AUSTIN, Texas — It’s well known that if you eat healthy, you’ll feel healthy. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk.
- Research could reveal how food affects recovery from addition
- Taking a closer look at resilience
- Study will take place at Infinite Recovery Austin
Next year, a team of researchers will study groups of people trying to become sober from substance abuse. The researchers hope to learn whether or not diet plays a role in getting and staying sober.
“We don’t know the profound impact it has on a person’s ability to build self-compassion resiliency. What are the impacts that it has on anxiety and depression in the early addiction stages,” said Plant Based for Positive Change founder, Adam Sud.
The so-called Infinite Study will take a closer look at resilience. That’s the term used to describe someone’s ability to stay focused on sobriety even in the face of adversity. Food is a key first step.
Here’s what we know about food: the right nutrients set us up for healthier outcomes. It helps major organs heal after bouts of substance abuse.
“As you lose weight and lower your cholesterol and feel better, then you feel more self-efficacy, you feel more self-esteem, you’re feeling less anxious less depressed and so all of that tends to in turn support one another and facilitate this process of resilience,” said Tara Kemp, a lead investigator in the study.
In 2012, Adam Sud hit rock bottom and nearly lost himself. For ten years he battled substance abuse and struggled with several health challenges. As he began taking back control of his life, he put himself on a plant-based diet, and the differences were life changing.
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“As I saw the diseases reverse I learned a really important piece of knowledge: that I am not now nor have I ever been broken. That I have always been what I always needed to be in order to take charge of my health, my life, and the way that I move through the world,” he said.
Sud’s victory over a host of health-related challenges and addiction convinced him others could stand to benefit from a similar diet. Those are the roots of the Infinite Study.
Researchers will study 100 patients in early addiction recovery at an inpatient rehabilitation center at Infinite Recovery Austin.
Some will be fed a plant-based diet; others will eat food already offered.
“It’s not just about taking the drugs and alcohol out of the picture it’s really about tapping into all of the abundance that’s inside of you and really reconnecting emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically,” said Michael Dadashi, CEO of Infinite Recovery Austin.
While food and diet will be the main point of the research, the heart of the study is how the structure and discipline around food can play a facilitating role in someone’s recovery journey and allow sobriety to become more sustainable and long-lasting.
“Those meaningful bonds of people, purpose, the goings on in the world around them that make life so valuable and so impactful that drugs are no longer necessary to get up and love life,” said Sud.
In other words, staying resilient.
“I feel this immense abundance every time I wake up because I know the things I love today about myself, I might love even more tomorrow and I wanna see what that’s like,” said Sud.
Food can teach us a lot, but above all this research team believes that one of the most important lessons to take away revolves around self-love.
Researchers are still enrolling participants. They’ll be recruiting for about a year or until they get 100 people. At that point, the study will begin.