Having sound nutrition in recovery is one of the best ways to restore a mind and body that have been ravaged by addiction. In fact, a recent medical article points out that the possibility of relapse may be diminished when an individual is engaged in balanced eating habits that include necessary nutrients. In most cases, the areas most affected by substance abuse will be metabolism (processing energy), organ function, and mental health, all of which need to mend. So while new habits, attitudes and behaviors are forming, it’s important to evaluate nutrition in recovery and make changes in this area of life, as well.
Experts point out that the way a body and mind are affected by substance abuse depends largely on the substance itself. It’s important to check with a medical or nutritional expert to determine exactly what areas of a diet require a boost.
A few rules apply when it comes to nutrition in recovery:
- Eat regular meals. This is not only good for the body, it’s good for building the discipline that may be needed in a daily routine.
- Discover healthy food predilections and include a lot of those in the recovery diet.
- A stable mood depends on stable blood sugar levels, so light snacks like nuts, a boiled egg or raw vegetables, or more frequent mini-meals, will take care of the between-meal mood dips that can cause craving.
- Caffeine and sugar can also cause mood fluctuations, so if intake of those substances aren’t eliminated altogether, they should at least be reduced.
- Bad eating habits can be just as hard to give up as drugs or alcohol, so it may be smart to keep initial dietary changes simple and move gradually to a complete, healthy diet that will assure long-lasting recovery.