Recovering addicts are particularly susceptible to nutrient deficiencies for several evident and biological reasons. Healthy eating will help correct these and certainly improve your odds of maintaining sobriety. Here, we will explain how nutrition affects recovery.
Nutrition affects recovery from addiction by giving your body and mind time to improve and heal faster. It also helps you maintain sobriety by supporting your body to function appropriately, thus maintaining your good health consistently. A healthy diet helps you stay sober in various ways. It improves your mental focus, helps in keeping your mood, and reduces cravings for addictive substances and behaviors. Inversely, nutrient deficiencies make staying sober more of a challenge by increasing your chances for depression, fatigue, and cravings.
How Nutrition Affects Recovery for Addicts
Addiction can make eating a proper diet more difficult in many ways. When you don’t absorb enough of the essential nutrients in your body, you develop a deficiency.
Addiction can interfere with a proper diet and nutritional food in many ways:
- Decreased appetite.
If your appetite is decreased and you eat less food, you are not getting enough nutrients. Addicts tend to put their substance of choice (whether it is alcohol or drugs) ahead of eating. Drinking alcohol merely is consuming empty calories. It has no nutritional value. When drug abusers use drugs, they have no desire to eat. Hence, they may end up eating only chips or crackers, which is also not a healthy diet for anyone.
- Increased cravings for unhealthy foods.
If you have sugar cravings and can’t control them, it can be tough to get all of your nutrients, considering sugary foods contain hardly any essential nutrients. Eating mostly foods which contain sugar can also contribute to diabetes, which is also a health issue for alcoholics because of the sugar content in alcoholic drinks such as wine, beer, and liquor.
- Reduce your motivation to eat healthy foods.
Motivation to eat a healthy diet requires assurance that eating healthy will provide excellent outcomes in the long run. Furthermore, it requires confidence that you will maintain a healthy diet long enough to experience these positive results. Drug abuse can make it much more challenging to keep a positive outlook and can affect your willpower and confidence. When you are addicted to drugs, you are only interested in being “high” and not in consuming good healthy food.
- Nutrient deficiencies and too few calories.
As stated above, nutrition affects recovery from addiction. Addicts often do not eat a healthy diet and hardly ever get enough nutrients or calories. Therefore, you could have nutrient deficiencies that you are unaware of which is making and maintaining sobriety much harder. Eating too few calories will also make sobriety, and the recovery process much harder.
Best Results for Recovering Addicts
Recovering from addiction and eating healthy will ensure the absolute best recovery and will help with maintaining it. If you have completed an addiction treatment program, healthy eating will significantly protect and prevent you from a relapse.
Nutrition affects recovery from addiction in many ways. If you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, it will be much easier for you to decrease cravings and handle those cravings if they do come. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly gives you a better outlook on life as a whole. You feel better, physically, and emotionally when you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy diet is challenging for almost everyone, and you need a set plan for how you will keep and maintain it for the rest of your life.
The following is a list of ways to achieve this:
- Avoid fast food
- Eat whole foods
- Consume lots of vegetables and fruits
- Avoid refined sugars
- Eat grass fed meat
- Eat organic foods
- Add healthy nuts and seeds to your diet
The body uses nutrients and energy for daily functions, so eating healthy requires that you get these nutrients regularly from your food. Healthy eating requires getting enough calories for performing physical activity and keeping a steady body weight. Each person’s nutritional requirements are different because of a variety of factors.
Professional rehabilitation can help you create a personalized goal for your own unique needs. Please contact a representative today for more information on how nutrition affects recovery.
medlineplus.gov – Substance Use Recovery and Diet