The foods you eat can affect your mood. Everything you put into your body will affect it and someone with a past addiction should know this well. They know that the substances they use affect their mental and physical health. However, in recovery, those with a substance addiction may want to eat sweets and junk foods to keep them going.
Proper nutrition is vital for everyone, and those recovering from an addiction are no exception. People often go to rehab with little to no knowledge about the foods they should be consuming to aid the recovery process. Eating the right foods can greatly help them overcome the obstacles that lie ahead.
Substance abuse affects basic wellbeing. Substance abuse affects basic wellbeing. Alcohol can prevent the body from absorbing nutrients, and opiates can affect digestive health. Stimulants cause appetite suppression. Rather than fighting two dragons – addiction and nutrition – those in recovery should focus on breaking their habits through good food.
A varied and balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables, proteins, dairy products and grains is ideal for relaxation. Certain foods are especially beneficial for someone overcoming their addiction.
Here are 11 healthy foods to help heal the body while recovering from addiction.
Although water is not food per se, it is still one of the most important things a healthy person can put into his body. Humans need a certain amount of hydration to function properly. Women need about 91 ounces and men need it about 125 ounces per day. Drinking water helps flush out toxins from the substances, and it helps with healing and digestion. The kidneys work better and the convalescent has more energy.
Yogurt is one of the best foods for nutrition and recreation. Simple, sugar free greek yogurt is one of the healthiest options, but all versions contain probiotics. When someone is recovering from alcohol or opiates, they need help with their digestive and gastrointestinal systems. These substances disrupt the natural process, which is why addicts can have diarrhea or constipation. The probiotics in yogurt can help normalize the digestive tract.
Like yogurt, blueberries can help regulate the digestive and immune systems. They’re packed with antioxidants – more so than most other fruits and vegetables. Toxins affect various body systems when a substance enters the body and wreaks havoc. Consuming blueberries can boost the immune system to clear them up.
4. Whole wheat pasta
One of the best things about whole wheat pasta is that it is full of fiber and minerals. Other whole grain products such as oatmeal, bread, and muesli are also great for recovering from addiction. Fiber helps cleanse the digestive system, just like yogurt. Adding whole grains and fiber to an addict’s diet can help their overall digestive health, which has likely suffered during substance abuse.
Tofu is made from soy and is used as a meat substitute in many Asian dishes. It’s a low-calorie and low-fat protein that can help the liver recover from the damage caused by drugs and alcohol. It promotes gut health, and because it’s so soft, it’s easy to digest. Any protein is great for liver function, but with tofu, the liver does not produce bile. Since there is no fat, it allows for a slow and steady healing process.
Bananas are full of potassium and tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is not well processed when someone uses alcohol and drugs. This amino acid is essential for the formation of serotonin, the chemical that promotes proper sleep and relaxation. Eating bananas helps addicts recover with their general mood and sleep schedule, which are essential to healing.
Fish is an excellent source of protein for a general diet, but it helps those in recovery because it contains tyrosine and L-glutamine. Is tyrosine a precursor to dopamine, this is the “feel-good hormone”. These values will be low during the early recovery period. To increase motivation and energy, drug addicts should eat fish. L-glutamine is also found in fish. It is an amino acid that helps reduce sugar cravings and is great for the immune system.
Cheese is an excellent high protein snack that can help addicts recover on their journey to sobriety. It can help relieve food cravings when cravings for a particular substance occur. Cheese, like fish, contains tyrosine, which can aid digestion and dopamine levels.
Another food that is high in antioxidants is artichokes. Anything filled with antioxidants will help the immune system rebuild itself from damage from the addiction. They help speed up the cleansing process while the addict’s body detoxifies and goes through withdrawal. Artichokes are also low in fat, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, and help regulate blood pressure.
10. Leaf vegetables
Everyone should include leafy vegetables in their diet. They’re full of L-glutamine, just like fish. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, parsley, and kale help increase L-glutamine levels. Eating these foods in their purest state to allow more natural elements to enter the body helps with recovery. Aside from that, they are high in fiber and low in calories, and they can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and mental decline.
11. Cherry tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are full of the neurotransmitter GABA, the gamma-aminobutyric acid which acts as a primary inhibitor for the nervous system. It affects how people experience things like anxiety, stress, and anxiety. It can help slow down or block nerve signals that reduce anxiety, which people in recovery may be exposed to. Eating cherry tomatoes can ease withdrawal symptoms.
Where should I start?
Healthy eating habits are important for everyone and even more important during recovery. Someone struggling with addiction may be malnourished and lack the proper skills to know what to put into their body. It’s about a change in mentality.
The restorer should start small. These changes happen over time. Cutting out junk food or adding leafy greens to your diet is a good place to start. Additionally, drinking water daily and choosing foods in their most natural form are the best ways to restore lost nutrients and get rid of extra toxins.
In addition to a healthy diet, someone who is recovering should exercise to increase endorphins and aid treatment. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, but a quick walk or a light workout can boost your mood and motivation to continue your journey of recovery. Additionally, keeping a daily log of their activities can help them see their progress and stay tuned.
Eating healthy while recovering
Proper nutrition is a major factor in the success of a recovering addict. With the right foods and attitude, someone on the road to sobriety can be more motivated to continue their journey.
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