Quality nutrition can sometimes mean the difference between relapse and continued sobriety for recovering addicts. Although most people take their daily diets for granted, food choices have drastic impacts on addicts’ abilities to maintain healthy bodies, relieve stress, and avoid drug cravings. Coping strategies and avoidance techniques are essential, but drug rehab patients cannot afford to overlook their physical habits, either. Unfortunately, most people know little about good nutrition and practice even less. It is critical for recovering addicts to educate themselves about proper eating habits in order to stay healthy enough to fight ongoing cravings. Here are the five most important nutritional strategies for maintaining sobriety.
1. Fighting Disease with Produce
Nobody likes to get sick, but staying healthy is especially important for recovering drug addicts. Even minor ailments such as colds or headaches can severely compromise their mental states and make it difficult to fight stress-induced cravings.
Although people typically turn to medications to treat disease, avoiding sickness with good nutrition is the best strategy. To stay healthy, addicts need to maintain a high intake of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients by eating plenty of fresh produce. Eating a multi-colored variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes is the best way to avoid disease.
2. Covering Deficiencies with Supplements
Even great diets can be lacking in certain nutrients. This is especially true for people who actively avoid certain foods. For instance, vegetarian addicts may not get enough iron. People who are lactose-intolerant may become deficient in calcium, as well.
To make up for these deficiencies, rehab patients should take carefully-chosen supplements. Most pharmacies and grocery stores sell a wide variety of multivitamins, iron pills, and other dietary aids. For optimum health, it is best to consult a nutritionist about the best supplement choices.
3. Stabilizing Energy with Healthy Carbohydrates
One of the biggest problems with the typical American diet is its effects on insulin and blood sugar levels. Large servings of sugars and simple starches cause people to experience drastic highs and lows in energy, as well as frequent irritability and exhaustion.
To maintain the stable energy levels necessary for fighting cravings, addicts should avoid sugar and baked goods in favor of more complex carbohydrates. Good choices include whole grains, potatoes, beans, and fibrous vegetables. These foods digest slowly and provide a constant and steady stream of energy.
4. Recovering from Exercise with Lean Protein
Addicts should exercise daily to relieve stress and maintain healthy, drug-free bodies. However, intense activities such as weight lifting, swimming, and sprinting involve additional nutritional requirements. Drug rehab patients who maintain active lifestyles must get plenty of lean protein in their diets to repair their muscle tissue and recover from exercise. The best food choices are lean meats, poultry, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
5. Controlling Weight with Proper Calorie Intake
A healthy bodyweight is not just a superficial concern – it impacts almost every aspect of a person’s physical well-being. Being overweight or underweight makes it more difficult to avoid getting sick, and obesity has been linked to diabetes, cancer, and a variety of other dangerous conditions.
To maintain proper weights and body fat levels, addicts need to control their overall calorie intakes. Some fitness enthusiasts assert that avoiding all carbohydrates or fats is the key to a healthy body, but moderation is the best strategy. A diet full of lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats is “self-regulating” in that it keeps addicts satisfied and makes it easy to avoid overeating.
Addiction is a serious neurological disease, but there is always hope for recovery. If you’ve recently relapsed or you’re seeking drug addiction treatment or alcohol rehab for the first time, you must take action now. Call the number at the top of your screen for a free, confidential consultation that will help you take back your life. Starting anew is as simple as a short phone call. Why wait?