integrating a healthy and nutritious diet can help progress one’s treatment process. Further, maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can positively influence one’s recovery process.
What an individual consumes greatly influences how one’s brain functions. According to NeuroGrow, which is a brain fitness center, “eating a healthy diet that is nutrient-dense when your body recovers from a brain injury is of great value to your overall well-being and recovery from concussion symptoms.” The neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating behaviors) in one’s brain are controlled by what an individual ingests. For example, certain foods can increase the production of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine that enhance one’s ability to think more clearly and remain more alert.
Brain Healthy Foods
Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Healthline provides a list of foods that are known to encourage brain health, some of which include the following:
- Fatty fish (e.g., salmon, sardines, trout, etc.) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- Deeply colored berries (e.g., blueberries, blackberries, etc.) deliver anthocyanins (plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects)
- Broccoli is very high in vitamin K and antioxidants
- Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants and are a terrific source of iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium
- Eggs are a good source of essential nutrients (e.g., folate, choline, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12)
- Nuts contain healthy fats, antioxidants and vitamin E and have been linked to improving cognition
A brain healthy diet includes ingesting a proper and balanced amount each of these important components that make up healthy nutrition.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
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