Healthy Eating In Recovery

While in the midst of an inpatient rehab program in New Jersey, there are many facets of your personal life that need to undergo significant changes. From exercise to maintaining sobriety, there are a lot of moving parts to account for, and healthy eating is a part of this equation. During a person’s addiction phase, they forsake many things, including healthy eating. The drug that was consumed could have caused that individual to not get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are needed to recover and to retain bodily vitality. Let’s take a look at the negative effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain and body, and the need for healthy eating in recovery.

What Drugs & Alcohol Do To The Body

Contrary to what many would believe, malnutrition is a typical side effect of addiction, which can lead to a smattering of nutritional and bodily deficiencies. This could stem from poor eating habits or the way the substance hinders the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Nutrients affect our energy levels and brain functions. Deficiencies will also harm your ability to properly detox and combat withdrawal symptoms.

So, what are the most common nutritional deficiencies? It depends on the substance being abused, but here are some deficiencies from certain drugs:

  • Lack of vitamin A, B vitamins, folic acids, and calcium (alcohol addiction)
  • Insufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids (cocaine addiction)
  • Low vitamin B6, vitamin D, iron, and calcium (addiction to opioids)

Apart from the nutritional hindrances, drug and alcohol addiction will deplete your serotonin and dopamine levels. As we know, these “feel good” chemicals are responsible for regulating mood, promoting relaxation, and even aiding in bouts of acute withdrawal. When low levels of the neurotransmitters surface, it can lead to depression, anxiety, cravings, insomnia, and many other varying symptoms. Neuroplasticity will also take a hit (denotes the brains’ ability to form new connections, rearranging old ones).

The Healing Power Of Nutrition

Healthy eating in recovery will not only help you in the present, but it’s capable of repairing past damage to drug and alcohol addiction, too. Optimal nutrition assists with increasing neuroplasticity, by assisting the brain in restoring the neurotransmitters to functional levels. A balanced diet fights off cravings and wards off unwanted withdrawal symptoms. 

When proper nutrition education and traditional therapy are used in tandem, it makes it easier for our treatment team with North Jersey Rehabs to discern nutritional setbacks, biochemical imbalances, digestive issues, etc. A healthy diet can easily be incorporated into your treatment program, making modifications as you go to adhere to your specific nutrition needs. The food you eat is vital to the ways in which the body responds to treatment. The better your nutrition, the easier it becomes to pursue your recovery endeavors. 

What Should I Eat In Recovery?

If you want to check off all the boxes for healthy eating in recovery, stick to the following nutrients and the following foods that have them:

  • Fruits and vegetables: The fiber content in many fruits and vegetables can help your gastrointestinal system to heal.
  • Proteins: Proteins are loaded with amino acids, which are colloquially referred to as the building blocks for neurotransmitters. Chicken, fish, eggs, beef, are good sources of protein.
  • Healthy fats: Fats from food items like flaxseed oil, olive oil, nuts, fatty fish, can help the body to absorb vitamins and repair neurons. 

In terms of what to avoid, most would agree that the following are a big no no when starting off on this healthy kick:

  • Caffeine: The stimulant contributes to high levels of anxiety and insomnia, so it’s best to avoid it in the early stages of your recovery.
  • Sugar: Stay away from foods with processed or added sugars. Doing so will keep your blood sugar stable, which reduces depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
  • Processed foods: Packaged or fast food is often low in protein content, but loaded with saturated fats, prompting feelings of sluggishness. 

Learning Building Blocks Of Nutrition From Inpatient Rehab Program In New Jersey

The body is a temple, and it should be treated as such. All it needs is the proper fuel to keep everything balanced. With help from our team of professionals that offer structure, in the form of an inpatient rehab program in New Jersey, you too can create healthy patterns that will replenish your body and soul. North Jersey Rehabs is here to help. Contact us today to get started!

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