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Monday, February 18, 2019

How a Balanced Diet Can Help You Stay Sober

We all know the phrase “you are what you eat” – the concept that good nutrition helps support your body and mind. But you may not have realized a balanced diet can be your most powerful tool in your recovery process.

There is a common misconception that people who are battling to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction should be able to “reward” themselves by indulging in any sweets or fatty foods they may crave. After all, junk food is nowhere near as dangerous to consume as drugs and alcohol…right? A growing body of evidence suggests exactly the opposite: that these unhealthy, careless eating habits could be doing more harm than good along your journey to recovery.

Addicts Face a Nutritional Dilemma

Of course, it’s important for everyone to develop healthy eating habits. But we now know that’s especially true for people who are working on maintaining their sobriety. Recovering addicts face a one-two punch when it comes to nutrition. First, habitually ingesting drugs or alcohol wreaks havoc on the body. Prolonged alcohol use impedes your body to break down and assimilate the nutrients in your diet, resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Meanwhile, severe vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to nutrient depletion, are common withdrawal symptoms with drugs such as opiates.

The second factor that results in poor nutritional habits for addicts is their lifestyle. People with substance abuse disorders are less likely to eat a healthy diet. Some drugs stimulate the appetite, while others suppress it. For many people, their craving for the addictive substance takes a higher priority in their life than eating foods that are rich in high-quality nutrients.

Nutrition’s Role in Sobriety

Eating a healthy diet helps recovering addicts feel better because proper nutrition gives people more energy and strength. Drug and alcohol abuse usually leads to some degree of organ damage, but a balanced diet provides the nutritional building blocks people in recovery need for their bodies to begin restoring damaged tissues.

Eating right can also help boost your mood. Research has shown dietary changes can influence your behavior by altering brain structure both chemically and physiologically, leading to mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.

Food is a tool for recovering addicts that can help them feel both physically and mentally stronger. Often, following a healthy and nutrient-dense diet plan will reduce the risk of relapse.

Learn More About Nutrition and Addiction Recovery

Nutrition is a cornerstone of addiction recovery. Regaining and maintaining overall health requires a commitment not only to abstaining from drugs and alcohol, but by practicing healthy eating habits. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and the negative health effects related to it, Canyon Crossing is here to help. Our admissions coordinators are standing by to answer your questions about seeking women’s-only addiction care in Prescott, AZ. Contact us today to get the help you need for yourself or a loved one.

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