Nutritional requirements during addiction recovery

08-08-2017 Posted in Addiction, drug abuse, Drug Addiction, Substance Abuse

Coming clean about an addiction and resolving to seek treatment can be a life-altering decision. As long as one is associated with a rehab center for treatment, immense support is available through skilled professionals and other facilities. However, at the end of the treatment when an individual is on his own, the timeline of his or her sobriety depends on how strong is his will power to remain sober, conquer cravings and practice extreme self-care. One of the key factors facilitating sobriety is diet.

When a person is addicted to alcohol or drug, his major concern is to arrange that for his next fix. This drug-seeking behavior can get so compulsive that the diet of an individual might get neglected. Therefore, addiction becomes a two-edged sword. It not only deteriorates the psychological health of a person, but also gives rise to serious nutritional deficiencies. During the recovery process, it is extremely critical to fortify the body with essential nutrients and keep the body hydrated to avoid the risk of developing mental problems like anxiety and depression as they can act as triggers for a relapse.

Listed below are some of the significant nutritional concerns which if followed can facilitate sobriety:

Loading up on proteins

Proteins are made up of amino acids which allow neurotransmitters to release feel-good hormones, such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. However, during an addiction, these receptors develop an affinity toward the drug, therefore, to reverse their affinity, higher protein consumption can be extremely helpful.

Kicking the caffeine-kick

Coffee is loaded with caffeine which is a powerful stimulant. It directly hits the brain and can cause mood swings. Caffeine affects the adenosine receptors in the brain which are responsible for causing its craving. Mood swings resulting from the consumption of coffee can make it difficult for a person to let go of alcohol and drugs.

Consuming more antioxidants

Addictive substances are capable of causing extensive oxidative load in the body. This can lead to the formation and build-up of multiple free radicals which can hamper the normal functioning of the body. Scavenging of these free radicals is important and hence, antioxidants must be consumed. Found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, antioxidants help strengthen the immune system that gets compromised when one is hooked on a substance.

Eating smaller meals, quitting sugar and refined carbs

It is extremely important that during a recovery process, a person doesn’t feel too hungry, too low or too high because these can trigger a relapse. This can be ensured by eating smaller meals at regular intervals, instead of eating three or four huge meals. Further, one should also refrain from excessive consumption of sugar and refined or processed carbs as these can alter the blood-sugar level, leading to mood fluctuations. One can replace these carbs with complex or whole grain carbs. Further, in place of refined sugar, one can use stevia, coconut sugar or any other natural substance, after consulting the physician.

Consuming more probiotics

Opiates and alcohol dysregulate the stomach physiology. Therefore, if an individual is recovering from these substances, he or she must consume probiotics to restore healthy gut flora. One should consume yogurt and also take supplements. Probiotics help in the development of serotonin, the deficiency of which is associated with depression.

Maintaining a journal

Recovery is a vulnerable phase, therefore, one must be careful about everything one eats. For this, one can maintain a journal and log food entries on a daily basis to track the eating habits.

Road to recovery

Life is very different when one is sober. It is during this phase that an individual can drive his life his own way, without depending on any addictive substance. Making multiple changes in the diet can get overwhelming for someone, therefore, one must seek professional help.

If you or someone you know is grappling with an addiction, we are here to help you recover. At the 24/7 Drug Addiction Helpline, we can help you find a comprehensive solution to your drug addiction problem. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5607 or chat online with our experts to avail adequate help for drug abuse.

Also read:

Exploring most common reasons for substance abuse

Can addition be termed as learning or developmental disorder?

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