The Role Diet Plays in Sobriety
Published: June 21, 2021
There are many layers to successful addiction recovery, but one of the most commonly overlooked aspects is diet. You may be surprised to hear that nutrition plays a role in addiction recovery and sobriety. Maintaining healthy eating habits can sometimes be as hard as recovery itself, but the two combined have profound and powerful effects on health and wellness.
When you abuse alcohol and drugs, your biological relationship with food alters significantly. When addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is common to:
- Consume less food
- Choose unhealthy foods
- Skip meals
- Binge eat
- Lose nutrients through vomiting or diarrhea
- Damage your gut, lessening absorption of nutrients
The Effects of Addiction and Poor Diet
Persistent drug or alcohol abuse combined with poor diet can manifest in the following physical symptoms:
- Cognitive impairment
- Muscle degeneration
- Heart arrhythmias
- Suppressed immune system
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Electrolyte imbalances
Importance of Good Nutrition After Addiction
After years of abusing your body and choosing less-than-healthy food options, getting sober requires an alteration of how you approach your diet. Food maintains the normal function of your brain and body. Therefore, a diet for recovery should include:
- Complex carbohydrates (50% to 55% of the calories you consume). These can be found in grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Two-three cups of dairy products or other foods rich in calcium. This includes calcium-fortified beverages, tofu and kale.
- Moderate protein (15% to 20% of calories). Protein may be found in meat, fish, or vegetarian alternatives, such as tofu.
- Fat choices (30% of calories), preferably good oils such as canola, olive, flaxseed and those found in fish.
With proper diet and recovery, your body can begin to heal from the inside out. Benefits may begin to manifest physically through:
- Improved mood
- Increased energy
- Improved cognition
- Stronger immune system
Contact Rockland Treatment Center
At Rockland Treatment Center, we understand the importance of diet in recovery. We encourage all of our patients to make healthy, wholesome nutrition choices to benefit their overall journey. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please contact us for a free assessment.