Drugs and alcohol not only affect your brain and mental health, but they can take a toll on your physical health as well. These substances are hard on the body and can contribute to a wide range of problems including malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and a weaker immune system. Eating a healthy diet is an important part of recovery and relapse prevention. When you are feeling stronger and healthier, it can boost your mood and help you make better choices.
Substance misuse can have a serious impact on your appetite. Alcohol is filled with empty calories that make you feel full but offer no nutritional benefits. Other drugs can leave you feeling not hungry at all, which is also detrimental to your health. Your body needs well-balanced meals to give you energy and keep your organs functioning effectively. Even if you are trying to eat fairly well, drugs and alcohol can prevent your body from properly absorbing the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that it needs.
In recovery, you want to fuel your body with healthy foods that help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce cravings, and give you the energy you need to keep going. It’s important to try to keep a regular schedule with meals and snacks and not to skip out. Pick a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on and whip up as flavorful side dishes. Make sure that you’re incorporating lean proteins, whole grains, and complex carbohydrates as well. If your body is struggling with vitamin deficiencies, you may benefit from taking supplements until you’re able to gain control through diet. Slowly your body can begin healing and becoming healthier.
It’s also important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration and getting adequate sleep to allow your body to recover and recharge. A well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and plenty of rest can support you in making the most of your recovery and preventing relapse.
Above It All equips clients with nutrition education and strategies to make healthier decisions as they progress in recovery. Physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health are all important components of addiction treatment and addressed in personalized treatment plans.
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- U.S. News, What’s the Best Diet for Newly Sober Alcoholics and Addicts? Accessed March 21, 2016.
- Here to Help, The Role of Nutrition in Recovery From Alcohol and Drug Addiction. 2006, Accessed March 17, 2016.
- Rehab Center, Eating Healthy In Recovery From Addiction. Updated August 8, 2018. Accessed March 10, 2016.
- Brain Line, Feed Your Body, Feed Your Brain: Nutritional Tips to Speed Recovery, Accessed March 27, 2016.