15 Dec Eating for Recovery
In addition to many other negative health effects, drugs and alcohol can lead to malnourishment. Alcohol is full of empty calories that make a person feel full even though they are not getting any of the nourishment they need. Many drugs suppress a person’s appetite so they don’t feel hungry as often as they should. Those who are addicted to these substances are not properly in tune with their bodies so they don’t know, or care, when they’re lacking in nutrition. Because of this, many people entering addiction recovery are malnourished. Developing proper nutritional habits not only helps them be stronger and healthier, but will also help them to develop good habits of self-control that can help them overcome their addictions.
Being in good physical health increases a person’s ability to control their habits and behaviors and proper nutrition is the keystone to physical health. Drugs and alcohol can wreak havoc on a person’s body, particularly the gastrointestinal tract and other internal systems, so getting back into the swing of things takes patience. Many recovering addicts have problems maintaining an appetite and with constipation, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Getting plenty of rest and exercise can help to alleviate these problems.
Drug and alcohol use can cause the body to stop producing or not produce enough of hormones that are essential to maintaining a good mood and a healthy body. Chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine can be stunted by drugs and alcohol. These neurotransmitters affect how we sleep, our energy levels and our emotional stability. Nutritious foods can restore the body’s ability to produce the proper levels of these chemicals, thus improving overall health.
Getting into a habit of proper nutrition can help addicts tackle many of the problems they will encounter during recovery. For example, foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates can help lessen the impact of cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Like most inpatient rehabilitation facilities, Therápia concentrates on nutrition as a building block to recovery. An addict can’t expect their mind to get better if they don’t take care of the body that supports it. Taking the time to plan and eat healthy meals will make the recovery process go more smoothly with fewer setbacks.