A healthy approach to food can fuel your drug or alcohol addiction detox
When it comes to your drug or alcohol addiction detox and your ongoing journey of recovery, don’t wait until a bad day or a bad situation challenges your sobriety to think about what tools you can use to help you get through the tough times.
You’ll increase your chances of success when you pay attention to your health. Proper nutrition and exercise are proven to help your body recover and will help you find the strength to maintain your commitment to a clean and sober life.
According to Recovery.org, “Long-term substance abuse puts remarkable stress on the mind and body. Proper nutrition can help both the brain and the body heal from chronic substance abuse and increase the user’s odds of getting and staying sober.”
Eating a healthy diet can help your body heal and enhance its ability to fight off colds and infections, too. Proper nutrition can also boost your energy levels and even your mood. That’s important, because many recovering addicts suffer from depression.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid recommends that recovering addicts eat a diet that derives 20 to 35 percent of the daily calories from fat, with an even split between carbohydrates and protein for the remaining calories.
“Snacks throughout the day are important to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent overeating from hunger. A combination of protein with complex carbohydrates is a top choice because it will give you a longer lasting amount of energy until your next meal,” the experts at Livestrong.org say. “Aim for two to four snacks per day, depending on your calorie needs.”
If you’re looking for healthy snacks that pair protein with complex carbs (the good kind!), Livestrong recommends simple things like:
- Eggs with whole grain toast
- Celery and peanut butter
- Yogurt and whole grain cereal
The experts also agree on the recommendation to avoid sugar. It’s not just candy and cookies that are loaded with sugar. Unfortunately, you’ll find refined sugar in lots of things – from soda to spaghetti sauce. Sugar causes your blood glucose levels to fluctuate and that in turn can contribute to mood swings, anxious feelings and depression.
Other things you’ll want to watch out for include processed foods and caffeine. If it comes from a box or a bag, check the ingredients label. Processed foods are usually laden with artificial ingredients – real food is always better for your body. And that second cup of coffee may be keeping you awake at night or making your more anxious during the day. As you go through treatment at a drug or alcohol detox center, chances are that you’ll have trouble falling asleep and feelings of anxiety. In other words, you’ll have enough problems with anxiety and insomnia without caffeine.
As indicated above, complex carbohydrates like whole grains are good. Refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, not so much. Choose rye bread or whole wheat over white bread.
As with carbs, there are healthy fats and fats that should be avoided. Healthy fats, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, include omega-3s and monounsaturated fats.
Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that the experts say are good for your cardiovascular system. You’ll find these good fats in walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, lake trout and mackerel. Replacing butter or margarine in recipes with canola or soybean oil can also help you replace bad fats with healthy omega-3s.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in many nuts, olive oil, avocados and peanut butter.
Protein plays a number vital roles in the body, including the facilitation of the creation of neurotransmitters, which Addiction.com reports are often lacking in addicts.
Fruits and vegetables are your friends! They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and more. And if your substance abuse has left you with a troubled digestive system, all that fiber will help you set things right.
There are many detox centers in Florida. Why should you choose Spring Gardens Recovery Center in Tampa? Our approach to alcohol detox and drug detox in Florida is highly personalized, providing both physical and emotional support. And Spring Gardens will provide a medically supervised program of drug or alcohol detox in Florida.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Fitzgerald is a sober writer based in Southwest Florida who is best known for her personal blog The Adventures of a Sober Señorita. Her work has been published across the web including sites like The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog, Ravishly, SheKnows, Elite Daily, The Fix, Brit + Co, Addiction Unscripted and AfterPartyMagazine. She is currently writing a memoir.