How Important is Nutrition in Recovery?

Nutrition Will Aid You in Recovery

Few of us ever gave much thought to proper nutrition before we entered into recovery. We neglected the needs of our body in favor of substance use, and often entered into treatment malnourished. In recovery, we have the chance to get back on track and begin meeting our nutritional needs. Proper nutrition is essential to the healing process, and have major effects on our mental and physical health.

There is a strong relationship between mental health and nutrition. In a 2015 article for Today’s Dietitian entitled Substance Abuse and Nutrition, Alyssa Salz explains, “Proper nutrition and hydration are key to the substance abuse healing process because they help restore physical and mental health and improve the chance of recovery.

Macro- and micronutrient deficiencies can lead to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and low energy, all of which can lead someone to start using drugs or alcohol or trigger a relapse.” Mental health concerns are common in the early stages of recovery, and are often exacerbated by improper nutrition.

Processed Foods Will Hurt You in The Long Run

Processed and refined foods that are high in sugar may make us feel better for a moment, but inevitably lead to worsening mental health. Dr. Eva Selhub explains in a Harvard Health article entitled Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food, “Studies have shown that when people take probiotics (supplements containing the good bacteria), their anxiety levels, perception of stress, and mental outlook improve, compared with people who did not take probiotics.

Other studies have compared ‘traditional’ diets, like the Mediterranean diet and the traditional Japanese diet, to a typical ‘Western’ diet and have shown that the risk of depression is 25% to 35% lower in those who eat a traditional diet. Scientists account for this difference because these traditional diets tend to be high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and fish and seafood, and to contain only modest amounts of lean meats and dairy. They are also void of processed and refined foods and sugars, which are staples of the ‘Western’ dietary pattern.”

Stress, anxiety, low mood and energy levels are all common problems in early sobriety. When we change our diets to eliminate processed and high sugar foods and begin incorporating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, we will notice a marked increase in our mood and energy levels.

You can build a life of happiness and health in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin the rewarding journey of recovery from addiction and alcoholism. The Lakehouse Recovery Center, located on scenic Lake Sherwood in Southern California, offers a variety of therapeutic techniques, including gourmet meals, to promote wellness and healing. For information about individualized treatment option, please call today: (877) 762-3707


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