Individuals with substance use disorders can neglect their diet while in the throes of their addiction. That means they may have various nutritional deficiencies which can lead to problems with digestion. Improving your diet while in addiction recovery with food that contains a variety of nutrients can help you heal more effectively.
How Does Addiction Affect Your Appetite?
Sustained heavy use of drugs and alcohol can have a long-term impact on your overall health because of a lack of nutrients. Your body functions get disrupted and you could get to a point where your body can’t absorb important nutrients. Ways that a substance use disorder can impact you include:
- You forget to eat or have your appetite suppressed
- You develop poor nutritional habits
- You become malnourished
- You may eat too much “junk food” because it’s quick and easy
- You can end up with damage to organs like your liver and pancreas that stop you from properly absorbing, digesting, and storing nutrients
- Substances like opioids and alcohol can lead to suppression of your immune system, making you more vulnerable to contracting an illness or infection
It is important that your addiction recovery food diet provide you with what your body needs as you work to keep yourself sober. A lack of recovery nutrients in your diet can cause you to have long-term physical and mental health issues:
- Essential amino acids
Individuals with an alcohol use disorder may have deficiencies in B-complex vitamins and minerals like:
- Folic acid
What Foods Should My Addiction Recovery Diet Contain?
Westwind Recovery®’s California facility offers clients the chance to receive advice from nutrition specialists on finding the right addiction recovery food diet. That advice can be helpful as you learn to eat recovery foods that help you sustain your sobriety and avoid relapse triggers.
Try to incorporate foods that help with balancing the levels of serotonin in your brain and provide the best nutrition for recovery. That means eating foods with complex carbohydrates like:
- Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
- Root vegetables (potatoes, carrots)
Try to find a balance in your addiction recovery diet. Look for ways to consume these foods alongside protein that can keep you feeling at your best throughout the day.
One benefit of getting help with your addiction recovery diet at Westwind Recovery® is that we slowly introduce you to more balanced meals to get your body used to digesting them. You can learn to understand the benefits of nutrition in recovery while learning to avoid using food as a replacement for other addictions.
You should try to get to a point where your addiction recovery diet meals include a mix like:
- Fruits, grains, and vegetables that make up 50 to 55% of your complex carbohydrates
- Two to three cups of dairy products or calcium-rich foods like tofu and kale
- Two to four ounces of protein per day of meat, fish, or tofu
- Fat-rich foods like fish or those containing quality oils like olive, canola, or flaxseed
Making sure you get the nutrients you need can be an adjustment, but pay off in the long-term.
Maintaining Proper Eating Habits
It can take time and practice to adjust to a healthier addiction recovery diet. The following tips can help you maintain better eating habits that can help sustain your recovery.
- Look for healthy options on the menu when you go out to eat
- Include a mix of foods from different groups to help keep your body balanced
- Try to avoid skipping meals so you don’t get too hungry and consume lots of unhealthy food
- Drink a lot of water during the day
- Consult with a food specialist about multivitamin supplements that can increase your nutrient intake
Learn To Live Better at Westwind Recovery®
Westwind Recovery® offers a variety of programs and therapies to aid individuals looking for help with substance use disorders.
- Drug and alcohol detox
- Inpatient drug rehab
- Outpatient drug rehab
- Sober living programs
- Substance abuse treatment