We all know the importance of a healthy diet. However, are you aware of the importance of nutrition when recovering from addiction?
Those recovering from drug addiction are prone to much more nutritional deficiencies. This can be caused by a number of different reasons.
It’s important for recovering addicts to learn about proper nutrition so they can lead a happy and healthy sober life.
If you wish to learn more about the importance of nutrition when recovering from addiction, keep reading this guide.
To start, we’ll go over how drugs and alcohol can negatively harm your health. It’s true that different substances will lead to different health effects or eating habits.
For example, those who have abused stimulants such as cocaine, crack, meth, or speed may experience little to no appetite while abusing the drug. This could lead to things like excessive weight loss and other nutritional deficiencies.
On the other hand, someone who has abused substances like marijuana or benzodiazepines such as Xanax or Klonopin may overeat or make unhealthy dietary choices while abusing the drug. This could lead to excessive weight gain or other health problems.
These harmful side effects of drug abuse could also lead to things like gastrointestinal disorders, malnourishment, a weakened immune system, or organ damage.
Nutritional deficiencies may also lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
So, what is the proper diet for addiction recovery? Healthy whole foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients are the best for those recovering from addiction. A certified nutritionist can form a meal plan catered to your individual needs.
However, here are some examples of what to eat during addiction recovery.
Despite the negative claims people make about carbs, they are essential to a healthy diet. When we say carbs, we are not referring to the white, refined carbs found in things like doughnuts or potato chips.
Instead, we’re referring to complex carbs that are whole grain and filled with fiber and nutrients. Some examples include beans, lentils, oatmeal, sweet potatoes. Fruits and vegetables also contain healthy carbohydrates.
It’s important for recovering addicts to consume 50% to 55% of carbs on a daily basis. They are known to help the central nervous system and brain function, leading to higher energy.
It’s also important for recovering addicts to consume a sufficient amount of protein. Protein can be found in various animal products and many plant-based products as well.
It’s important to choose options that are high in protein and low in saturated fat. So, avoid eating too much red meat or processed deli meats. Instead, opt for things like grilled chicken, egg whites, or fish.
If you prefer to stick to plant-based options, tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, and seeds are also fantastic high-protein options.
Protein should consist of 15% to 20% of your diet. It can be great for fueling energy in the body, rebuilding muscle and tissue, and repairing and creating new cells in the body.
When people think of fats, junk food is usually the first thing that comes to find. However, healthy fats are very important for a recovering addict.
So, what’s the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats? Unhealthy fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Healthy fats are monosaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Examples of healthy fats include avocados, nuts and nut butter, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, and fatty fish.
It’s important to allow healthy fats to take up 30% of your diet. This can help with things like lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, aiding in brain function, etc.
As previously stated, drug and alcohol abuse is known to deplete your body of important vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, and other B-complex vitamins are some of the most common deficiencies found in recovering addicts. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc are also known to be lower.
That being said, adequate vitamins and minerals are vital in bringing these micronutrients back into the body.
Recovering addicts should make sure they consume enough of every fat and water-soluble vitamin. They should also consume enough of every major and trace mineral.
Taking a daily multivitamin is a great way to ensure you are receiving the proper daily intake of important vitamins and minerals.
With all that said, completely altering your diet is not typically an easy task. That’s why recovering addicts need to seek help from a nutritional therapist.
A nutritional therapist will formulate a diet plan based on your needs. This will help improve your nutritional deficiencies and control your sugar cravings.
Likewise, many recovering addicts will rely on food as a coping mechanism after recovery. A nutritional therapist will ensure that the recovering addict has a healthy relationship with food and choose healthy options that higher dopamine levels in the brain.
Higher dopamine levels will result in a better overall mood, battling against things like anxiety and depression.
Those were the many ways that nutrition helps those recovering from addiction. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, it’s important that nutrition is one of the key factors in a well-rounded recovery.
At Seasons Bali, we go above and beyond to offer drug addiction and mental health services to those in need. Contact us today to start your recovery at our luxury Bali rehab program.
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All work conducted by Seasons Bali is carried out in the strictest of confidence and conforms to all current privacy legislation. None of the information on this site is intended as medical advice