You likely have heard plenty of nutritional advice from parents, teachers, coaches and others. But when you are in addiction recovery, it is time to take that advice to heart. Eating well is essential to the recovery process.
Why It Is Important to Nourish Your Body During Addiction Recovery
What is the role of good nutrition in your addiction recovery? CPE Monthly calls the role of the nutritionist in addiction recovery an important but often lacking part of a person’s long-term recovery process.
A substance use disorder is complex, and one of the symptoms can be a lack of proper nutrition. When you are focused on alcohol, you might forget to eat properly, eat foods that are not high in nutrients, or eat more than you would normally eat.
Some drugs suppress the appetite and can also have other biological impacts, such as creating problems with metabolic or endocrine regulation and impairments in nutrient processing. Substance misuse can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and can also damage organs, the nervous system and the immune system. When your body is recovering from addiction, giving it what it needs to recover is a key step in being successful in your quest for long-term sobriety.
How to Eat During Addiction Recovery
Part of your recovery process is to eat regular, balanced meals. This helps balance your blood sugar. Meals should contain components that help you self-regulate, which might include:
- Carbohydrates that help the body make serotonin, which contributes to feeling happy
- Proteins, since the amino acids in protein can build and repair your neurotransmitters that may have been damaged by substance misuse
- Water, without which you feel irritable and disoriented, and may be tempted to misuse drugs to feel better
You do not need to create your food plan alone. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association stated that coaching on nutrition is particularly important during recovery. “When group nutrition/substance abuse education was offered, ASI psychological and medical domain scores improved by 68 percent and 56 percent, respectively,” the journal notes. Working with a nutritionist, you can help ensure that you get enough fresh fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water for an optimal recovery.
No matter whether you are concerned about substance misuse or you are just trying to eat better, a diet that has healthful nutrients is good for your physical health and for your mental health.
Many people who suffer from substance use disorder also have associated eating disorders, either focused on overeating or limiting foods. People may also mistake hunger for a craving for drugs and alcohol, so remembering to eat is very important. It is also important to eat healthy portions of healthy foods since many times people turn to food to replace the substance that they are craving. This is one reason that working with a nutritionist and a counselor in tandem can help you manage your diet during detoxification. You need to be able to address any dual diagnoses or mental health challenges that food brings up for you so that you can have a healthy diet to complement your newfound sobriety.
Are you looking for Ohio addiction treatment resources? The Recovery Village Columbus can help you achieve your goal of sobriety with strong inpatient and outpatient programs that encompass counseling, group therapy and alternative therapies. Contact The Recovery Village Columbus to learn more about their programs that promote your future health and long-term sobriety.