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Why Is Diet Important to Addiction Recovery?

eating a bowl of veggies and grains while learning about diet during addiction recovery

Living with an alcohol or substance use disorder takes a toll on your mental and physical health. It is common for people who enter treatment programs to have problems with digestion, nutritional deficiencies, and other health issues caused by a poor diet. At Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi, we understand the importance of nutrition counseling and addiction recovery. Call Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi at 662.222.2989 today if you or a loved one needs the support of our comprehensive programming.

Why You Need a Nutritious Diet During Addiction Treatment

Alcohol and substance use disorders interfere with nutrition in many ways. Depending on the substance or how prolonged the problem is, addiction can have a negative effect on a person’s appetite. Even when they do eat, fresh, nutritious food may not be available.

Some of the issues that are addressed with nutrition counseling during addiction recovery include:

  • Malnourishment – This can be caused by a failure to eat and the body’s inability to take in nutrients.
  • Organ damage – The liver, pancreas, intestines, and stomach lining may all be damaged by substance use.
  • Immune system damage – Opiates and alcohol are especially harmful to the immune system.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders – Alcohol abuse can lead to acid reflux, gastrointestinal tract inflammation, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Nutritional and vitamin deficiencies – Folic acid, vitamin B6, and thiamine are the most common deficiencies.
  • Additional concerns – These may include electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, muscle wasting, cardiac rhythm disturbances, and increased risk of infection.

Poor nutrition due to addiction can cause serious consequences like stroke and heart disease. Feeling sick or weak can also increase the risk of overdose, leading people to think larger or more frequent doses of an addictive substance will make them feel better.

Benefits of a Customized Diet During Addiction Treatment

Following a healthy diet during addiction recovery is important, but a diet that meets your specific needs is even more important. Treating nutrient deficiencies is most effective after a thorough health assessment. The experienced nutritionists at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi develop a customized meal plan for each patient at our treatment center. Providing a well-balanced diet and nutrition counseling during addiction recovery helps our patients feel better faster.

Some of the physical benefits of a personalized nutrition plan include:

  • Increased energy
  • Reduced cravings
  • Lower risk for relapse
  • Balanced mood
  • Improved ability to focus and concentrate

Feeling healthier and more energetic increases a patient’s motivation during treatment. It also creates a more pleasant and inspirational experience for peers. As new patients see the positive results others are enjoying, they are more motivated to follow their own specialized diet during addiction recovery.

What Can You Expect from a Healthy Diet During Addiction Treatment?

Following a healthy, restorative diet plan doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to eat foods you don’t enjoy. Many patients find that once they have completed detox and start feeling healthier, their interest in food also increases.

Each patient has their own specific needs, but a nutrient-rich diet may include:

  • Vitamin and nutrient supplements
  • Whole-grain carbohydrates to help serotonin production, increase energy, and reduce cravings
  • Dairy foods, fish, nuts, legumes, and other foods high in amino acids to help stabilize dopamine levels and improve memory
  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to promote brain health and function
  • Healthy fats to improve vitamin absorption, provide energy, and protect the brain and heart

Your healthy diet will also include plenty of water to ensure proper hydration. You and your dietician can discuss any specific health concerns that could be improved with nutritional support.

Learn to Eat a Healthy Diet During Addiction Treatment at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi

Self-care is vital to addiction recovery. To maintain sobriety long-term, each person must learn to put their health first. That includes mental, physical, and nutritional health. Following a healthy diet during treatment is only the first step.

The team at Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi provides the information and motivation you need to stay healthy long after treatment is over. Call Woodland Recovery Center Mississippi for more information about our treatment programs at 662.222.2989.