Eating junk food may not seem important when you’re recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. But, nutrition in addiction treatment is very important for recovering addicts for several reasons. One of the most important reasons to eat a healthy diet is to ensure you feel better, faster after eliminating drugs and alcohol.
Some studies show that nutritional training encourages a successful long-term recovery from addiction. Learning more about how nutrition helps in addiction treatment is an important step toward regaining your health.
What to Know About the Role of Nutrition in Addiction Treatment
Regularly using drugs or alcohol can interfere with the normal processes of the body, leading to nutritional deficits. For instance, heavy drinkers can consume up to 50 percent of their necessary calories from alcohol alone. Also, the presence of alcohol in the body prevents the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Other problems, such as not eating enough or eating too much, are also common. Nutrition in addiction treatment also helps the body flush away all the toxins left behind by the substance of abuse. Plus, it improves physical health and strengthens a person’s will to continue living a sober life.
Research also shows that poor nutrition causes problems with blood sugar levels. Sometimes this results in low blood sugar which immediately creates cravings for sugar, caffeine, or for more of the addictive substance that the individual is trying to beat. Balancing blood sugar levels can help an addict avoid these cravings, thus preventing relapse.
Healthy food is the building block for a healthy body and mind. A healthy diet during recovery allows your body access to the nutrients it needs to repair the damage caused by addiction. Healthy food, such as lean protein and whole grains, gives you a steady, reliable energy. Some foods have also been shown to promote healthy serotonin levels, which boosts mood and enhances feelings of well-being. In many studies regarding the link between good nutrition and mental well-being, specialists have learned that a healthy body helps a person develop positive emotional and mental attitudes. Positive attitudes, in turn, can help a recovering addict to avoid returning to their addictive behaviors.
Developing Good Eating Habits
Sugary and fatty foods can cause you to feel tired, irritable or groggy. But, these foods are often available in addiction treatment centers. Nutritional training can be very helpful if you aren’t sure how to begin, or if you have nutritional deficits caused by substance abuse. Many rehab centers offer nutrition classes or other nutritional guidance for those entering recovery. Also, most professional rehab facilities provide nutritious meals for their clients. Nutrition, along with a schedule of activities that includes regular exercise, relaxation, and skills training are a proven method of treating addiction.
Those using amphetamines, or other substances that curb appetite, may not be familiar with the feeling of hunger. These people may even misinterpret hunger as a craving for drugs or alcohol. Learning how to eat smaller, healthy meals throughout the day allows you to develop habits that can prevent a relapse, particularly if you aren’t accustomed to eating regular meals.
Struggling to overcome an addiction is a challenge, and becoming sober is your primary goal. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to give up all your favorite snacks. In many cases, you can include a wide variety of foods in your diet while recovering from addiction. Some of the first things to do include cutting down on sugary foods and processed foods. Learning about and experimenting with fresh, natural snacks is another important step. Nutritional counseling is designed to help you learn which foods to include in your diet to feel your best during and after your recovery. Naturally, when your body feels strong and energized, you are less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety, either of which could lead to relapse.
One of the most effective addiction treatment methods available today is known as holistic treatment. This form of treatment is based on healing the whole person, physically, mentally and spiritually. The programs offer:
- nutritious meals,
- nutritional guidance
- massage therapy
- music and art therapy
- relaxation techniques
They also offer a variety of activities that are aimed at helping a person overcome the bodily damages, emotional discord, and spiritual emptiness they have suffered as a result of their addiction. Holistic treatment programs are based on a regimen of all-natural foods and supplements and have proven to be the best option in order to enjoy lasting sobriety and a lifetime of purpose-filled days.
Developing good eating habits not only helps you feel your best, it also gives you a chance to repair the physical damage caused by drugs or alcohol. If you are ready to live a healthy lifestyle, you can count on the results gained with nutrition in addiction treatment. Contact a treatment center for help today.