As a drug and alcohol treatment center in PA, we know that recovery from addiction is a long journey that requires healing of the mind and body.
The proper diet and nutrition in addiction recovery could aid in the process of all three. Diet can have a bigger impact on someone’s life than most people realize. Not only can it affect a person’s physical health, but it can also influence their mood and overall well-being.
Diet Tips & The Best Foods for Addiction Recovery
For someone in early recovery from addiction who is struggling with both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, a good diet may be able to alleviate some of these pains. In the long run, it can also lead to a healthier lifestyle which can reduce the risk of relapse.
Especially if you have struggled with addiction for several years, your body may be accustomed to irregular eating habits and a poor diet. Just like how your body is weaned off of drugs and alcohol at a drug detox center, your body may benefit from a gradual progression to a healthy diet and regular eating routine. Dr. Time Crowe, a career research scientist in nutrition from Thinking Nutrition suggests, “In the early recovery phase, it is more about slowly re-introducing healthier foods and regular eating habits. Aim first for smaller and more frequent meals, which can help increase the volume of food eaten over a day.”
Pick the Right Foods
The best diet for addiction recovery involves eating the right food that will help your body heal and leave you feeling better overall. Dr. Crowe recommends a diet with minimally processed carbohydrates, colorful vegetables, and good sources of protein such as lean meats, fish, eggs, milk, or tofu.
Cut Out Junk Food
Many people in early recovery from addiction will struggle with unwanted weight gain. This is usually the result of eating more since the drugs are no longer suppressing your appetite and not increasing your activity levels enough to compensate for the increased food intake. When people with substance abuse problems do eat, they also tend to eat food that is not good for them. For your addiction recovery diet, you should cut out this junk food to avoid unnecessary weight gain and replace it with healthier foods, so your body gets the proper nutrients it needs to heal.
Avoid Too Much Sugar
Not only do sugary foods tend to be high in calories and make weight gain worse, but sugar itself can be problematic for people in early recovery. Like drugs, sugar can give your brain a euphoric rush. While this high is much less powerful than the one provided by drugs, it can be addictive for someone who is in recovery and desperately craving this dopamine boost. With such a sugary diet in rehab and early recovery, you could ultimately wind up trading one addiction for another.
Get Your Vitamins
A healthy diet for addiction recovery is one that is filled with all the nutrients and vitamins you need. Especially if your substance use left you malnourished, your body desperately needs these nutrients to heal. Unfortunately, getting your daily vitamins in your diet alone can be challenging. You may want to consult with your doctor and a dietitian about supplements that can fill the gaps in your addiction recovery diet.
The best diet for addiction recovery will be specialized for each person. If you have concerns, you should work with a certified dietitian and your addiction recovery team to determine what course of action is best for you.
At Clearbrook Treatment Centers, we want to give our patients comprehensive healing from addiction including so that they can find lasting sobriety. Call us now at 570-536-9621 to get started.