A lot of people are unaware of how important nutrition really is when going through drug and alcohol rehab. It is what helps rebuild your body from the inside out. If you struggled or are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, then your body needs repairs. When you get into rehab, your focus is on letting go of drugs and alcohol. It may not be focused around your diet whatsoever. However, you need to make sure that you think carefully about your diet while you are in rehab. After all, what time is better than starting at the very beginning when it comes time to helping heal up your body?
What Addiction Does to The Body
Your body goes through a lot when you struggle with addiction. Your mind has to deal with the ups and downs that come with using. There is the anxiety, hiding your addiction, and worry about where to get your next fix. Your kidneys and liver try to get those toxins out of your body, but they get overwhelmed. Addiction can hurt every single part of you. You can have problems with your brain, heart, lungs, teeth, skin, kidneys, liver, stomach, digestive tract, and the list goes on from there. No addict is immune. It happens to everyone who gets to where an addiction overtakes their lives.
One of the more overlooked problems that stems directly from addiction is malnutrition. Most people who abuse drugs or alcohol worry more about getting high than eating. When they have extra money, they use it to buy more of their substance of choice. This can lead to problems in every part of the body. When your body does not get what it needs to sustain itself, it begins to find alternative ways of being able to function. This means that once the fat of your body is gone, if no more comes in to use for energy, your muscles get eaten. When you struggle with dehydration, your body pulls the extra liquid from your blood. This damages every part of you as it happens.
How Can Nutrition Fix Those Things?
The amazing thing about the human body is that it is always trying to keep itself going. Where you once may have neglected to give it the building blocks to keep it moving, you now have the option of giving it those things again. Instead of your body trying to eat away at your muscle mass, you can provide it with lean meats and fats. This helps give you energy, plus rebuild the muscle that is gone. Drinking plenty of water can reverse many of the effects of dehydration.
Your internal organs likely took a direct hit from your substance abuse. They need nutrition to function properly, including vitamins and nutrients. Plus, many of them likely tried to help rid your body of the toxins you put into it. The only way to get the toxins that are still in your body is to detox them out. Foods can help you with this process. Each bite of food you take can either help you feel better, or do you no good. Why not take the time to fill your body with as much of the beneficial nutrients as possible?
Types of Nutrition to Pay Attention To
There are a lot of different nutrients your body is going to need when you first start your recovery journey. In order to get the most out of your alcohol and drug recovery, you need to give these things to your body through the foods you eat. If you only take a vitamin, your body is only able to get so much out of it. By eating the foods, your body can get more out of it, speeding up how quickly you feel better. Here are some foods you want to make sure you include in your recovery diet. They all have a specific purpose, and they all work together to help you feel better.
- Lean proteins. These help your body rebuild muscle, which is often one of the first parts of the body to waste away during an addiction. It also helps to rebuild the heart muscle to some degree.
- Calcium-rich foods. These allow your body to regain bone mass. If your bone density dropped due to your addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, you could wind up facing problems like osteoporosis. This could leave you weak and even leave you with broken bones.
- Produce. This is one of the most important things you can put into your body. This helps you not only fill your body with amazing nutrients but produce also gives your body a ton of other benefits. If you want to detox your body, produce can do that. Need help staying hydrated? Produce can help with that, too.
- Fiber. This helps to clean out the inside of your body, removing some of the toxins that got built up by your addiction. No matter how much detoxing you have already done, there are still some of those toxins left. By eating fiber, you can get more of them out.
You May Want to Consider the Rainbow Diet
Have you ever heard of the rainbow diet? If not, then you aren’t alone. It is a relatively new idea. However, it is also a simple idea. What it means is that you try and include a rainbow of produce into your diet on a daily basis. What you want to do is hit your six servings of produce by eating one red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple, and one white item each day. This gives your body all of the nutritional benefits from each produce category, which can boost your recovery efforts. Here are a few examples of each color, so you can see how many of them you can get into your diet.
- Red: red peppers, apples, strawberries, pomegranates
- Orange: oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin
- Yellow: bananas, yellow peppers, pears, pineapples
- Green: spinach, cabbage, green peppers, kiwi
- Blue or Purple: blueberries, purple carrots, figs, grapes
- White: mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic, turnips
If you can eat one of these items under each color on a daily basis, you will boost your nutrition. This can help your body recover from your addiction and give you back as much of your quality of life as possible. Nutrition cannot fix every bit of damage the substance use did all that time, but it sure is a great way to start!
Can Superfoods Help Boost Your Nutrition?
There are plenty of foods out there called superfoods that are touted as the most amazing thing on the planet. It can be difficult to know if they can give you any type of benefit or not. Truth be told, some foods are more than superfoods. So, if you want to give your body a one-two nutritional punch, these are the foods you want to make sure to consume on a daily basis.
Tofu – looking for a way to boost how well your liver functions? Then this is the protein for you. It helps to clean out your liver and improves its ability to clean out your body. Just a serving a day can make a huge difference.
Yogurt – if you want to add more dairy and calcium to your diet, this is the best way to do it. It contains the live cultures and probiotics to restore gastrointestinal function, and help you bypass issues like diarrhea and constipation.
Cabbage – if you want a produce option that can rid your body of any leftover drugs, then this is the food to go with. It helps to improve your liver’s functionality, plus it helps to draw out any toxins from inside the body. Some toxins like to hide, but cabbage is able to see them and pull them out.
Blueberries – these little berries help to rid your body of extra toxins by overloading it with antioxidants. The antioxidants come in and grab free cells floating around and carry them right on out.
Poultry – this simple protein gives you the ability to help rebuild muscle, but that’s not all it can do. It also helps restore balance to your brain. The neurotransmitters that went haywire during your addiction, now have the ability to work like they were always supposed to.
Picking the Right Rehab Can Give You a Nutritional Advantage
When it comes time to pick the alcohol and drug treatment program that works best for you, you need to make sure they also understand how important nutrition is to your addiction recovery. The more nutritious your diet in rehab, the more you can recover while with them.
Here at Alcohol Screening Scottsdale, we understand just how important these building blocks are in terms of your recovery. You need each item you can get to help your body get better, and some of the most important items come from nutritious foods. Contact us today by calling 602-682-7017 and let us help get you started with our drug and alcohol treatment program.
Not only can we help you put your drug or alcohol use into the past, but we can also help you begin your recovery for the future.