It should come as no surprise that addiction is incredibly taxing on the body for a variety of reasons. One of the less obvious, but no less important, reasons is a lack of nutrition. Some substances can cause those struggling with addiction to eat too much, some to eat too little, and withdrawal from these substances can bring about gastrointestinal issues and a whole host of other negative effects on the digestive system. Someone in the throes of an addiction issue is likely not concerned about eating healthy, or even the quality and quantity of what they are eating. Because of this physical neglect, nutrition becomes a vital part of recovery.
Proper nutrition gives us energy, strengthens our immune systems, and helps us build and repair organ tissue. The building and reparation of organs is especially important for those in recovery because it is likely that major organs were damaged during active addiction. Having proper nutrition can help those in recovery to restore what was damaged and ensure that their organs become as healthy and well-functioning as possible.
Nutrition also plays an important role in how we feel. Changing our diet can change the structure of the brain chemically and physiologically, which can lead to an alteration in mood overall. There are foods that contain vitamins and other chemicals that can lead to chemical changes in the brain, like increased serotonin production, which will enhance mood overall. This means that your mood will be naturally improved through the alteration of what you eat. The nutrition that you are getting through food will help you to improve both your body and your mind. And of course, when you are feeling better, your risk of relapse is significantly reduced.
Next time you go grocery shopping, pick up some of these healthy foods and you will feel happier and healthier in no time.
High in omega-3 fatty acids which help to improve blood flow, breathing, and digestion. It is also high in protein, which is vital to helping your body heal and become stronger.
Loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats that can be particularly helpful in restoring brain cells and boosting the immune system.
Provide you with energy throughout the day to help keep you focused and motivated.
Cleans out the liver, promoting its healthy function, while boosting the immune system, regulating blood pressure, and improving bone health.
Provide a lot of fiber for digestive health and Vitamin C for healthy skin and tendons. Also supports detoxification of the liver.
There are many foods that provide similar benefits as the foods listed above. Following a healthy, balanced diet – rich in proteins from fish, poultry, or other lean meats, along with fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains will significantly improve your overall health. Eating at the same time every day and establishing a routine can also help. It is also important to stay away from processed sugars, as they can increase cravings and lead to crashing after the brief high from the sugar has worn off, which can lead to mood swings.
Remember, self-care is an important part of recovery. By taking care of your body, you are helping to safeguard your sobriety and all the hard work you have put in to reach where you are.