A healthful diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle – and it’s perhaps the best way for those in recovery to replenish a body that’s been ravished by addiction.
This is because years spent abusing drugs or alcohol can deplete the body of necessary nutrients and lead to organ damage. Alcohol abuse, for instance, damages the liver (which removes toxins) and the pancreas (which regulates blood sugar and the absorption of fat), and causes an imbalance of fluids, calories, protein and electrolytes. Someone addicted to opiates, on the other hand, will likely have deficiencies in calcium, vitamins D and B6 and iron.
Also, by the time many people seek help for a substance use disorder they are already malnourished. This is due to either a lack of eating (many drugs suppress appetite) or eating the wrong foods.
Eating Right for Recovery
Good nutrition can help repair damage to tissues, organs and the brain’s reward centers. The right foods can also put you in a better mood and give you more energy to endure the hard work of rehab. What’s more, unhealthy food can lead to high blood pressure, an increased diabetes risk, weight gain and a knock to your self-esteem.
Some more ways that proper nutrition can help your recovery:
- Manage withdrawal and cravings
- Rid the body of toxins
- Strengthen the immune system
- Build and repair organ tissue
- Enhance your mood
- Improve your sleep
- Increase energy
- Manage stress
- Regulate blood sugar
- Boost self-esteem
- Control weight gain
- Better handle co-occurring mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression
Healthy Eating Habits at NorthStar Transitions
We know that eating right is often easier said than done. At NorthStar, we teach our clients healthy eating habits during addiction treatment so they have the nutritional tools needed to regulate their mood long after discharge. To learn more, call today: 303-558-6400.