Nutrition and recovery from an addiction are strongly tied together. In an article at the Huffington Post, Dr. Maura Henninger writes that a proper diet “can work miracles in the lives of early recovering addicts and alcoholics.” And, according to the NIH, a balanced nutrition helps to improve mood, which means people are less likely to turn back to using alcohol and drugs again. Poor eating habits often lead to a greater risk of relapse. However, it is also important to realize that although a strict diet will help with recovering from addition, avoiding substance abuse is even more imperative.
Some Helpful Tips for an Ideal Diet during Recovery
Dr. Maura Heninger has formulated the most ideal diet to best recover from substance abuse. She discusses the links between sugar and alcoholism, and how many patients who are recovering should avoid caffeine and sugar. The NIH also points out that dehydration is very common during recovery and stresses the importance of getting enough fluids during and between meals. Some of the guidelines for an ideal diet during recovery are:
- Regular mealtimes
- Low-fat diet
- 45% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 25% protein
- Vitamin and mineral supplements – especially B-Vitamins to ensure proper brain function, decrease in fatigue, brain fog, and poor memory
An important part of recovery from any type of addiction is a strict, healthy diet. According to Dr. Heninger, recovering addicts often think that sugar and caffeine are needed to feel normal. This is because the brain is altered during the course of substance abuse. Therefore, avoiding sugar and caffeine is important while in recovery. The NIH notes another reason to have a strict diet for former addicts: people in recovery, especially those who used stimulants such as crack, cocaine, and methamphetamines, are more likely to overeat. Although avoiding substances is important, there are obvious connections in nutrition and recovery.