When you think about addiction recovery, you might not think about vitamins. However, having better overall nutrition and added vitamin supplementation can help you become stronger in mind and body as you transition into a life without substance misuse.
Certain vitamins can help you achieve overall wellness and manage some of the vitamin deficiencies that can come with a substance use disorder.
The Impacts of Substance Use on Your Body
When you have a substance use disorder, it can be hard to focus on physical wellness. Exercise can drop away as part of your regular routine and become nonexistent.
Nutrition might not be a priority either. You might eat snack foods rather than meals. Or you might eat irregularly, focusing on drugs or alcohol instead. These can make you feel sick, less hungry or craving foods that are easy to access and not nutritious.
If you are focused on substances or feeling financially strapped, you are less likely to access healthy foods. Even when you stop taking your substance of choice, you may likely feel tired and depleted.
Why Focus on Physical Wellness?
Addiction has both psychological and physical components. While much of recovery focuses on your brain and how you can move away from substance misuse, it is also important to support your body during recovery.
If you are not feeling well, then it is harder to focus on addiction recovery. Co-occurring disorders, such as depression and anxiety, are common in people with a substance use disorder. Feeling unwell because of poor nutrition only exacerbates these disorders.
According to Optimal Living, “vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause metabolic imbalances that create addictive cravings,” making it harder to recover. A simple act such as adding the right vitamins to your diet can help you feel better.
Helpful Vitamins for Addiction Recovery
While in recovery, what are the best vitamins for your body? While a multivitamin is a good place to start, there are several other vitamins that can help you improve your health. How can you nourish your recovery?
- Thiamin helps you process carbohydrates. It boosts the immune system, increases energy, helps combat stress and helps you maintain a positive outlook on life.
- B1, B12 and folic acid are often depleted if you have been misusing substances for a while, and taking a multivitamin can help you address this.
- Protein’s amino acids help you address the damaged neurotransmitters in your body that can be caused by years of substance misuse.
- Healthy carbohydrates help you produce serotonin and feel happier.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps in opiate and alcohol recovery. It also helps you heal, so if you have damaged skin from substance use, adding Vitamin C can help you recover.
- Some parts of your diet can also help you with withdrawal symptoms. The amino acid phenylalanine can help with alcohol withdrawal, while taurine helps with cocaine withdrawal.
It is also important to get medical advice if you are not feeling well. A doctor can run tests that can help determine which vitamins you are missing and get you on a vitamin regimen that can allow you to feel better. But make sure that you do not overuse vitamins. More is not always better, and vitamins can have side effects as well.
You do not need to only get vitamins from pills. Adding lots of fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins to your diet is also important. Complement this healthy diet with a focus on those vitamins that your body needs for recovery and you may start to feel stronger and more able to cope in the long term.
Are you looking for rehab resources for your addiction recovery? At The Recovery Village Columbus, we can help you find the support that you need to transition into sober, healthy living. Contact The Recovery Village Columbus today to learn about admissions.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.