Good nutrition is essential in addiction recovery. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their body becomes depleted of needed nutrients. Eating a healthy diet helps to replenish these nutrients and improve overall health and well-being.
How is Nutrition Affected by Active Addiction?
Active addiction has a significant impact on a person’s nutritional condition. While actively using drugs or drinking alcohol, they are not thinking about eating a healthy diet. Their days revolve around satisfying their need for their substance of choice, often leading to fatigue, weakness, and difficulty thinking clearly.
Drug and alcohol addiction affects nutritional needs in many ways, including:
- Changes in appetite. Many substances, such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, can suppress appetite, resulting in weight loss, malnutrition, and other health problems.
- Changes in metabolism. Substance addiction can alter the body’s metabolism, making it difficult to absorb nutrients, leading to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
- Poor food choices. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol often make poor food choices. They may eat unhealthy foods high in calories and low in nutrients, resulting in weight gain, obesity, or other health issues.
- Impaired judgment. The effects of addiction can impair judgment and decision-making. This can make it difficult for people to make healthy food choices and take care of their nutritional needs.
A poor diet can make you feel anxious, depressed, stressed, and low on energy.
What are the Benefits of Good Nutrition In Addiction Recovery?
Eating a healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it is especially critical for people in recovery from addiction. Below are six of the benefits of eating a healthy diet in recovery.
- Boosts your immune system: When you eat healthy foods, you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to fight off infection and disease. This is especially important for people in recovery, as they are more susceptible to illness due to the stress and changes caused by addiction.
- Improves mood and reduces stress and anxiety: Eating nutritious foods helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which are common problems for people in recovery. When you follow a healthy diet, your body produces feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine that have a calming effect.
- Helps rebuild your physical strength: Addiction takes a toll on your physical health. Eating a nutritious diet helps you rebuild your strength and energy levels so you can participate in activities that you enjoy.
- Enhances your mental health: Following good nutrition helps to improve your mood and cognitive function. This is important for people in recovery, as they may struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems.
- Improves your sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for recovery. Having good nutrition helps you to sleep better at night.
- Reduces cravings: When you eat healthy foods, you are less likely to crave unhealthy foods.
Eating a healthy diet is just one part of recovery from addiction. However, it is an important part that can help you to improve your physical and mental health, reduce your risk of relapse, and increase your chance of long-lasting sobriety.
Healthy Food Choices in Addiction Recovery
If you’re not used to eating a healthy diet, you might need some guidance. Here are some of the foods that are good for people in recovery from addiction:
- Vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits are brimming with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a good choice for people trying to maintain a healthy weight.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that give you sustained energy. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help regulate digestion and reduce cravings.
- Lean protein: Lean protein, such as lean meats, chicken breast, fish, eggs, beans, and tofu, helps build and repair muscle tissue. It is also an excellent source of iron, which is essential for carrying oxygen through the body.
- Low-fat dairy products: Low-fat dairy products are a good source of Vitamin D, calcium, and protein. They also help improve bone health.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, and seeds, help improve heart health and cognitive function.
- Water: Water is essential for good health. It helps to flush out toxins from the body and keep you hydrated.
If you are in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, eating a healthy diet is a crucial part of healing your body and restoring your physical and mental health.
We Can Help
Addiction to drugs or alcohol is a chronic but treatable disease. If you or someone you love struggles with a substance use disorder, do not let it continue to ruin your life. At English Mountain Recovery in the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, our skilled professionals will give you the care you need as they guide you along the path to recovery. We offer gender-specific treatment services for emotional, physical, and spiritual healing. Take the first step toward sobriety and reclaiming your life. Contact us today.