Now that you are in recovery, it is important to eat more healthy to help improve your quality of life. Not eating healthy can produce more health problems and complications in the future. Here are excellent reasons to embrace nutrition therapy today.
Let’s be honest, eating healthy was not on your mind when you were using. It was hard enough to focus on avoiding withdrawal symptoms, finding money to buy drugs, getting a ride, using, and starting the vicious cycle all over again.
Depending on how long you have been in recovery, you may be noticing the effects drug use had on your body. Effects can be digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, or stomach pain. They may also include feelings of nausea due to dehydration, skin rashes, muscle weakness, a weakened immune system, sleep related problems and trouble concentrating.
You are experiencing these effects because for too long, your body has been deprived of the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy mentally and physically.
It’s not all bad, though. In fact, things are getting better with each day you remain in recovery.
Getting sober doesn’t mean your life will be easy every day. But it does mean you now have the clarity and the ability to make choices that will improve your life every day.
One choice you can make that can lead to physical, mental and emotional benefits is to engage in nutrition therapy during recovery.
Nutrition Therapy Eliminates Non-Productive Foods
If you get sober but only eat junk food the first year in recovery, your body will not heal properly from the damages created using drugs or alcohol. Junk food lacks the right vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. This lack of nutrients will make you feel full but will also make you feel tired and weak.
Junk food usually contains a high amount of fat and oils. These build up in your intestinal tract and increase digestive problems.
Junk food is filled with refined sugars, which can be even more addictive that your drug of choice. Junk food can induce cravings for more junk food. These cravings, when not met, may lead to cravings for other ways to satisfy your urges.
Finally, junk food leads to weight gain, which leads to a range of physical ailments like diabetes and heart disease that are then connected to mental illness.
Gives You the Right Macronutrients
Macronutrients equate to carbohydrates that are needed to give you body energy, regulates blood sugar, and helps neurotransmitters (happy chemicals) function the right way. Specifically, serotonin, which helps stabilize mood, make you feel good, and helps you sleep better. It is powered by the amino acid tryptophan.
They also help your body produce dopamine, which is powered by the amino acid tyrosine. If you are lacking in any of these chemicals, your mood will become unstable and you will crave the use of drugs or alcohol to make you feel better.
You can get the right amount of these chemicals through nutritious foods.
Fights Off Depression
In recovery, it can seem like you are on a roller coaster of emotions. Some days you feel great and even experience the “sober high” people talk about. Other days you don’t even want to get out of bed.
When depressed, you may be more likely to relapse because your brain is encouraging you to do whatever it takes to feel happy again.
Instead of getting high, use the right vitamins to fight off depression. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body and brain, allowing more neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Iron, folate, vitamin D and Vitamin Bs are additional vitamins to add to your therapy.
Nutrition Therapy Teaches Craving Vs. Hunger
There may be times when a craving appears. But don’t panic. This could just mean you are hungry. For so long, your body has been drugged, suppressing your recognition of hunger signals.
With nutrition therapy, you can relearn how to interpret the many noises, pangs, and other signals your body is sending you. It can also teach you to respond to cravings with a healthy action, like eating a piece of fruit.
Nutrition Therapy Include Hydration
Think of your body as an expensive convertible sports car. Every 3,000 miles, you take that car to the shop and have its oil changed. When the lights come on telling you to refuel with gas and add fluids where needed, you immediately do so to avoid hurting your sports car.
Your body is like this sports car. It must have the right hydration to keep running effectively. Only, your body needs to be rehydrated throughout the day, every day.
Drinking water or water with electrolytes will help all your body parts function at their best. Without water, your body gets dehydrated. Your joints start to ache, you have headaches, constipation and dry or itchy skin.
All these ailments can trigger a relapse, especially if you are feeling pain. Don’t get to this point. Instead, make sure you are drinking enough fluids every day in recovery. You can even consume water by eating certain foods, like cucumbers and watermelons.
Nutrition Therapy Can Reduce Weight Gain
You have probably seen it before, someone goes to rehab, gets sober, and gains weight. Some may need to gain weight because their drug of choice caused them to be underweight. Others, however, need to avoid gaining too much weight that could lead to greater problems.
Nutrition therapy helps you learn how to eat, when to eat, where to eat and why eating certain foods can benefit physical and mental health.
In recovery, you must relearn how to do everything sober. Until now, you have done everything while high, from brushing your teeth, running errands, and eating.
Nutrition therapy is a great way to relearn how to eat sober, and in a way that will give you the greatest chance of success in recovery.
In conclusion, your substance abuse disrupted your nutrition. Fortunately, you can start today replacing the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Work with your therapist to find a nutrition expert who understands addiction recovery. Together, you can develop a nutrition therapy plan that makes stay sober a little bit easier.