When our addiction specialists meet new patients for the first time, we aren’t just concerned with the drugs and alcohol they have been consuming. We also want to know what food they have been consuming.
A nutrition screening is important because it provides insight into the addict’s nutrition habits. Has their addiction impaired them to the point that they don’t cook food and feed themselves? Has the addict lost or gained weight in the last few months without trying?
Depending on what we find during the nutrition screening, we may recommend that the patient sees one of our nutritionists, a physician or both. In some cases, addicts who are in poor health may need to see a physician to have lab work done. This way, we can determine what vitamins and supplements are needed to restore nutrients in the body.
Nutrition Tips for Early Recovery
There’s no specific diet that is recommended for recovering drug and alcohol addicts. A healthy diet that consists of protein, vegetables and fruits and whole grain breads and cereals is sufficient for most individuals. Recovering addicts must take care of their health because it helps them maintain sobriety.
Here are a few nutrition tips for newly recovering addicts.
Establish a Routine
It’s important for recovering addicts to eat at regular times. This prevents the body from feeling hungry, which could lead to a craving for drugs or alcohol. Additionally, depression is a common issue in early recovery. Eating regular meals can prevent mood swings and protect sobriety.
Sugar may look good and taste good, but it’s the complete opposite of healthy. Sugar can be just as addictive as other substances, and it can start a cycle of blood sugar levels spiking and dropping. This is not good for the body, and it may lead to mood swings and feelings of depression.
Newly recovering addicts should limit their caffeine intake to one cup a day. Like sugar, caffeine is addictive and can cause spikes and drops in mood and energy levels. Protect lifelong sobriety by limiting caffeine and choosing other drinks like flavored water or tea.
Choose Digestible Foods
Stick to foods that your body can digest easily. The key is to go easy on the digestive system until it’s able to regain normal functioning. Good foods include oatmeal, rice and fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods have high fiber contents and can alleviate constipation, diarrhea and nausea.
Get Vitamins and Minerals
An addict’s body is usually severely malnourished, and newly recovering addicts are almost always deficient in Vitamin B and D. A physician can determine what vitamins and minerals are needed to rejuvenate the body. As effective as vitamin therapy can be, there is no replacement for a healthy diet.
Are you ready to start your recovery? Call The River Source today. We have a full staff of counselors, nutritionists and naturopathic doctors that can jumpstart a healthy recovery.