It’s easy to bypass the importance of a healthy diet in a person recovering from addiction. On the surface, it doesn’t seem to be the most pressing issue during the beginning stages of recovery. However, as more studies continue to be published examining the connection between diet and health, it’s apparent that what those addicted fuel their bodies with makes a difference in their recovery and long-term overall health.
When those suffering from addiction seek help, the vast majority are malnourished. Many are not eating well and if they are, addiction makes the body unable to absorb nutrients at a regular pace. A healthy diet is crucial in recovery, no matter how long the duration of their stay is.
We’ve compiled a list of recovery diet tips to ensure recovering patients maintain their sobriety and be the healthiest version of themselves while doing so.
1. Less Caffeine
Caffeine is known to make the heart race and cause sleeplessness. This is because of its ability to produce acetylcholine and adrenaline, both that cause stress and anxiety when over-produced. But, people recovering from addiction are already incredibly prone to anxiety and insomnia, so avoiding caffeine altogether is the ideal situation. Attaining a healthier state of being overall is the goal, and caffeine helps defeat that purpose. (1) There is also the added factor of substituting one addiction for another is ultimately not ideal. This is why reducing caffeine intake is an incredibly effective tip for a successful addiction recovery diet.
2. Up the Protein Intake
Protein is one of six essential nutrients found in food. It is broken down into amino acids which serve as building blocks for neurotransmitters. They also help in the process of repairing and replacing all cells. Needless to say, protein is a vital aspect of one’s diet, especially a person recovering from addiction’s diet. Incorporating it into an addict’s diet is necessary for the optimal functioning of their body, and it’s easy because of how many different protein options are out there.
3. Cut Out/Fewer Processed Foods
During recovery, the liver repair has to be taken seriously as it is in critical condition. Eating fewer processed foods can aid in this process. Not only is this crucial for physical health, but also for mental health. Junk foods (as well as sugar which is mentioned below) can lead to fluctuation in moods, AKA mood swings. A person recovering from addiction should avoid these mood fluctuations at all costs. They’re already prone to mood swings from withdrawal and general irritability and stress.
4. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Stabilizing blood sugar is another important factor in recovery. Like many of the above categories, especially the processed foods section, this can cause mood swings. Although this issue is most commonly found in alcoholics, it can affect anyone abusing drugs of any kind. It’s not a quick fix, but it is a crucial one for a person recovering from addiction’s diet.
It’s important that all of these factors (and more) are taken into account when creating meal plans for rehabilitation centers. GKM has all the research and capabilities to help patients’ bodies recover by providing them with the essential nutrients through our menus. We want to help see patients through a long recovery journey and help heal from the inside out.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Want to talk about customizing a meal plan for your rehabilitation center? Contact us now.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We here at GKM are not healthcare professionals and do not claim to be; we’ve simply taken advice from professionals and nutritionists who lead us in the right direction and help us create menus best suited for those being served.
**If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.**
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