As you’ll learn in smart recovery meetings, substance abuse touches all areas of your life, including nutrition.
Alcohol abuse stops the body from absorbing nutrients as it should. Stimulants suppress your appetite. Opiates like heroin play havoc with your digestive health. As a result, they all lead to some serious vitamin deficiencies.
We understand that taking steps to eat well while in recovery might feel like one battle too many right now. But instead, you should start a healthy diet full of nutritious recovery foods as another weapon to help you fight your addiction. After all, the nutrients they provide can help make recovery a lot easier on both your body and your mind.
Keep reading to find out which foods you should include in your recovery plan.
The Best Foods to Eat During Recovery
Nutrition is one of the first things to suffer during active addiction.
Often, those abusing drugs and alcohol devote so much of themselves to their addiction that they don’t have the money, energy, or resources to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eating nutritious food in recovery works to repair the damage done by substance abuse. This can include malnutrition from not eating, a poor diet, or binge eating unhealthy foods. And even if you do follow a healthy diet, some substances stop your body from absorbing nutrients as they should, or can even destroy nutrients altogether.
Eating well also helps improve your mood and ability to keep positive. While overcoming trauma and recovery aren’t as simple as eating fruit and vegetables, eating well is great for your mental health, which will have also suffered during your addiction.
Here are some of the best foods to help fuel your recovery.
Bananas are a great source of fuel for your body and mind thanks to their combination of complex carbohydrates, natural sugar, amino acids, and minerals.
Although bananas have very little protein, they do provide a good amount of the amino acid tyrosine. Drugs and alcohol can inhibit the body’s ability to process tyrosine so eating bananas can help compensate for this.
Tyrosine is important as it activates the brain’s norepinephrine system. This, in turn, promotes alertness, memory, focus, and motivation, helping you stay on track as you progress down the long recovery road.
Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan plays a role in the formation of serotonin, which helps promote relaxation and deeper sleep.
Tofu is an ideal food for recovery as it’s a good source of plant protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs.
And, as well as being nutrient-dense, it’s also easy to digest. Drug and alcohol abuse can take its toll on your liver. While all proteins engage your liver, tofu is a little different as it doesn’t need to produce bile to break down any fat.
As a result, tofu doesn’t compromise your liver’s healing process and can even help your liver recuperate from the damage done by addiction.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, and oats are all rich in fiber. Adding more fiber to your recovery diet can help jump-start your digestive health, which often suffers during active addiction.
But make sure not to add too much fiber too fast. If you’ve been eating a diet full of processed foods, your body needs time to regain its ability to process fiber. As such, it’s best to introduce fiber-rich foods like these different whole grains over a period of a week or two.
Vegetables are a vital component of your recovery eating plan thanks to the wealth of vitamins and minerals they contain.
Active addiction can often lead to malnutrition. A diet rich in vegetables can help your body regain its ability to absorb nutrients for optimal internal health and immunity.
The best way to maximize your vitamin intake is to eat a rainbow of different vegetables. This variety of veggies will also help all those salads, soups, pasta dishes, and stews taste better too!
5. Natural Yogurt
Constipation and diarrhea are common symptoms of addiction. This is due to the way drugs and alcohol can disrupt your digestive system.
As well as being rich in calcium and protein, natural yogurt is full of probiotics. These can help repair and restore the normal functioning of your digestive system.
6. Fish and Poultry
Like bananas, fish and poultry contain the amino acid tyrosine to help restore mental clarity and boost your mood. Fish and poultry are also good sources of lean protein, ensuring that your body regains the strength it needs to recover from addiction.
Like whole grains, berries are packed with fiber, while also being low in sugar compared to other fruits. What’s more, berries are a rich source of antioxidants.
Addiction causes an influx of toxins and free radicals to enter your body, weakening your immune system as well as the normal functioning of many organs and processes. The antioxidants in berries like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries can help strengthen your body and help it to remove these toxins.
Essential Addiction Recovery Foods
Your body and mind need the right foods to thrive. If there’s ever a time that you need a healthy body and mind, it’s during addiction recovery.
Addiction takes its toll on every aspect of your life and the journey to recovery is long and hard. This is why you need to fuel that journey with recovery foods full of nutrients to help your body heal itself from the inside out.
For more information about your journey towards recovery, feel free to contact us today.