People who abuse drugs tend to lose sight of self-care. The only thing that matters is taking the drugs after a while. Nutrition for people with addiction is not yet the norm in most treatment programs, due to their short duration. Most people in recovery don’t link nutrition with health. The key is to unlearn this in recovery and begin to heal your body inside out, starting with better food choices.
By the time a person with addiction seeks help, they are so malnourished they cannot absorb nutrients properly. This type of malnutrition can depend upon the substances being abused. People who use opiates often show deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D and B6, and iron, while people with addiction to cocaine have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. People with alcoholism tend to be more efficient than other people with addiction because alcohol causes the body to excrete larger quantities of nutrients. Symptoms of malnutrition vary, but magnesium loss often shows up as weakness, insomnia, and anxiety. B vitamin deficiencies in people who drink manifest as anemia.
While putting people with addiction on vitamins and supplements may be helpful, ‘real food’ is often the best option for long-term recovery. The main challenge is reward-seeking behavior. This shows up as people in recovery’s preferences for processed foods with added sugar, salt, and fat. People who become educated often realize they need to cut back on carbs and sugar so they can create more healing in their brains and bodies.
Recovery Diet Plan
When looking to create a recovery diet plan, it is essential to look at a holistic picture of what you need. This may include:
- Less sugar: staying away from sweetened foods to stabilize blood sugar levels
- Fewer refined carbs: choose whole grains instead
- More protein: amino acids in proteins serve as building blocks for neurotransmitters, often lacking in people with addiction
- More fiber: fruits and veggies help healing process in the gut
- More healthy fats: good fats help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins
- Fewer processed foods: liver repair is critical to stay away from artificial ingredients
- Less caffeine: this exacerbates insomnia and anxiety, which are prevalent in society
- More healthy fats — Good fats help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Choose olive oil, flaxseed oil and omega-3s (found in fatty fish, nuts and flax seeds).
- Fewer processed foods — Liver repair is critical in early sobriety, says Henninger, so stay away from processed foods with artificial ingredients.
- Less caffeine — Caffeine can exacerbate insomnia and anxiety, which are especially prevalent in early sobriety.
Nutritional guidance and counseling can be an integral part of addiction treatment. If you need an outside support person, this may help you as you journey towards healing to find someone who supports your healing journey with food. Ultimately, nutritional education and therapies like cooking classes can help you find the healing you need in recovery with the right support.
Oceanfront will help you kick addiction to the curb with our premier beachfront community in Laguna Beach. We are founded on the principle of providing the best in care and services at affordable prices. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 877-296-7477