If you engage in drug or alcohol misuse for a significant amount of time, your body and mind will inevitably experience consequences. Substance misuse can lead to a variety of different kinds of mental and physical damage. Yet, the good news is that it is possible to repair this damage while in recovery. Maintaining a healthy diet can play an important role in this process by helping to restore important vitamins and nutrients that your body is deficient in.
In the weeks and months after you give up substance use, you are likely going to see quite a few aspects of your health improve on their own. This shows that your body is beginning the healing process. However, prioritizing nutrition through a specialized diet can help jumpstart this healing process even more. At Sage Recovery Center, we can work with you to determine what nutrients you may be deficient in so you can adjust your diet to meet your needs.
Many people don’t realize that even if they are only engaging in moderate alcohol use, their diet and nutrition are likely still going to be affected. When you are under the influence of alcohol, your judgment is impaired and you’re not able to sustain a healthy level of self-control. This is why it might be common for you to crave junk food and experience a heightened appetite while under the influence. Further, this can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Even if you are continuing to make healthy food choices while frequently engaging in alcohol misuse, your body isn’t going to be able to absorb nutrients as effectively as it typically would. This is because alcohol can cause damage to two very important organs, the liver and the pancreas. These organs play a critical role in the digestion of important nutrients as well as properly balancing blood sugar. When they aren’t able to function at their highest capacity, your body will begin to experience some major deficiencies.
Some vitamins and nutrients that those in early recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) are often deficient in include:
To restore these important nutrients, try to keep up a diet that will contain high levels of these vitamins. Some examples include:
Taking a daily multivitamin or supplement can also help restore the body of nutrients that it is deficient in. It is important to always talk to your doctor first before taking a new supplement to ensure that it won’t interact negatively with any medications you may be on. If you have questions about modifications your diet may need in recovery, our team at Sage Recovery can help.
Many people who struggle with opioid misuse also struggle with disordered eating and may often skip meals altogether. This can also lead to serious malnourishment and weight loss. Many people who struggle with opioid use or opioid use disorder (OUD) may also have a hard time getting the nutrients they need because opioids can suppress appetite. They may struggle with a lot of uncomfortable digestive problems as a result.
If you are in recovery from opioid misuse, you want to prioritize a healthy diet composed of lots of fruits and vegetables and extra fiber. The fiber will help aid in getting your digestive system back on track and improve gut health. Some examples of foods that you should try to include in your diet are:
It is also important to avoid skipping meals and try to eat at the same each day. This can help to get more stable appetite levels.
Many people who engage in stimulant use skip meals before they feel like they don’t need to eat. On the other hand, they may be so distracted that they forget meals. This can lead to problems like dehydration, weight loss, weakened muscles, electrolyte imbalances, and general malnutrition.
If you are beginning recovery from stimulant use, you may find that your appetite will return pretty soon after you stop engaging in substance use. It may return so strongly that it could surprise you and you may find yourself eating much more than normal. You may want to work with a registered dietician to come up with a meal plan that is going to best fit your needs as your body begins to heal.
Vitamin C has been determined to play an important role in helping to ease the side effects of withdrawal that you may be experiencing while in recovery from stimulants. Some foods that are high in Vitamin C to include in your diet are:
Many people don’t realize just how important a role that a healthy diet can play in your mental and physical health. It can also truly aid in the recovery process as your body heals from substance use. Meanwhile, implementing a healthy diet is just one aspect of the recovery journey. If you or someone you know are currently struggling with substance use disorder, there is help available. Our team at Sage Recovery has helped guide many people to start living happier and healthier lives in recovery; we can help you, too. Don’t wait, give us a call at (512) 306-1394 today to learn more about what the start of the recovery process looks like at our facility.