You may have never heard about GABA, which stands for Gamma-Aminobutyric acid, but in recovery, it is a critically important hormone as it has a calming effect on the brain.
GABA, is a neurotransmitter that sends chemical messages through the brain and the nervous system. GABA is involved in regulating communication between brain cells. The role of GABA is to inhibit or reduce the activity of the neurons or nerve cells. GABA plays an important role in behavior, cognition, and the body’s response to stress.
Research suggests that GABA helps to control fear and anxiety when neurons become overexcited. Lower-than-normal levels of GABA in the brain have been linked to depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Why People In Recovery Should Care About GABA
Benzodiazepines, very popular and very much abused, work by increasing the efficiency of GABA to decrease the excitability of neurons. This reduces the communication between neurons and, therefore, has a calming effect on many of the functions of the brain. However, over time, the brain may lose its ability to produce GABA due to the long-term exposure to not only benzo’s, but other substances that interfere with the process (alcohol and many drugs).
However, the body has an amazing capacity to heal. Even after years of substance abuse, you can restore GABA levels and help restore proper brain function.
How do you this?
You can immediately start to address the issue by taking the proper dosage of L-Glutamine and a Vitamin B MEGA Complex. It is critically important that you get a blood test and consult with your doctor, to ensure you are getting the proper amount of GABA for your body based upon your age, weight, medical history and overall health.
According to Dr. Eric Braverman, one the world’s leading experts on brain function, the following foods contain glutamic acid/glutamate, and should be included in your diet to help naturally increase GABA production: Almonds; banana; broccoli; brown rice; halibut; lentils; whole grain oats; oranges; potato; rice bran; spinach; walnuts; and whole wheat.
Exercise helps restore levels of all brain neurotransmitters, including GABA. I recommend working out for at least thirty minutes three times a week. For those just getting started, I recommend a mix of weight training (twenty minutes) and cardiovascular (ten minutes).
You can visit www.spiritualadrenaline.me for our recommendations. You will find them on our Recovery Exercise page.
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