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Is there a Connection between Nutrition and Addiction Recovery?

Many believe there is a connection between addiction recovery and good nutrition. While rehabilitation and treatment options are all essential for the success of an individual trying to recover, good nutrition can have an equally important role to play.

Alcoholics and drug addicts often consume many calories in junk food as good nutrition becomes less important to them. The most important thing to them during addiction is their drink or drug of choice and eating a healthy, balanced diet is something that no longer matters. It is therefore no surprise that many addicts lack in essential vitamins and minerals.

How Does Good Nutrition Aid Recovery?

As most addicts have neglected their health for quite some time, it becomes evident fairly quickly that they need to have minerals and vitamins replenished in order to help them on the road to recovery. A healthy body requires certain nutrients and most of us get these from the food we consume in a balanced diet. Quick and cheap junk food, which is often the food of choice for addicts, does not contain any of the required nutrients. Fresh fruit together with plenty of leafy green vegetables and a mix of protein and complex carbohydrates are all essential for good health.

Eating a healthy balanced diet helps those addicts on the road to recovery by fighting fatigue and cravings for sugary foods. A healthy body can help the addict focus on any potential spiritual or psychological problems - those that led him or her into addiction in the first place. When an addict is not well, he or she will just not have the energy to dedicate to recovery. By starting to get healthy, energy levels will rise and the fight for sobriety has a much better chance of success.

What Foods Should Recovering Addicts Eat?

Protein is essential for those in recovery from addiction because it aids in tissue repair. The abuse inflicted on the body over the course of an addiction needs to be reversed. Many hard-core addicts can suffer from a range of problems, including with the liver, kidneys, heart, pancreas, and brain. Recovering addicts should concentrate on eating proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs and lean red meat. Snacking on nuts is a good way to ensure good health as well.

Fat is also essential to a healthy body but it is vital that the right fats are eaten. Most of us associate fat with things such as cake, biscuits, crisps, etc. but most of these foods contain saturated fat, which is not healthy. For good fat, coconut and olive oil are good choices, as are avocado and butter. Good fats are required for brain health and can help in the fight against depression as well, which can often be a cause for relapse.

Insomnia and anxiety are two common relapse triggers, so avoiding caffeine is a good idea for those in recovery. If the addict does not feel as though he or she can completely cut caffeine out of their lives, then reduction of intake is preferred. Remember that caffeine is found in things such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks; however, there are many caffeine free varieties available.

Getting Help

Getting help for an addiction is an important first step to a more healthy life. Many addicts do not know how or where to start on the road to recovery; many would rather carry on with their destructive behaviour than try to find out how to get the help required. However, at Rehab Helper we can offer the advice and support to those needing help. We can provide information on the best treatment options available, so call us today.

Sources:

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maura-henninger-nd/holistic-remedies-addiction_b_1631656.html
  • http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ending-addiction-good/201305/the-connection-between-nutrition-and-addiction-recovery
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