Recovery Nutrition: 7 Tips for Eating a Healthy Diet During Addiction Recovery

rehab resources
7 Effective Rehab Resources to Help With Substance Abuse in NC
July 10, 2020
what is rehab like
What is Rehab Like? What to Expect When Starting Rehab in NC
July 17, 2020

Eating a well-balanced diet is essential for people in recovery for substance abuse or alcohol abuse. Good nutrition feeds the body with healthy nutrients. Nutrition aids the recovery process.

If you’re in recovery, you may have a tendency to want to eat fast foods, foods high in fats, and high sugar items. Especially if that’s what you consumed when you struggled with drugs or alcohol.

It might be a challenge to eat better when you’re in recovery, but recovery nutrition not only helps the body physically, it helps the brain. Good foods rich in nutrients reduce stress, regulate blood flow, and help you sleep better.

Recovery nutrition also helps to keep your emotions in check by preventing mood swings. In this post, you’ll discover foods good for your body and brain. Here are the healthiest foods to eat while you or your loved one is on the road to recovery.

1.  Stay Away From These Foods

Before we talk about the good foods to eat for recovery nutrition, there are certain types of food you should avoid eating:

  • Foods high in preservatives
  • Fried foods
  • Foods high in salt and sucrose
  • Artificially flavored food items
  • Processed foods
  • Foods that raise blood sugar

These unhealthy foods may feel good to eat and provide momentary pleasure. But they can cause emotional mood swings and zap your energy.

When your body is going through detox, it’s even more important to be mindful and eat a balanced diet. Recovery shouldn’t just be about treating substance or alcohol abuse. It should serve to treat the whole self: body and brain.

Eating healthy helps to fight temptation. The truth is, a meal rich in nutrients can taste better than a whopper from Burger King.

2. Eat Dark, Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are rich with antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent cell damage which makes food with antioxidants vital to our bodies.

To add, dark, leafy greens are packed with vitamins as well as minerals we need. They contain rich sources of folate, carotenoids, and fiber. They also contain flavonoids or phytochemicals from plants that can prevent the risk of cardiovascular disease.

So what leafy greens are good for you? Here’s a list:

  • Kale
  • Swiss chard
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard greens
  • Romaine

Kale tops off the list because it has the largest amount of antioxidants of any leafy greens. One kind of lettuce that has little nutrition is iceberg lettuce.

Combine some of these leafy greens for a healthful salad. Or another option: cook them in a pan with a savory sauce. But make sure the sauce is low in salt and sugar.

3. Eat Whole Grains

Rice and breads can be good for you. But before you just buy a loaf of bread or bag of rice, make sure to check the label. Ensure that the brand you choose doesn’t contain high fructose, corn syrup, or sucrose.

Sometimes manufacturers add these ingredients to sweeten bread and rice. Unfortunately, they can present a risk for other health conditions such as diabetes.

In addition, white bread and white rice can be processed. So why not opt for brown rice or quinoa instead? You may find it tastes better!

4. Protein-rich Foods

Protein is great for the body. It strengthens bones, muscles, and cartilage and it’s good for your blood and skin. It’s a natural healer and it curbs your appetite.

You can find protein in many sources of food, including eggs, meats, turkey, chicken, seeds, and nuts. But an important thing to remember when buying meats: make sure the meat you purchase is lean.

Meat that isn’t lean is higher in fat. And fatty meats can raise your cholesterol, harm the heart and the cardiovascular system.

5. But Wait, Not All Fats Are Bad for You

While many fats harm the body such as trans fats and saturated fats found in processed foods, other fats that are monounsaturated or polyunsaturated lower cholesterol and help overall health.

For example, Omega fatty acids feed our brains and repair damaged tissue. Here are examples of good fats:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts)
  • Seeds (flaxseeds, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
  • Fish and fish oil (salmon, trout, sardines, herring)
  • Safflower oil
  • Tofu

Make sure to eat these fats in moderation. The important thing: eating a balanced diet is better for recovery nutrition.

 6. A Colorful Plate of Fruits and Vegetables

Having a variety of vegetables supplies the body with essential vitamins and minerals. And the more colors that fill up your plate, the better. Mix it up with a rainbow of colors:

Reds: tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate contain antioxidants–lycopene, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid that reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer

Oranges: The beta-carotene in carrots provide the vitamin A our body needs

Yellows: Corn also contains beta-carotene and carotenoids rich in antioxidants

Greens: As discussed in #2, they’re filled with vitamins and minerals

7. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Drinking lots of water should always be part of the best diet for alcohol recovery or substance abuse. Especially water with electrolytes. Water releases the body’s toxins. It excretes these toxins through a number of the body’s systems.

These include the digestive system, urinary tract, sweat glands, and respiratory system. While you or your loved one is undergoing the detox process, water can flush out the toxins and impurities in the body that’s been stored up for months.

The Takeaway on Recovery Nutrition

Now you know seven important recovery nutrition tips to help you get back to better health and well being. Eating a good diet can help you immensely during your healing process.

Looking for a holistic approach to addiction? Check out Oasis Recovery and begin your path to freedom