Heal Your Trauma with Nutritious Foods

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Many of us are familiar with a few popular methods for healing trauma: counseling, exercise, meditation, and hypnotherapy. But what if we were still missing a key piece to the healing process? What if there was another powerful tool?
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For over a decade, I struggled with panic attacks, chronic fatigue, severe allergies, and other PTSD-related symptoms. I constantly felt sick and had trouble maintaining my energy levels. I tried various methods of healing, but it wasn’t until I changed my diet that I noticed significant changes.
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Quite simply, the food we put into our mouths is one of the core elements of healing.
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Since I changed my diet, I have felt healthier and healthier with each passing year. I am thirty-five years old today, and I can honestly say that I feel healthier than I have ever felt in my entire life!
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I currently work as an intuitive life coach in a variety of therapeutic settings, including yoga/wellness studios and in a domestic violence shelter. In addition to my own healing journey, the work I’ve done with traumatized individuals has proven to me that food plays an ENORMOUS role in how quickly we can recover.
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In this article, I’ll discuss 3 keys to a trauma recovery diet that promotes deep, lasting healing.*

 

  1. NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH PLENTY OF ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS.
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Antioxidants are natural substances that promote healthy circulation of energy through increased blood flow. Healthy circulation helps the body cleanse itself of toxins as well as reduce out-of-control inflammation.
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As you can imagine, getting enough antioxidants is important for every human being… but for PTSD and trauma survivors, antioxidants are especially crucial. Antioxidants help us by uncoiling tension and stuck energy within the body. This promotes peace and relaxation, which helps us feel safe in the world.
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Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans are all rich in antioxidants. Some specific foods that have the highest levels are: blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, pecans, artichokes, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, cilantro, basil, ginger, and any type of dark leafy green.

 

  1. INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE.
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The intense experience of trauma forces us to adapt. In response to the wounds, we learn coping mechanisms that allow us to numb or even energetically flee our bodies altogether. In soul healing methods, such as those discussed in the peer-reviewed article “Trauma and Dissociation“, deep-rooted healing happens when there is a reunion between body and spirit.
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Common symptoms of unresolved trauma include the reoccurring sensations of feeling floaty, shaky, dizzy, unbalanced, or ungrounded. Protein helps us resolve these symptoms.
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Protein calms the nervous and endocrine systems. On a spiritual/energetic level, protein helps us to connect more solidly with Mother Earth. Protein helps us to come back into our bodies and to feel strong and safe there.
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Some foods that are high in protein are: nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, tempeh, kefir, mushrooms, and spinach.
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A Note on Eating Meat

People usually think about meat when they think of protein. The question of whether or not to eat it is entirely up to your judgment.
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Eating meat is your choice and no single rule works for everyone. At certain phases of a person’s healing journey, meat can be beneficial. At other phases, though, it can be destructive.
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Listen to your body. Eat a bite or two of meat and then observe your body and emotions for the next few hours afterwards. Do you feel renewed? Grounded? Queasy? Sluggish? Angry? Be open to the messages your body is telling you, whether positive or negative.
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If you feel that eating meat is good for you at this time, I encourage you to think about what’s easiest to digest. Allowing your digestive system the lightest possible amount of “work” frees up more energy that is then available to your body for healing. Typically, red meat and pork are the most difficult for people to digest. Fish is often the easiest.
Also, if you are going to eat meat, I suggest limiting yourself to eating only happy meat—meat that comes from grass-fed, free range, organic, humanely-treated animals.
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Why? The answer is about energy. As trauma survivors are quite often energetically sensitive souls, it is not advised to consume meat from an animal that has suffered greatly. An animal that has been tortured (what happens in factory farms) will have vibrations of fear, pain, and terror imprinted into each cell. When a human being then eats the meat from such an animal, they are—quite literally—ingesting those difficult emotions as well.

 

As we eat increased amounts of protein, in whatever form our bodies ask for, we connect energetically to the Earth and we re-enter our bodies in a more balanced, grounded way. We have the energy to complete our daily tasks without overwhelm, and we build the functionality of our muscles. We become strong in the world again.

 

  1. AVOID TOXIC, STRESSFUL FOODS
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We survivors can often become addicted to certain unhealthy foods. We do this as a kind of coping method. We want to find relief from negative emotions.
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However, when we are working on healing trauma, it is so important that we do everything we can to calm our physical body. To put our body in certain conditions that will promote peace and tranquility. When we are traumatized, our fight-or-flight mechanisms have gone haywire, and so our bodies are typically poised at the edge of fear on a constant basis.
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Unhealed trauma means an overly-adrenalized endocrine system and an overly-stimulated nervous system.
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In trauma recovery, there is a core group of substances that cause more stress on the body. These substances need to be gradually released for a full healing process to occur. In general, it is wise to avoid: processed sugars, processed white flours, foods laden with artificial chemicals, foods with pesticides (non-organic foods), GMOs, alcohol, and caffeine.
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The last two on the list—alcohol and caffeine—are the most toxic, stressful substances of all for trauma survivors. For more information, please see my article “Releasing Alcohol and Caffeine in the PTSD Healing Journey.”

 

♥♥♥

 

Dear friends, as you walk this beautiful path to wellness and to a vibrant, peaceful life, please know that you are not alone. There are countless others who walk this path.
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I have healed myself, and now I’m here to tell you that you can heal yourself, too.
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Trauma is not a life sentence. You can heal. You will heal.
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As you make choices about what’s most nourishing for your body, remember that the comfortable or easy choice might not always be the best choice. Sometimes making changes can require a certain amount of discipline. And, it takes gentle patience. There will be setbacks sometimes. Healing takes time.
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Ultimately, when we set the intention to heal our body, mind, and spirit from trauma, we choose to prioritize self-love and self-compassion. By listening for what is the most loving, compassionate choice, we then naturally begin to make better choices that promote our long-term health and vitality.

 

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*Please note: I am not a medical doctor. I am not a medical professional. I am not a psychologist or nutritionist. In no way does this article constitute a prescription or medical advice. Rather, what I am gently suggesting here is simply personal opinion, based upon my own personal experience and research.

 

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15 thoughts on “Heal Your Trauma with Nutritious Foods

  1. You’ve inspired me to give up caffeine, though it’s not easy. It seems almost all beverages for sale are caffeinated these days, besides water. It’s hard to find good alternatives. Here I go, wish me luck!

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    1. Have you ever tried cold-pressed veg/fruit juices? So life-giving and delicious! They are at most grocery stores these days. Also carbonated water with fruit essence is great.

      I promise you that you will not regret this choice my friend. Your body will thank you!

      Like

  2. Thank you so much for this post………….I have chronic illnesses with ptsd on top of that. I have never heard of healing ptsd through food……….but, it makes sense. I really appreciate your words of wisdom!

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    1. Hello Wendi! Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate hearing from you.

      Yes, food is SO POWERFUL as a healing force. Never to be underestimated! I work in a women’s shelter for domestic violence, and it’s one of my missions to educate women about how eating healthy foods can powerfully contribute to healing from PTSD.

      Warm wishes to you on your healing journey. PTSD is absolutely cure-able. I am living proof of that. Blessings xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Powerful information. After going to a plant based diet a year ago I agree to the healing found within the food that our bodies consume. For me this diet change drastically effected my emotional healing. Once I went plant based I became more sensitive. More sensitive to feeling my emotions and the world around me. This opening in sensitivity allowed me to finally be able to feel and heal from some painful emotions that had been buried deep inside of me. Also my empathy for others including animals and nature were amplified which organically created more Kindness from me towards the world around me. I believe in the power of food and the power of its abilities to heal on a physical, mental, & spiritual level. Thank you for sharing this information. Such love to you💜

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    1. Ashley!
      I am really taking some time to let your comment sink in.
      The way you described moving to a plant-based diet is so beautiful. Increased sensitivity is so important for the healing/awakening journey. Now, yes, granted, it can be scary as HELL sometimes! It can be seemingly crazy-making times, as we shed older layers and wade through the gunk of years of trauma/pain hidden under the surface. But…it’s such a rewarding process.

      I am so happy that you were brave enough to be able to feel and heal from some past painful emotions. We change the world one person at a time (one “me” at a time), and you are a forerunner for the collective. Thank you!!

      I know that when I eat more wild, locally-harvested plant-based food, I feel SO GOOD! SO VIBRANT! I found some wild mushrooms a few days ago, and I have felt the energies of these incredible beings merge into my system. I have become one with the mushrooms. And you know what they tell me? Chill out. Be Love. Be Peace. Breathe.

      Literally. That’s what they’re saying. As I digest them, they fill me with wellbeing and wisdom.

      When we eat animals that live tortured lives and die horrible deaths, then what are we doing to ourselves? It’s frightening.

      Thank you for your comment, my dear. Namaste ***

      Like

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