What Does Nutrition Have To Do With Recovery?
A healthy body starts with good nutrition. As a recovering addict, it is possible that nutrition was not a priority during alcohol and drug use. Many may have even become malnourished as a result of substance abuse. In addition, vitamin deficiencies and dehydration are common. Due to improper nutrition major organs can also experience deficits including the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. The body will need time to heal post drug use and one way to encourage a healthy recovery is through proper nutrition.
Through a healthy diet, one can experience increased energy, improved mood, and an increase in immune responses. Researchers have suggested that nutrition can also help prevent relapse. If a person eats too much junk food (excessive carbs, sugar), this can affect one’s overall mood including increased depression and anxiety. Feeling depressed or anxious is linked to possible relapse, as these feelings may be uncomfortable for some individuals.
Some treatment facilities offer nutritional services to individuals. This is a helpful and integrative approach to recovery. In healing the mind, body, and spirit, proper nutrition should also be addressed by treatment providers.
Included below are some suggestions for ensuring that you receive the added benefits of good nutrition.
Take vitamin and mineral supplements. It is a good idea to check with a physician first before taking any vitamins or minerals.
Reduce sugar intake.
Drink plenty of water. Hydrating the body helps flush toxins and is good for cell function.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine including caffeinated sodas. Caffeine is a diuretic and can actually promote dehydration.
Avoid junk foods (fast food, potato chips, cookies) as these types of foods provide little nutritional value to your diet.
Balance meals with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.
The recovery process involves many physical, social, and psychological components. Eating nutritious meals can help to heal the body from the damages of prolonged substance abuse. All organs and cells in our bodies are affected by abusing drugs and alcohol. By eating healthy the body can adjust more efficiently during recovery, as it does not need to compensate for poor nutrition or not eating at all.