Starting your recovery from addiction requires a multi-level approach, including nutrition, which can greatly impact how you feel and cope with your newfound sobriety. No matter where you are on your journey toward recovery, nutrition in addiction recovery remains paramount. In this blog, we will consider the relationship between recovery and nutrition and provide as many insights as possible.
Note: We are not a nutritional specialist, these are just some general tips to help you stay on track
If you need a safe space to stay sober, our sober living environment at The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation may be right for you. Contact us and learn how we can help.
The Role of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery
Nutrition in addiction could be that little extra bit of support you are looking for. A well-balanced diet can address some of the deficiencies your addiction may have caused you. Once these are addressed, you can improve your mental health, allowing you a better resolve and an easier recovery.
Nutrition in Recovery
Recovery is unique to everyone, but so are nutritional needs, which is why, without visiting a dietician, you can’t know for sure which diet or supplements you should take. Crafting a recovery-focused nutrition plan will involve understanding your substance use, health conditions, and personal preferences.
Some nutrient-rich foods for recovery you may consider should include Omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, fresh fruit, and vegetables, all of which may boost your struggling immune system, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy brain through recovery.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
- Chia seeds
- Walnuts Oats
- Whole wheat bread and pasta
- Brown rice
Fruits and Vegetables:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries)
- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale)
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
- Red bell peppers
Staying hydrated is also very important as it supports detoxification and keeps your organs healthy.
Managing Cravings through Nutrition
Cravings are a big problem for those in recovery. Adding balanced meals to your diet and snacking throughout the day can stabilize blood sugar levels. By doing so, you can reduce the likelihood of intense cravings. When considering this method, try adding complex carbohydrates or protein-rich foods to keep your energy high and avoid mood swings.
Supportive Supplements to Try in Recovery
A professional may suggest you try some supplements during recovery to help your body absorb more of the nutrients it needs. Supplements are meant as a complement to your diet and not a substitute. Some of these may be:
- Vitamins: Heavy drinkers frequently have trouble absorbing vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- B vitamins: Due to poor absorption when one is not sober, some have low levels of vitamins in the B family. Your doctor could advise you to take vitamin B-complex supplements even though your levels are not low because your body frequently excretes substances it does not require. B vitamins such as vitamin B1, thiamine, vitamin B2, niacin, vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, vitamin b6, pyridoxine, and vitamin b12, cobalamin, are frequently deficient in alcoholics.
- Folate: Also known as vitamin B9, folate plays a crucial role in supporting various aspects of health, including its potential benefits for individuals undergoing recovery from addiction. Folate is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine; it is vital for DNA synthesis, repair, and cell division, essential for the production of red blood cells, and is involved in the synthesis of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), a compound known to have mood-stabilizing effects.
- Minerals: People who suffer from addiction frequently have low mineral levels, maybe as a result of alcohol, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a general nutrient imbalance. Some minerals that may be considered are:
- Important electrolytes that aid in preserving the equilibrium of fluids and electrolytes in the body include minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
- Strong and healthy bones require minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to be maintained.
- Selenium and zinc are essential minerals that enhance immune system health.
- Minerals, such as iron and copper, are necessary parts of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of energy.
- Potassium, calcium, and magnesium are necessary minerals for healthy neuronal communication and transmission.
- Cellular repair and regeneration depend on trace minerals, including selenium, copper, and zinc.
- Certain minerals, including magnesium and zinc, are known to have a role in stress management.
Conclusion: Nutrition and Addiction in Recovery
The relationship between nutrition and addiction is an ongoing balance that can help you stay healthy and sane during recovery. To further support your recovery, remember to seek professional help from a doctor or dietician. If you’re looking for more support in the South Carolina area, look no further than Sanctuary Foundation and contact us today. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.