How to Eat When Recovering from Substance Abuse

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When you begin the recovery process, much of the focus is on managing your withdrawal symptoms and avoiding drugs and alcohol. But there is another aspect to recovery that is very important: eating healthy. Your food choices can have a significant impact on your cravings, moods and motivation for staying clean. By making healthy decisions, you can increase your chances for a successful recovery.

Below are some tips for how to eat following treatment for an addiction.

Eat Protein Rich Foods


Foods that are high in protein produce chemicals in the brain that make the body feel good. Protein also helps the body replace tissues that were damaged by the substance abuse. Some of the best picks include lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, seeds and tofu.

Fill Your Plate with Fruits and Vegetables

You should aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eat them fresh or lightly cooked. You can also add them to frozen yogurt, cereal, oatmeal or cottage cheese. Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that the body needs to feel good and recover from the addiction.

Move Things Along with Fiber

Whole grains and beans help to restore the digestive tract, which has been damaged from the abuse and unhealthy, irregular eating patterns. Fiber-rich foods also move nutrients through the body and prevent constipation. Choose dark, leafy green vegetables and breads that have a lot of nuts and seeds.

Add Flavor with Healthy Fats

Healthy fats include things like olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Try to cook foods in heart-healthy oils rather than butter or margarine. Healthy fats are important for membrane health, which can boost the mood and contribute to better overall health.

Stay Hydrated with H2O

Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. You can also sip on flavored water, seltzer water or 100% fruit juices. Dehydration can be a problem in early recovery, and it can be confused for hunger or cravings.

Eat Regularly Throughout the Day

By eating on a regular basis, you prevent low blood sugar, hunger and cravings. Try three meals and two snacks a day, or five small meals a day. The key is to keep your body nourished so that it has the energy to repair and restore itself.

Healthy eating is extremely important in recovery. If you would like to learn more about starting a wholesome recovery plan, call The River Source today. Our holistic treatment heals the mind, body and spirit.