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What Does Nutrition Have to Do with Recovery?

What Does Nutrition Have to Do with Recovery?

People who have abused drugs and alcohol tend to lose sight of self-care. Most people in recovery are not thinking about eating well in sobriety. The idea that nutrition is critical for recovery has not caught on with people and it takes some retraining in how people see and think of themselves, and their bodies, in recovery.

What Gets Lost

By the time a person with addiction seeks help, they are malnourished because they have not eaten well and addiction wreaks havoc on the body’s ability to function properly and absorb nutrients. Malnutrition can cause deficiencies in calcium, vitamins D and B6, and iron, depending on the type of addiction. People with alcoholism tend to have more deficits nutritionally because alcohol causes the body to excrete larger quantities of nutrients. Symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Early-stage osteoporosis due to calcium loss for women
  • Anemia

Necessary Nutrients

While putting people with addiction on vitamin and mineral supplements can be helpful, ‘real food’ is often best for long term recovery. Foods with added sugar, salt, and fat are often in a recovery diet but that is not what nutritionists recommend. Patient education is critical for success in cutting out bad foods and rewarding the body with good foods, instead.

Recovery Diet Plan

What a recovery diet plan can consist of depends on each individual but some basics may include:

  • Less sugary foods to stabilize mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • Fewer refined carbs
  • Whole grains
  • Protein
  • Fiber from fruits and veggies
  • More healthy fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, and omega-3s
  • Fewer processed foods
  • Cut back caffeine

Healing the body and mind through nutrition can be a long journey. It is becoming to be a larger part of rehab and treatment programs because it is so helpful in restoring people to health in recovery.

Serenity Oaks provides an intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. Our goal is to provide nutritional, spiritual, emotional, and physical support for all your individual needs. Our therapeutic and medical support are just one of the tools we provide to help set you up for success in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.  

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center