Health, Nutrition, & Psychedelics

Nutrition is integral to our daily health and overall well being - but can it also improve the healing outcomes of psychedelic therapy?
Featured Image: Health, Nutrition, & Psychedelics
Author: Nicole McCray
By Nicole McCray
August 31, 2020(Updated: April 6, 2021)

Nutrition is integral to our daily health and overall well being. But can it also improve the healing outcomes of psychedelic therapy? Join Nicole McCray as we learn how nutrition can affect your psychedelic experience.

If you want to get the most out of psychedelic therapy, proper preparation is essential. Of course, you’ll want to be in the right mindset. But your health and nutrition can also have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your experience. Optimizing your nutrition before and during psychedelic therapy is key. Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest and exercise is important to begin with. So is avoiding everyday exposure to toxins, and taking the right vitamins and supplements all the time. However all these are extra important when you’re experimenting with psychedelic therapy. In fact, the more prepared you are mentally and physically, the more successful your treatment will be overall. 

How Nutrition Can Affect Your Psychedelic Experience

Nutrition goes hand in hand with our overall health. This includes brain health. Our brains can actually be greatly influenced by the foods we eat and the nutritional supplements we take. Certain nutrients also provide essential components that support proper metabolic function. This is crucial when experimenting with psychedelic drugs.

Not only that, but proper nutrition also plays a key role in our body’s ability to adapt to anxiety and stress. Providing your body with good nutrition does many things. It helps to prevent mood fluctuations, improve mental focus, and provide a happier outlook on life overall. Unfortunately, certain psychedelic drugs can deplete key nutrients. Thus, eating healthy and taking nutritional supplements during treatment will play a key role in how you feel.

Actionable Steps To Improve Your Nutrition Before Psychedelic Therapy

Before beginning treatment, optimize your health by eating a variety of nutritious foods and taking high-quality supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet. Your regimen should include daily natural & organic vitamins from a reputable supplement company, plus minerals in forms that are easily absorbed by the body.

The majority of your diet should be made up of whole foods, with a focus on fiber-rich foods like whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and veggies to help the body regulate glucose levels and provide essential micronutrients. Minimize your exposure to preservatives, food colorings, and additives that can worsen depression and hyperactivity.

Key Nutrients in Your Psychedelic Diet

Here are the most important nutrients to include in your daily regimen: 

  • Antioxidants fight inflammation so include lots of berries and leafy greens in your diet and look for vitamins A, C, and E in your daily multivitamin. 
  • Omega-3s are also key for fighting inflammation, as well as supporting heart and brain health. If you don’t eat a lot of fatty fish, you’ll want to ensure that your daily supplement regimen includes omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Folate is an important B-vitamin that supports dopamine production. Leafy greens and lentils contain folate, but many people are deficient, so be sure it’s in your daily supplement. 
  • Vitamin D supports serotonin production. We get vitamin D from the sun, but most of us don’t get nearly enough sun exposure, so it’s another key nutrient to include in your supplement regimen to support mood health before and throughout psychedelic therapy.
  • Magnesium is a key nutrient for nerve and muscle function and regulating the heartbeat. Magnesium deficiency can also be harmful to health gut bacteria, which could exacerbate depression and anxiety. Increase your intake by eating leafy greens, bananas, cacao, and including it in your supplement regimen each day.
  • Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in your gut. Science shows that a healthy gut is essential for overall health, including brain and mood health. Before undergoing psychedelic therapy, include more fermented foods in your diet and take probiotics daily to support your gut health.

Staying properly hydrated is also an important step for removing toxins from the body and supporting mental and physical health. You should also consider limiting your intake of alcohol and caffeine, which can play a role in your moods and anxiety levels.

Other Supplements That Can Influence Psychedelic Therapy

When you begin psychedelic therapy, be sure to consult with your therapist about supplements that can be used to alter, modulate, or amplify the effects of certain psychedelic drugs.

For example, kava, valerian, holy basil, and skullcap are all herbs that are useful for reducing anxiety if your psychedelic experience becomes agitating. The amino acids L-tryptophan and L-theanine can also provide a calming influence during your session.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that may elevate your mood and counteract feelings of sadness during treatment. 

The Bottom Line

Many people find psychedelics to be a powerful tool for healing, but proper preparation, both mentally and physically, is essential. Optimizing your health with the right food and nutritional supplements in advance can greatly improve the success of your experience. Just be sure to talk with your doctor to consider any possible side effects from the combination of supplements and certain psychedelic drugs before beginning your treatment.

The content provided is for educational and informational purposes only and should be a substitute for medical or other professional advice. Articles are based on personal opinions, research, and experiences of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Psychedelic Support.

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Author: Nicole McCray
Nicole McCray
Learn more about my work and see my portfolio on my website

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