But an often-overlooked aspect of successful addiction treatment is also what these individuals and their bodies have been missing. Alcoholics, for example, get as much as 50% of their daily calorie allowance from alcohol alone.1 Many addicts are dealing with nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition, which can make achieving sobriety even tougher. The team at our Banyan Heartland Treatment center explains the importance of nutrition in recovery and the kinds of foods that people in this situation should and should not avoid.
The body goes through considerable challenges during an active addiction, and healthy foods can help to mitigate some of the physical damage that has been done. Many detoxification processes can result in digestive issues as the body attempts to equalize. This is why it’s important to start eating well early in recovery, during care from our Heartland detox, for example. Eating well helps improve mood, regulate sleep, and establish a better routine for patients. Healthy eating should extend well beyond detox and through treatment to solidify lasting sobriety.
There is a growing trend in drug and alcohol treatment that includes nutrition for recovery. In this approach, patients replace chemicals within the brain that have been altered by addiction through proper nutritional eating. High-protein foods, for example, can help replace deficiencies in brain chemistry stemming from addiction.
Another important factor to consider is the agency that proper nutrition grants. For many people with addiction, they have reached a point where they care so little about the harm being done to their body by their substance of choice that they would rather continue that damage than face withdrawal. By providing them with proper education in nutrition, they can obtain a whole new understanding of how important it is to consider the things we ingest and why taking care of both the mind and body is crucial when upholding sobriety.
Proper education should consider the following goals:
It is our hope that anyone that leaves our Gilman, IL, Banyan rehab has experienced and reached all of the goals listed above and has learned lessons and knowledge they can apply to their lives moving forward.
Being that many people with addiction may be experiencing vitamin and mineral deficiencies that likely have an effect on their physical and mental health, it is crucial that there are a variety of foods to eat in recovery that can improve these nutritional deficiencies and support overall health. Important foods to eat in recovery include:
A good rule of thumb is to focus on eating nutritious foods and maintaining a well-balanced diet in early recovery. Simple foods that are easy to digest are also important to eat when in recovery.
Though you have worked on breaking free from drugs or alcohol, the pathways of addiction are still present. Nutrition in recovery also involves foods to avoid, including:
Balance is key. Even a nutrition addiction, or an unhealthy obsession with one's own physical health, can be a sign that a problem is still present. The best way to treat these occurrences is to successfully complete a residential treatment program that not only focuses on optimizing physical health but teaches healthy coping mechanisms to apply once you leave. Banyan Heartland’s drug treatment facility offers a variety of effective therapeutic methods that can identify a patient’s harmful thought patterns and replace them with more beneficial alternatives.
A whole new life could be right around the corner. Our team of professionals is ready and waiting to guide you through the journey of recovery and help you realize a sobriety diet and lifestyle that will see you through. This is your sign to take the steps towards a whole new life.