Food as Medicine: Nutrition Tips for People in Recovery from Addiction

Legacy Healing Center Blog

How Good Nutrition Positively Impacts Addiction Recovery

People coping with alcohol and drug addiction face numerous significant challenges along the road to recovery, including learning to support their bodies with healthy foods. While on the recovery journey from addiction, it’s vital to understand the enormous impact good nutrition will have on how you feel in body, mind, and spirit as you heal from alcohol or drug abuse.

Good nutrition can impact every part of your life, including your successful recovery from alcohol and drugs. If you eat junk food all day and fail to stay active, you’ll be in a severely compromised state, which can make healing that much more difficult. By giving your body the nutrients it needs, you’ll build up your strength and resilience as well as gain a more positive body image as you move forward with your recovery.

Common Nutritional Problems in Active Addiction

For those in active addiction, getting enough quality food is often an afterthought. As a result, many people face significant health challenges, including nutritional deficiencies that can make getting well more difficult.

The specific health challenges addicts face will depend on many factors, including the types of drugs they have been using and their addiction severity. Here are some of the most common nutritional challenges and deficits faced by those in active addiction:

  • Binge eating – Binge eating is a big problem for addicts, leading to dangerous cycles of weight gain, followed by rapid weight loss.
  • Failure to eat – The opposite situation is also common among addicts, and failure to eat can create dangerous and even life-threatening nutritional deficiencies.
  • Poor diet – Eating a healthy diet is anything but a priority for those in active addiction, and a nutritionally deficient diet is often the result.
  • Organ damage – Chronic drug use can lead to severe organ damage, including liver, kidneys, and spleen problems.

How Certain Drugs Affect How You Eat

From alcohol and benzodiazepines to prescription painkillers and cocaine to methamphetamine and heroin, every drug affects the human body in its own highly damaging way. Whether you’ve been using drugs for just a short time or as long as you can remember, you will have felt the impact of these toxic substances on your body.

Along with addiction and dependency, certain drugs can also impact how much, how well, and even what you eat. From the cravings and munchies associated with the use of marijuana to the euphoria and lack of hunger related to stimulants and heroin, these impacts can have a profound effect on your physical health.

Understanding how these nutritional impacts play out in your own life will be a crucial part of your recovery and a vital first step in regaining the proper nutrition you need to lead a better and healthier life.

Healthy Dietary Habits for People in Recovery

It’s not always easy to start eating more healthily, it’s another behavior change you’ll be making while working on your addictive behaviors.  But those dietary changes will be so worth it when you start to feel the benefits of eating well.

Once you’ve completed your course of treatment and are ready to return home, good dietary habits are more important than ever before. Developing these healthy nutritional habits is a vital part of what we do at Legacy Healing Center.  It’s our goal to teach you healthy habits that will stay with you for the rest of your life, and we’re happy to provide you with the guidance you need on an ongoing basis.

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet will be very important as you continue with your recovery, and that starts with eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. These nutritional superstars can form the basis of your healthy diet, and you can supplement them with lean meats, fresh fish, and other dietary ingredients. Here are some timely tips to help you eat healthier in recovery:

  • Establish regular mealtimes
  • Eat low on the food chain, with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Avoid processed and convenience foods as much as possible
  • Stay hydrated, with lots of fresh, pure water
  • Consume plenty of protein
  • Exercise and stay fit

Nutritional Support at Legacy Healing Center

At Legacy Healing Center, we know that good nutrition is a critical component of a healthy recovery. That is why we provide the support our clients need to continue their recovery journeys. Everything we do is designed to help your body heal, including our on-site dietician and fresh-pressed juices.

We know that food is medicine and that proper nutrition remains a crucial part of a healthy recovery. If you are ready to turn your life around, break the cycle of addiction and get the healthy start you need, we encourage you to give us a call. At Legacy Healing Center, we are dedicated to your sobriety and your good health. Contact our admissions office at 888-534-2295 to start your road to recovery.