The Role of Good Nutrition During Addiction Recovery

The Role of Good Nutrition During Addiction Recovery

Good Nutrition During Addiction Recovery. Why?

Eating healthy is important for everyone. However, establishing healthy lifestyle habits is absolutely essential for recovering addicts. Why? Diet and nutrition have a great impact on both mental health and the functioning of your metabolism. Thus, healthy eating plays a crucial part in tackling addiction problems. For this reason, we will talk about the role of good nutrition during addiction recovery.

How to Bring The Best Results in Addiction Recovery

Even short-term problems with substance abuse leave the body and mind in disarray. Your immune system and organs are constantly in overdrive as you consume toxic substances. That is why nutritional changes to your diet can help you counteract the negative influences of substance abuse.

To make progress on your way to an addiction-free life, you have to clear up the toxins and stress piled up in your body. In that sense, combining good nutrition and physical exercise such as yoga will bring the best results for your overall well-being. Let’s see how.

The damage caused by substance abuse

It is not exactly news that addiction can wreak havoc on the body. It can even have long-term consequences. For instance, people struggling with alcohol addiction may cause severe liver damage and other liver functioning problems.

Different kinds of addiction may leave your organism unable to absorb amino acids, vitamins, and other substances crucial for healthy functioning. These nutrient deficiency problems can make it all the more difficult to go back to living an everyday, substance-free life.

Luckily, the road to recovery can be made a whole lot easier when you introduce lifestyle changes that are beneficial for you. So, you are able to reverse some or even all of the damage inflicted on your body with a full turn to healthy eating.

What makes good nutrition during addiction recovery so important

What makes good nutrition during addiction recovery so important
The human body needs a variety of different substances to function smoothly. It would be best if you had a whole range of vitamins, fibers, proteins, amino acids, and other substances necessary for returning your organism to a state of balance.

And once you achieve a balance in a physical sense with healthy habits, battling your addiction tendencies will be much easier. In other words, once you achieve nutritional balance, you will be able to get your mental and emotional life in check as well. Mens sana in corpore sano, as the old saying goes.

But what is good nutrition when you are recovering from an addiction?

1. No junk food, sweets, and caffeine

To get your life in check, it is not enough to introduce healthy foods if you don’t stay away from the food that is bad for you. Your metabolism has a hard time fighting off the toxins as it is. And fast food, sweets, and lots of caffeine don’t help, unfortunately.

When trying to detox in the first few weeks of addiction recovery, you have to steer clear of unhealthy foods at all costs. And many recovering addicts have a hard time doing that. The urge to switch from one addiction to another is high, but it is worth fighting off.

Essentially, the benefits of eating healthy are too big to ignore. Sugary foods and caffeine can only put you in a state of anxiety and insatiability, thus bringing to the surface the urge to indulge yourself completely.

Furthermore, fast food can make you feel sluggish, bloated, and hopeless after the initial rush. You risk going into a perpetual state of mood swings, feelings of failure, and a lack of control over yourself.

2. Hydration is key

The importance of drinking water is often overlooked, but proper hydration goes a long way. So, water intake is crucial for the process of detoxification from prolonged substance abuse.

In some cases, people struggling with substance abuse cannot commit to a clean diet from the get-go due to disruptions in their digestive system. Because of this, in order to start off your rehabilitation process, the metabolism needs to be rehydrated. The usual recommendation states you need ½-1 ounce of water per one pound of your body weight.

If you struggle to drink so much water in a day, you can always drink tea or infuse fresh fruit to add the taste and the vitamins. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, which helps with countering oxidative stress in the cells.

Next to various herbs such as mint or basil, you can also add ginger, lemongrass, cucumber, oranges, or lemons. A good way to up your hydration in the summer also includes making healthy icicles.

3. Whole grains are the way to go

Whole grains are a great ally when you are on the way to establishing a healthy diet. Whole grain foods are foods that preserve all pieces of the grain – the bran, germ, and endosperm.

This means that you are eating all the essential nutrients that the grain contains. Conversely, products made of white flour do not contain enough nutritional value for maintaining a balanced diet, which is beneficial when you are battling addiction.

In that sense, avoid all refined products such as white bread, hamburger buns, pizza, bagels, and the like. As much as you are used to them, you need your nutrients when you are recovering from addiction.

And since refined and processed foods lead to constipation, you might put additional stress on your body as it struggles with constipation next to other substance withdrawal symptoms.

Exercise is a natural antidepressant

Although not strictly in the domain of dieting, exercise is just as important as good nutrition during addiction recovery. It is widely accepted that working out helps balance out the hormones and neurotransmitters in the body.

And since substance abuse disrupts the excretion of hormones quite dramatically, exercise combined with good nutrition helps return your metabolic functions to normal and improves mental health. Furthermore, you can stave off panic attacks and relapse crises by keeping your body and mind preoccupied with physical movement.

Photo by Jane Doan
Photo by Jane Doan