When people think about the different ways to help themselves stay focused on recovery from drugs and alcohol, nutrition doesn’t always come to mind. Yet nutritional choices can become a factor in many ways. At our Dallas, Texas addiction recovery center, we take pride in our focus on nutrition and implementing it as part of our program.
Nutritional decline often happens when a person has spent a long time mired in addiction to drugs or alcohol. Not eating enough or eating too much, along with unhealthy food and drink choices, can result in a body that needs a nutritional overhaul. For some, just learning to recognize the signs of feeling hungry again comes into play.
Whether a person enjoys somewhat optimal health already or wants to add to choices they’ve already incorporated into their recovery from addiction, setting nutritional goals can contribute to improved health. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 nutrition tips for addiction recovery to get you started.
Top 10 Nutrition Tips For Addiction Recovery
1. Stay Hydrated:
Doctors constantly tell their patients to drink lots of water for a reason. Water comprises around 60% of the human body, making it imperative that you replenish it. Staying hydrated helps regulate your body’s temperature, prevents infections, and keeps your organs functioning. Being well-hydrated also helps you stay in a good mood, think more clearly, and sleep better.
How much water you should drink daily depends on things like your age and size, but doctors recommend somewhere between eight and thirteen cups per day. Increase the amount if you engage in exercise.
2. Keep Track of Your Carbohydrate Intake:
Carbs get a bad rap sometimes but consuming an appropriate amount helps your brain and central nervous system function. Be wary of diet plans that eliminate all carbs. Eaten in moderation, all food groups can be part of a healthy diet.
An instrumental fact about carbs has to do with whether or not they are simple carbs (think bleached flour and sugar) or complex carbs (think whole grains and starchy vegetables). Complex carbs are better for you and tend to leave you feeling full longer than simple carbs.
3. Vitamins and Minerals:
People need a healthy mix of vitamins and minerals to help their bodies stay in good working order. Maintaining a regular intake of vitamins provides support for your immune system, helps the absorption of calcium, helps maintain strong teeth and bones, and gives you healthy hair and skin. Minerals help keep you hydrated, contribute to healthy blood pressure, prevent tooth decay, and promote healthy bones and hair.
4. Fresh Fruits and Veggies:
No list of nutrition tips for addiction recovery would be complete without mentioning fruits and vegetables. Make sure every trip to the grocery store includes a trip through the produce section.
Fresh fruits contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that prove essential to good nutritional health. Fresh produce is typically a sounder choice than canned or frozen. Visit a local farmer’s market to find local produce picked as recently as that morning.
5. Getting Enough Protein:
Protein helps build muscles and fuels the body. Eating a wide variety of proteins helps provide optimal health benefits. Look for lean meats and poultry, as well as fish and other seafood options.
If you practice a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, make sure you are getting in enough protein substitutes. Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt offer tasty protein choices, as do eggs. Nuts and seeds also contain high amounts of protein.
6. Fats and Fatty Acids:
Keep in mind that fat isn’t a bad thing. Fad diets that recommend not eating any fat are short-sighted and often unhealthy. Learn to read food labels to understand the difference between healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unhealthy ones (trans fats). Saturated fats are considered to be somewhere in the middle.
Fats provide a major source of energy and help you absorb vitamins and minerals. They assist with muscle movement, brain function, and blood clotting.
7. Talk To Your Doctor:
Getting a full physical from your doctor can provide a clear picture of your nutritional health. This is one of the top 10 nutrition tips for addiction recovery, despite not being directly related to food. Test results can show areas you lack certain essentials and types of food you can cut back on. Let your doctor know you are in recovery from a substance use disorder so they can factor that into interpreting test results and planning for how you can eat healthier.
8. Make an Appointment with a Dietician or Nutritionist:
A trained dietician or nutritionist will be able to take results from any testing by a physician and help incorporate them into planning the best dietary intake for you. These professionals will take your addiction history into consideration and help design a program that suits your specific needs.
While putting exercise on a list of nutrition tips for addiction recovery might seem odd, the two go hand-in-hand. The act of exercising can help you reach your nutritional goals. Regular exercise increases energy levels and aids in helping a person reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise also helps with mood disorders, offering relief for symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you feel positive and relaxed, it makes it easier to stay focused on your nutritional goals, which in turn helps you with addiction recovery.
With the various outdoor activities surrounding Dallas, Texas, our addiction recovery program offers plenty of exercise opportunities.
10. Remember That New Habits Take Time:
As they say, Rome was not built in a day. It also takes time to embrace new nutrition tips for addiction recovery, especially if you’ve spent a lengthy amount of time not paying attention to your nutritional health.
With regular implementation, eating healthy will become a new habit for you. Just as you are learning to make the right choices to avoid alcohol or drugs, you will soon become accustomed to the changes in how you eat.
Addiction Recovery in Dallas, Texas
Learning about the top 10 nutrition tips for addiction recovery is an excellent asset, but we understand that more is often needed to develop and maintain recovery. Casa Colina offers a luxurious addiction recovery treatment center in the Dallas area. We offer men multiple options to help them conquer their addictions to alcohol and drugs. Our residential program provides invigorating options like equine therapy, holistic treatment, and trauma therapy. We also offer therapy involving music, art, yoga, and meditation to give you a full array of healing treatments.
Contact Casa Colina today to find out how we can welcome you to our home and set you up for success when you return to your home.