People suffering from addiction often make poor choices when it comes to eating. When someone comes to realize the damage that addiction is doing and decides to commit to getting free from addiction, they can start to make better choices. Eating better leads to better physical and even mental health. Nutrition is important. But the benefits are not limited to those created by improved nutrition. The act of self-care and the practice of building healthy habits also support recovery. Let’s take a closer look at healthy eating habits for addiction recovery.
Typical Diet Problems For People Struggling With Addiction
People struggling with addiction may become distracted or overly focused on their addiction and fail to eat. Some may not eat for days. When they do eat, they may not put a lot of care and attention into their food choices. Unfortunately, the modern food industry has a lot of unhealthy offerings that allow people to effortlessly sat their hunger without really getting much nourishment. Eventually, eating junk food can result in malnourishment. Although enough calories are being consumed, crucial vitamins and minerals are deficient, which can cause severe health problems over time. Some addictive substances deplete the body’s nutrients, and damage the organs of the digestive system, like the liver and intestines, reducing nutrient absorption.
Particular deficiencies vary by addiction. Alcoholics face a wide array of deficiencies because alcohol consumption results in the body flushing out nutrients instead of absorbing them. Low levels of vitamin B can cause anemia for alcoholics. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. Consequently, alcoholics may experience slow healing of wounds. Vitamin C deficiencies weaken the immune system, also slowing healing. Opiate addicts typically have low calcium, iron, and B and D vitamins. Cocaine addicts, on the other hand, have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Better Eating Habits
Addicts typically make “easy choices” about food. Processed foods with added salt, fat, and sweeteners offer instant gratification and a sugar rush. Sugar and corn syrup may themselves be creating addictive reward pathways and fit right into a generally dysfunctional lifestyle. With information, commitment and planning, it is not hard to make much better choices about food. The rewards are not instant, but you won’t have to wait long to feel a big change!
Follow two basic guidelines and you can accomplish a lot. One – eat less sugar. Read the labels. Stay away from so-called food with sugar or corn syrup (or HFCS) high on the ingredient list. Two – eat less processed foods. If the ingredient list is long and has a lot of words you don’t recognize, that is a good sign you should not put that stuff in your body.
So that’s what not to do. Let’s take a more positive look. It’s simple: eat more whole foods. Eat whole grains like whole oats and brown rice, and more vegetables and legumes. Eat more healthy fats like olive oil and flaxseed oil and the fats in nuts and seeds. Enjoy a healthy and varied diet of whole foods. Experiment and find things that you like to eat.
Bonus tip: Restore Gut Bacteria With ProBiotics
in the new relatively new field of epigenetics, scientists are making amazing discoveries about how bacteria that live in our gut may be affecting gene expression. Addiction can destroy healthy gut bacteria ecosystems, and this may affect an individual’s propensity to suffer from depression. Even if gut bacteria don’t influence mood, a healthy mix of bacteria in the gut help with digestion. And “dyspeptic” is a word for both a condition of gut discomfort and a mood. So to help support a good mood for recovery, eat fermented foods and consider pro-biotic supplements.
Follow these basic guidelines and you can make a huge difference. The more you look into it, the more nutrition has to offer, especially when you begin to consider individualized advice. Seasons Bali has a nutritional consultant on staff that works with our clients to discover individual deficiencies and create plans to address them by building new healthy, fun eating habits that bring joy to self-care.
Learn To Enjoy Building Self-Care Habits
As much as nutrition supports recovery by creating better physical and mental health and mood, the act of choosing good nutrition may be just as beneficial. Failing to choose healthy food is failing to take care of yourself. And failing to take care of yourself in one respect can lead to more self-care in another area. Instead of reinforcing the idea that your choices don’t matter, you will learn to do the opposite. You will cultivate an awareness of the importance of your choices. And you will cultivate a sense of self-worth that will motivate you to care for yourself.
You can learn more about how important self-acceptance is for recovery here.
In recovery, we talk a lot about habits. We talk about discarding bad habits and creating new, better habits that make us happy and keep us healthy. You will learn how to make a plan that will make it easy for you to create new habits. The more you practice creating new, healthy habits, the easier it becomes. You’ll also learn how to gratitude can help you in the process of creating habits. You can learn more here about how to consciously boost gratitude and make recovery easier.
Learn More About Addiction Recovery Programs
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with addiction. You are here reading this, so it is probably time for you or someone you care about to take the first step towards a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind. Our recovery and rehab programs for all types of addictions includes healthy meals prepared from fresh whole foods by our chef on site. We also offer one on one nutritional counseling in our holistic recovery program.
If someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol or any other form of addiction, talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today on (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.