When it comes to addiction recovery, good nutrition is not necessarily at the top of people’s minds. However, nutrition can play an important role in healing and supporting sobriety. Many people don’t realize the non-visible toll drugs and alcohol can take on the body. Drug use can cause changes in the skin and hair, but it also causes damage internally to the body’s organs and functions.
Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies are common problems that accompany addiction. Drugs and alcohol can inhibit the body from properly breaking down food and absorbing nutrients. Even though a person may be eating, their body is not getting what it needs. Other people may eat very little because substance use affects their appetite. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories that can make the stomach feel full even though a person hasn’t really eaten. On the other hand, some people overeat due to the effects of drugs and alcohol, but they’re not making healthy choices. They may eat a lot of processed foods with little nutritional value.
Eating a Well-Balanced Diet
Months or years of not eating well can be hard on the body. An essential component of addiction recovery is nutrition education. Those in recovery need to relearn how to take care of their bodies and make healthy food choices. This can have numerous benefits:
- Increased Energy: When the body is fueled with the right foods, it can make energy and leave people feeling more alert and less fatigued. They’re able to be more active and engaged. This also supports being more physically active and incorporating exercise into daily routines.
- Stable Blood Sugar: A common problem with having a poor diet is that blood sugar spikes and dips. This can lead to numerous problems including diabetes, mood swings, and fluctuations in energy. Eating on a regular schedule and choosing nutritious options keep blood sugar more stable and the person feeling better overall.
- Supports Healing: With the absence of drugs and alcohol, the body slowly returns to being able to better process food and absorb nutrients. This makes it even more important to eat a healthy diet in order to support healing and reverse some of the damage done by addiction.
- Curb Cravings: Maintaining a steady blood sugar and filling up on nutritious foods can help curb cravings and promote continued sobriety. It also enhances mood and energy which can help in positive ways as well.
Crossroads works with women to help them learn how to eat for their body and their recovery. Creating well-balanced meals that contain fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats is essential. Clients learn how to make their health a priority. In addition, addiction can take a toll on the immune system, and by turning their diet and eating habits around, women can boost immunity and improve their health to feel better.
Continuing to eat right and fuel the body with healthy foods is an integral part of long-term recovery and reducing risk of relapse. Clients often find that they enjoy feeling and looking better as well. Having increased energy and not feeling sick or as fatigued can be very motivating and encouraging. Healthy eating is also something that benefits the entire family – not just those in addiction recovery. Women are simultaneously taking care of themselves and the ones they love by making better choices when it comes to meals.
Make your well-being a priority by entering a comprehensive addiction treatment program at Crossroads and getting on track to better health. Our gender-responsive treatment supports your recovery and equips you with the tools you need for long-term sobriety.
[cta]Learn how to fuel your body and mind through good nutrition and overcoming addiction at Crossroads. [/cta]