Your Food Choices & Recovery
Substance abuse and addiction take a toll on the body. Most people who receive treatment and enter recovery have nutritional deficiencies and imbalances from their time spent using substances. So, while healthy eating is important for everyone, it is extremely beneficial to those in recovery. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can do the following:
- Repair damage to your organs and tissues that may have occurred from your drug or alcohol abuse
- Strengthen your immune system
- Improve your mood and reduce cravings
- Give you a boost of energy
Tips for Healthy Eating in Recovery
If you are in the early stages of recovery or detoxing from drugs or alcohol, eating healthy can play an important role in preventing relapse. You may have skipped meals or had unhealthy eating habits while using drugs or alcohol. Many people experience malnutrition or extreme weight loss due to their substance abuse. Recovery is a time to heal your body and mind and focus on healthy choices.
Some tips for healthy eating in recovery are:
- Eat small, regular meals. To keep your blood sugar stable and to help reduce cravings, consider eating small meals throughout the day.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated. If you have trouble drinking plain water, add fresh fruit to your water or a flavored water enhancer.
- Cut out caffeine. While caffeine can give you a boost of energy, it can also cause fluctuations in your mood. This can make it more difficult to deal with cravings for drugs or alcohol.
- Limit your sugar intake. Sugar is not only unhealthy, but it adds empty calories and can contribute to many diseases. Those with excessive sugar intake are at risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Eating sugary foods can give a temporary feeling of pleasure or satisfaction but can make you feel sluggish or affect your mood once the sugar wears off.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables can help boost your immune system and provide nutrients that your body needs during the recovery process. Choose fruits such as citrus that are high in antioxidants and leafy greens that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can help cleanse your body of harmful toxins and replenish nutrients that have been lost.
- Add lean proteins to your meals. Lean proteins such as wild salmon can help repair damaged cells and reduce inflammation. Protein can help your body to function properly by building muscle and keeping you strong.
- Avoid processed foods. Processed foods lack nutritional value and will not keep you feeling full or satisfied. Eating processed foods can affect your mood and increase your cravings.
- Add in supplements. If you are not getting enough vitamins or minerals in your food, you can add in supplements. Consult with a physician to determine what supplements will work best for your needs. Many supplements can help improve your nutrition while in recovery.
A Few More Notes About Eating Healthy
For those wanting to stay on track with their healthy eating, consider writing down what foods you eat. You can either do this online or in a journal. In addition to eating healthy, adding in regular exercise can help boost your health. Exercise can also improve your moods and energy levels and help reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol.
Staying focused on your recovery and eating a diet that is filled with nutritious foods can keep you healthy both physically and mentally. Eating the right types of foods can lower your blood pressure, help you maintain a healthy weight, and can keep your skin and hair looking their best. It can also reduce the chance of relapse and help you with your sobriety.
We Can Help Meet Your Needs
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and are in search of a Pennsylvania recovery center that focuses on wellness while promoting a lasting recovery, check out Mountain Laurel Recovery Center. We offer a variety of services to meet your personal needs as well holistic treatments that encourage good nutrition, fitness, and stress relief.