If you’ve started your journey away from addiction, you should be proud of yourself. The journey might be difficult, but it is absolutely worth it. You deserve to live a happy, healthy life.
One of the best ways to support yourself during recovery is by focusing on your nutrition. Taking care of your body through regular exercise and good nutrition will help ensure your long-term health.
This post will look at nutrition and addiction recovery in depth. You’ll learn about different sources of nutrition, as well as tools like daily meal plans that will take the hassle out of cooking.
Keep reading to find out more about how nutrition and addiction recovery are so important together.
Nutrition in Different Types of Addictions
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on rates of addiction around the world. In the US, research shows that 2020 saw the highest number of opioid overdoses on record.
During the pandemic, rates of mental health issues have skyrocketed across the country. High rates of stress and anxiety have contributed to growing rates of addiction.
Different substances affect your body in different ways. For example, they can cause different nutritional deficiencies.
Let’s take a look at some of the deficiencies caused by common substances.
Nutrition for Opioid Recovery
Opioid addiction often reduces your appetite. Many people who develop an opioid addiction also experience disordered eating. Some of the symptoms you may experience during opioid addiction include:
- Eating small amounts or skipping meals altogether
- Not eating enough whole foods like fruits and veggies
- Gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation
After you stop using opiates, you might also experience diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms can drain nutrients from your body.
It’s important to focus on drinking enough fluids and getting plenty of electrolytes during recovery. Natural options like coconut water provide electrolytes and hydration.
Recovering from Alcohol Addiction
Long-term alcohol addiction causes disastrous consequences for your body. Alcohol can slowly chip away at your stomach lining. This makes it harder for you to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
Some other effects of alcohol addiction include:
- Reduced amounts of digestive enzymes that break down food
- Damage to your pancreas, which affects digestion
- Deficiencies in certain vitamins like thiamine
When you first start recovering from alcohol addiction, you should focus on getting plenty of fluids. This will help restore balance in your body.
You might also focus on eating plenty of soups and smoothies. These options are easier to absorb and also provide hydration.
How Do Stimulants Affect the Body?
Addiction to stimulants like amphetamines can seriously damage your body. Most people who use stimulants experience appetite suppression. When you’re not hungry, it’s almost impossible to get the right nutrients.
Stimulant addiction can also cause:
- Imbalances in your body’s electrolytes
- Loss of muscle mass
- Reduced body temperature
During stimulant recovery, you should focus on getting your electrolytes back in balance. Getting plenty of healthy protein in your diet can also help you restore that lost muscle.
When you stop using stimulants, you will likely experience a spike in your appetite. It’s crucial to eat filling, wholesome foods during this time.
Whole-grain foods, fruits, and vegetables all contain plenty of fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller longer. During your recovery, try to choose foods rich in fiber to keep you energized and satiated.
Foods for Recovery From Addictions
Many people will tell you that the detox phase of recovery is the hardest part. It can be difficult to make healthy food choices when you’re going through this challenging stage.
Here are some helpful pointers for detox nutrition:
- Focus on eating foods easy on the stomach like soups or pudding
- Choose nutritional shakes or supplements if your appetite is low
- Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day
- Consider a multivitamin to help with any deficiencies
Remember to go easy on yourself! Focus on foods that are easy to make and consume during this phase of recovery.
Nutrition for the Long Haul
A healthy diet should include carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fats. Let’s take a look at each of these components in more detail now.
Carbohydrates give your body the energy it needs to function. These nutrients are especially important for brain health. Some healthy carbohydrates include:
- Whole fruits, which contain natural sugars
- White potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Legumes like chickpeas or black beans
- Bread or cereals made from whole grain ingredients
As noted above, fiber helps you feel fuller longer. It also helps keep your blood sugar levels steady. Some common fiber sources include:
- Whole grain oatmeal
- Nuts or seeds
- Brown rice and whole-wheat bread
Protein is important for building strong muscles. But it’s also crucial for stabilizing your emotions and reducing anxiety. A few good sources of protein could be:
- Lean meats like chicken or fish
- Dairy products like milk and yogurt
- Nuts or nut butter
Finally, healthy fats can improve your overall mood and help your body function. They also provide energy. Some fat options include:
- Nuts, especially macadamia nuts and pecans
- Full-fat dairy yogurt or cheese
These four nutrients are crucial parts of a healthy diet. By including them in your long-term diet, you can shore up your health for years to come.
Making Meal Prep Accessible
When you are in the middle of recovery, you want healthy foods to be as accessible as possible.
One great way to promote good nutrition is to cook with members of a supportive community. Surrounding yourself with positive people can make any meal into a fun occasion.
Another way to make healthy foods accessible is to meal prep. Try cooking a larger meal and saving extra portions to eat later.
Especially on difficult days, having a few meals on standby can simplify your recovery process. You can make this even easier by creating a daily meal plan to follow each week.
Making good nutrition more accessible will boost your recovery. And sharing meals with supportive friends will encourage you to keep up with your healthy eating.
Embrace Health Today
Recovery from addictions is about so much more than just stopping a drug. At Healthy Life Recovery, we believe in holistic recovery treatment.
From good nutrition to exercise and community support, Healthy Life Recovery is ready to help you at every stage of your recovery journey.
Are you ready to embrace the happy, healthy life you deserve? Then contact Healthy Life Recovery today! We look forward to supporting you as a member of our caring community.