It is not rocket science – we all need food to live. The brain and body need food in order to function normally. Most people would agree that proper nutrition in a person’s diet is important overall, but eating a healthy diet is an essential part of recovery for those battling a drug or alcohol addiction. Read on to learn how eating healthy relates to recovery.
A healthy diet includes a daily consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy, nuts, and legumes, while leaving aside highly processed foods, high-fat meats, or foods low in fiber or high in fat, sugar, or salt.
A healthy diet is often equated to weight loss, but shedding pounds is not the only benefit of a healthy diet. According to multiple sources, a person’s quality of life can be improved with proper nutrition even if they do not desire to lose weight, including Harvard Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Eating a healthy diet offers many benefits for people of all ages. Some benefits of healthy eating include:
Many things fall to the wayside during active addiction, including eating a proper diet and getting adequate nutrition. Rather than spending time, energy, or money on achieving good health, those battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol often use these resources to maintain their addiction.
Some people may fail to eat due to a suppressed appetite, forgetting to eat when using drugs or alcohol. Others may eat some but not much, whether a result of a decreased appetite or the fact that they have little to no money left to spend on food after “feeding” their addiction. But food-related behaviors among those suffering from addiction do not only include undereating or not getting enough nutrition, but can include binge-eating when some people regain an insatiable appetite while coming down from a high and eat well past the point of satiety, or the feeling of being full.
When a continues to neglect their nutritional needs, it can interfere with the body’s ability to function and their overall well-being. The longer a person succumbs to extreme drug or alcohol use in combination with a poor diet can take a significant toll on the body.
The following are several ways poor nutrition can affect the body:
Furthermore, drug or alcohol use can adversely impact a person’s metabolism, causing a person to expend energy much more quickly than normal. This can contribute to nutritional deficits and other problems, including fatigue, irritability, and more.
When poor nutrition affects mood, it can contribute to a person’s likelihood of using alcohol or drugs. Conversely, eating healthy relates to recovery in a positive way: When a person has proper nutrition, their mood can be regulated, making it less likely to use substances.
Although eating a healthy diet can help you or your loved one in recovery, it is important to remember that eating a nutritionally balanced diet alone is not enough to heal the root of the addiction. Eating well should always be an adjunct treatment to rehab therapies.
At Prevail Recovery, we offer traditional outpatient rehab in South Florida, including individual and group therapies, in addition to nutritional guidance. Our nutrition planning strives to get you eating healthy with the following objectives for overall well-being and lasting recovery:
If you would like to learn more about how Prevail Recovery can help you or your loved one enroll in one of our programs, please contact us today for a confidential consultation. Please do not wait to get on the path to sobriety and wellness.
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