Nutrition in recovery is an integral part of long-term recovery. Nutritional support is usually part of programs with holistic treatment options, which have many benefits. Good nutrition in recovery and beneficial addiction education can help people learn about addiction, their health, and how to remain sober. At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we’re here to help you get started with your detox program. Call us today at 866.516.8356 to learn more about your options.
The Importance of Good Nutrition in Recovery
Drug and alcohol abuse does take a toll on the body. It may lead to nutritional deficiencies, and the way the brain’s chemicals are altered can result in significant symptoms such as paranoia, depression, and anxiety.
When someone abuses alcohol and drugs, some of the effects include:
- Malnutrition from skipping meals
- Nutritional deficiencies from diarrhea or vomiting
- Damage to the stomach, so that it is no longer able to absorb nutrients correctly
- Changes in the chemical balance of the brain
Eating well during recovery, and eating the right kinds of foods, helps the body recover.
The Importance of Balancing Serotonin Levels
When the brain’s serotonin levels aren’t balanced, you can have many symptoms, such as anxiety or depression. Serotonin is a chemical that helps with relaxation in the brain. Without enough of this chemical, a person may feel “high-strung” or anxious.
To balance the levels of serotonin in the body, there are some specific nutritional changes to make. For example, eating foods high in complex carbohydrates, like peas, lentils, and beans, with enough protein will help boost serotonin production.
It’s normal to see deficiencies in B vitamins due to drug and alcohol use as well. Furthermore, other minerals may also be affected, like calcium and zinc. Remember that your nutritional needs will be greater than normal when you first stop using drugs or drinking alcohol. You may benefit from taking a supplement or specifically creating a diet high in the vitamins the body needs. Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston can help you gain the proper skills to improve your diet.
Treating Malnutrition During Recovery
Many people going through recovery have trouble with malnutrition. It’s not uncommon to see people struggling with fatigue and continuing to fall ill due to a reduced immune system. Dental problems, skin conditions, and digestive problems may change the way food tastes or a person’s ability to eat, which furthers the risk of malnutrition.
Slowly introducing food is a good idea under those circumstances. This helps prevent vomiting and diarrhea from the body being unable to digest foods properly. Small, frequent meals tend to work best.
What’s the Ideal Recovery Diet?
Every person has different needs, but the typical recovery diet includes:
- Moderate protein levels making up around a fifth of the diet
- Quality fats making up around a third of the diet, such as olive oil
- Two to three cups of dairy products daily
- Complex carbohydrates making up around 50% of the diet
It’s a good idea to limit some kinds of foods, such as processed, high-sugar foods. Eating foods with caffeine may also increase anxiety, so cutting back may help. Taking multivitamins and making sure not to skip meals is also important to make sure the diet works as intended.
Call Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston Today
At Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston, we work with our clients to help them get through medical detox and prepare to enter into a recovery program. We offer support in understanding how the body has changed and what you or someone you love will need to do to address nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, or malnutrition during detox. Our treatment team can help you through this challenging time of life. Call us today to learn more about our program at 866.516.8356.