A Mini-Guide to Eating Well During Detox
Most people would agree that nutrition plays a massively important role in promoting our overall health and wellbeing, but an even bigger role when you’re recovering from substance abuse.
Substance abuse can take a big toll on your body, preventing it from producing and absorbing nutrients, causing issues with digestion and harming your organ functionality. It’s going to take more than solely stopping your use of the substance to help your body fully recover.
Despite the commonly held understanding that nutrition is incredibly important for those recovering from substance abuse, there continues to be a lack of nutritional education and implementation in many addiction recovery programs.
In this article, we’re going to give you a super simple mini-guide to eating well during detoxing so you have a better idea of how and what you might want to be eating during your detox.
Chapter 1: Understanding the importance of a healthy diet
When you’re working on your journey to sobriety, eating healthy is going to be a critical part of your recovery. When your body has been abused by drugs or alcohol, it’s going to be severely deficient in the minerals and vitamins it needs not only to function, but to heal and recover.
Being malnourished during a substance abuse detox can make you more vulnerable to experiencing—low energy levels, dramatic mood swings, insomnia, anxiety and even make you more susceptible to indulging withdrawal-induced cravings.
When you prioritize nutrition while you’re detoxing, not only will you feel better, but you will:
- Repair damage to your organs
- Have higher energy
- Increase your dopamine levels
- Rebuild your immune system
- Balance and improve your brain functionality.
Prioritizing nutrition is truly a key element to helping the body heal as a whole from a substance abuse issue.
Chapter 2: Identifying the best foods for substance abuse recovery
After your body has been broken down by substance abuse, it needs to be rebuilt back up. One of the most tried-and-true methods of doing this is to prioritize your nutrition.
It’s important to consume a wide variety of whole foods in order to cover all of the nutritional bases, so we’re going to break down the three major macronutrients for you: carbs, fat and protein.
Carbohydrates are important for your recovery because carbs are a main source of energy, and since detoxing challenges your entire body, you might find yourself feeling exhausted without carbs.
Some of the most nutritious carbs for a substance abuse detox include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
Healthy fat (not the kind used to fry food) is a vital part of your recovery from substance abuse, as fat promotes cardiovascular functionality as well as higher energy levels.
Here’s a list of detox-friendly healthy fats:
- Extra-virgin olive oil (pro tip: enjoy it “raw” such as in a dressing, it loses its nutrition when its subjected to high heat, such as to fry or sauté)
- Wild-caught salmon
When you consume clean proteins, they help to boost your immune system, build muscle, and are involved in, quite literally, nearly every function our body carries out.
Now here’s your clean protein list:
- Clean animal seafood and meat (choose whole protein like free-range chicken and wild-caught fish as opposed to processed protein like deli meats or hot dogs)
- Non-GMO tofu
Your first year of recovery is when your body is going to be the most malnourished, making your nutritional efforts particularly crucial during these initial 12 months.
Chapter 4: Handling unhealthy food cravings
When our bodies have become malnourished by substance abuse, they are ravenous for nutrition, but you still might find yourself gravitating to frozen pizzas and cupcakes due to habits you formed throughout the addiction.
This is because in the same way that actively abusing drugs or alcohol takes a toll on your body, recovering from substance abuse also takes a toll on your body. Your body can build a chemical reliance on the drug to perform, which means going through a detox is going to result in withdrawals and cravings as your body learns how to function without depending on these substances.
Instead of indulging these cravings, recognize that they are part of the detox process, and the best thing you can do for your body is to fuel it with healthy, nutrient-rich foods to help it through the detox process. So stock your fridge and pantry with whole foods, and set yourself up to heal.
Conclusion: Contacting us for additional support
A leading detox center in North Carolina, we pride ourselves in our ability to customize a treatment plan for every client according to you and your unique situation to set you up for the utmost success in your recovery.
We recognize the importance of a healthy diet (though we prefer to call it a lifestyle) during your detox, throughout your recovery, and long after. That’s why we offer full-spectrum treatment plans that focus on healing your physical health as well as your mental and emotional health.
Our dedicated team is committed to ensuring you feel safe, comfortable, and supported throughout the entire detox process, from enrollment to detoxing to healing and beyond. In order to provide you with the highest level of care, we offer a wide array of amenities so as to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.
To learn more about how you can implement nutrition into your recovery, give us a call at 800-475-2312.