How Nutrition Can Help Victims Of Trauma by Helen, freelance writer:
There is never an easy answer to how exactly one can overcome a traumatic upbringing or experience, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try find one. While everyone has their own ways of coping with what they have experience, some speak more directly to our innate humanness, and can be used by all as a way to manage their emotional or physical trauma.
Cooking, in all its simple glory, is one of the more obscure yet successful ways in which a person can take a small step towards peace. Already proven to have helped people struggling with addiction and other mental issues, it’s a gift that can transform a person’s life. In this article, we’ll show you how.
The physiological changes that can occur in a person who has lived through trauma can be significant. Weight loss, weakened immune system, digestive issues, and heart and other serious medical problems can all occur. Not all of these can be resolved through cooking, but some can – and it’s important to know which can help. What we put in our bodies affects our well-being more than people realise, and in this case, eating unhealthily can actually have a negative effect on our recovery.
That’s not to say cooking is a wonder activity that is capable of completely curing survivors. Of course it isn’t. However, as part of a balanced life where other emotional needs are met, it can make a positive contribution, in obvious and less obvious ways.
How It Helps
Our bodies need particular vitamins and minerals to make sure we’re at our best. If we don’t get these, such as by eating too much processed food, then we’re liable to fall victim to a host of ailments, including tiredness, depression, and weight issues. Eating well won’t help you overcome your problems, but it will make sure you’re in the best possible position to deal with whatever you’re going through.
If you’re going shopping, consider stopping by a local organic supermarket or farm. Their food will be the freshest, which means they’ll be loaded with all the nutrients you need to be at your best. Try and by a range of colors of fruits and vegetables, and meats. Pay particular attention to foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are among the world’s best foods for depression and health. Well-raised beef, salmon, and walnuts have high Omega-3 content.
In More Ways Than One
The food we eat has a big impact on our state of mind, but that’s not the only way it can help. It also benefits us in more social, anecdotal ways, ways that aren’t fully understand yet have demonstrable results.
Peace of Mind
Cooking can be stressful when you’re cooking for a house full of people. But it’s not when you’re cooking for fun; then, the activity becomes an episode of relaxation. The concentration needed – and the joy it brings – enables the trauma victim to forget their problems for a period of time. This works effectively because the activity is a domestic one, an act that is part of the everyday. This allows the person to take control of a task that is such a part of normal life.
Similarly, if cooking and food turns into a passion, it becomes a fascinating, self-driven hobby that gives them something to work toward, improve, and share with others. Which brings us on to our final point…
Part of a Community
Many trauma survivors identify with feelings of loneliness, regardless of how many people they’re surrounded by. For some people, it’s just not possible to feel part of a crowd if you’re not actively a part of it.
Cooking and healthy food can change all that. It’s primarily an independent activity, but the extend of food networks, forums, organic farms, and health conscious societies means it’s possible, if desired, to join a group of like-minded people and really feel part of something bigger than themselves. In a realm where their current support network, which appreciated, may feel like a burden (in their role as a victim), it can be liberating to become part of a social group where they’re not known for anything other than their passion for food and cooking.
Food won’t solve everything, but it can solve some things. An often underrated activity, it can provide an outlet, creative stimulation, and social standing for some people who really need it the most.