Some people used to think that when an individual was going through a recovery program, they didn’t have to worry about what they ate or drank. They could indulge in all the sweets and junk food they wanted because they had bigger problems to worry about. Today, we know better. Research suggests that eating healthy can go a long way in helping recovering addicts feel better, stay sober and stick to their goals.
5 Ways Nutrition Helps With Addiction Recovery
Let’s take a look at five important ways that proper nutrition helps recovery.
1. It Helps Reverse Damage From The Addiction
Most substances have an effect on the appetite. Some cause addicts to eat too little; some too much. The drugs themselves damage the body as well. Alcohol, for example, speeds up the breakdown of key nutrients. Opiates tend to cause gastrointestinal disorders. A healthy diet restores the body and begins to reverse some of this damage.
2. It Helps Recovering Addicts Feel Better
Proper nutrition helps recovering addicts feel better on a physical level. The right nutrients give the body energy, and this energy is needed to regain physical strength required for long-term sobriety. A healthy diet also helps build and repair organ tissue and strengthen the immune system. Because vital organs are typically damaged from the substance abuse, proper eating gives them essential building blocks for restoration.
3. It Improves The Mood
Not only does eating well fuel the body physically but also mentally. The old adage, “You are what you eat,” certainly rings true in this instance. Research suggests that changes in the diet can alter brain structure chemically and physiologically. What you eat is also tied to the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that can enhance mood.
4. It Reduces The Risk of Relapse
Recovering addicts need all the encouragement possible, and a healthy diet and exercise regimen is one of the fundamental building blocks of a wholesome lifestyle. When a person pays attention to everything they put into their body, they are less likely to use drugs and alcohol. This, combined with feeling better mentally and physically, reduces the risk of relapse.
5. It Increases Confidence and Self-Esteem
Many things are out of our control in this world, but not when it comes to following a healthy eating plan. This is something that is completely in your control. When a recovering addict takes the initiative to make healthy choices, they regain some power in their lives. This increases confidence and self-esteem, which promotes the desire to stay sober.
Holistic Treatment for Substance Abuse
The River Source is a holistic treatment center that treats substance abuse. We believe that a healthy diet and exercise regimen is a staple of a successful recovery program. Nutritional therapy is practiced at our recovery center, helping our patients increase their chances for recovery.