Getting to the point of recovery from addiction is a huge victory. But, what do you do once you get there? Maintaining this status is highly important, and there is one major factor that can potentially make or break you: nutrition.
Ignoring your nutritional habits can put you at risk of relapsing; simply put, eating junk food may lead to drug use or drinking. One reason is that junk food is highly processed, and contains ingredients such as sugar, artificial colorings, hormones, and preservatives; all of these affect your body in more negative ways than one!
Generally your appetite returns within the first few weeks and months after you stop using drugs and alcohol. This is the reason why a person navigating through recovery is more likely to eat excessively, especially if the drug of choice was a stimulant (amphetamines, meth, cocaine, etc). Recovering from substance use affects your body in various ways, including your organ function, metabolism, and mental well being. Receiving proper nutrition can help, as well as accelerate, the healing process of these bodily functions. Nutrients provide the body with energy and the building blocks needed to heal and maintain healthy organs and also combat infections. Because it is important to implement a healthy diet in the early stages of recovery, take note of these superfoods to help you even further along:
- Whole Foods – Unprocessed or refined prior to being eaten; don’t contain additives (fats, salts, and other preservatives) found in processed foods.
- Whole Grains – Provides your body with the bran (outer) and the germ (inner) layers along with starch. Due to the body being unable to digest whole grains quickly, it helps keep insulin and blood sugar levels from fluctuating.
- Fiber – A chewy, tough plant substance that doesn’t break down in the stomach; helps push digested food smoothly through the intestine. Also helps moderate carbohydrate absorption.
- Protein – Mainly from legumes (nuts, beans, etc.), whole grains, seeds, fish, eggs, and meats such as chicken.
- Fats – Found in seeds, nuts, and fish, including flaxseed oil, fish oil, extra virgin oil, and cold pressed oils (coconut and olive oils); avoid hydrogenated oils, highly processed oils, and oils in fried foods.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Source of vitamins and minerals, also low in calories and fat. It’s better to eat locally grown fruits and veggies, and also those that are fully ripened rather than picked prematurely.
- Seafood – Provides proteins and vitamin B12; also a great source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, (reduces immunological issues such as arthritis, asthma, etc.) Also provides important minerals like fluoride, selenium, copper, zinc, iodine, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and several other important minerals.
Now that you’re aware of what foods to eat in order to help you, here is also a rundown of what foods may hurt you:
- Sugar – Provides temporary relief from low blood sugar levels, and consuming sugar via cake, donuts, candy bars, soda, etc. can trigger hypoglycemic issues; supplies no nutritional value, but depletes the body of minerals, vitamins, and enzymes.
- Processed Foods – Foods that have been altered from their original state in exchange for safety or convenience; includes food that is diced, cut, cooked, puffed, canned, ground, or changed in any way.
- White Flour – Found in commercial breads, bagels, pastas, pancake and waffle mixes, etc.; the body breaks it down like sugar and in turn can lead to many health problems. It strips the body of much needed minerals and vitamins, and also lacks fiber, potentially causing constipation and bowel irritability.
- Additives – Associated with changes in the brain and found to contribute to hyperactivity and learning difficulties or disabilities.
- Caffeine – Drug that alters bodily chemical balances and distributes adrenaline into the bloodstream, temporarily providing energy; stimulates adrenal glands, causing adrenal exhaustion.
Overall, your diet plays a major part in your journey to recovery. It is a change that is at times hard, yet necessary to make. Here at Asana Recovery, our team understands how difficult recovering from these addictions can be, due to the rigor of our daily work helping those who need it most. While there are those who may believe they can tackle it alone, rehab programs are great assets in the struggle against dependency. The road ahead may not be easy, but you can travel it is supported by a good team. Counseling coupled with aftercare can assist you by identifying each psychological facet that led you to addiction, and help you create foundational pillars from which to cope with life without turning to addiction.
The supervised detox and in home treatment programs at Asana Recovery are offered in a relaxing, encouraging environment. We’re always deeply committed to pushing you toward lifelong recovery, and guiding you on your path to a healthier future. Don’t hesitate to reach out, as we’re available to speak with you 24/7. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our top of the line drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.