Focusing on Nutrition in Recovery
Patients receiving treatment for substance use disorder learn quickly that healing from addiction is a multi-dimensional process that involves medication, counseling, self-discovery and improving aspects of everyday life like nutrition. Substance misuse and addiction take a toll on the body and mind, and as patients look to regain their health during treatment, they will quickly realize they may not know exactly what to eat in addiction recovery. Thankfully, nature provides the best road-map to optimal health, making addiction recovery food not such a big mystery after all.
Food as Medicine
Everything people ingest goes into the bloodstream, from food to illicit substances. When people spiral into addiction, they prioritize their substance use over everything else, and proper eating habits are one of the first to fall by the wayside. Since eating is something every human has to do to sustain life, when nutrition is compromised, so is the rest of the body. Addiction recovery food is a vital part of the treatment process, allowing the body to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits and vegetables that it has been deprived of due to substance misuse and neglect.
What to Eat in Addiction Recovery
It’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before making any drastic changes in diet. Medical providers at opioid treatment clinics can provide great references to patients who are looking to improve their nutrition. Overall, addiction recovery food is not overly complicated, too difficult to prepare; along with some helpful tips, patients at any point in their recovery process can begin to make the right changes.
Eat fruits and vegetables: Fresh produce like broccoli, carrots, peppers, berries, apples, and others are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to repair damage from substance misuse and can restore the luster in hair, skin, and nails.
Pack up on protein: Whether it’s fish, nuts, meat, poultry, or dairy, protein should be the biggest helping on any plate, regardless of which meal of the day it is. High-quality protein can help restore the liver and other vital organs, so it’s an integral part of every meal.
Fill up on fiber: Foods like beans, brown rice, whole grains, and leafy greens are full of fiber, which is vital for digestion. As the body adjusts to a more nutritious diet, side effects of substances or medications like diarrhea, constipation, and nausea may subside by adding fiber.
Stock up on snacks: Having small bites to eat throughout the day will keep the digestive system working, while also ensuring that the body can handle smaller portions at a time rather than big heavy meals that can cause lethargy or discomfort.
Stay away from sugar: Cravings may occur during the transition from substance misuse into treatment and recovery, and a well-known one is sugar. However, sugar and sugary refined foods should only be used as treats for once in a while. Sugar can cause mood instability, spike blood sugar and cause weight issues.
Learning what to eat in addiction recovery doesn’t have to be intimidating or stressful, let nature lead the way. Whole goods and natural ingredients are always the best choices, as the body can absorb essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals to help restore the body and prepare it for long-lasting recovery.