In addition to undergoing treatment, one of the integral elements of addiction recovery is a nutritional assessment. This test is essential to determine other risk factors and to ensure an early and complete recovery from any addiction. It also helps to decide the treatment based on the physical condition and weight of the patient. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy diet during the addiction treatment phase.
Addiction often escalates and harms a person to a point where it becomes extremely difficult to maintain a healthy diet and even organize food. Over time, people with nutritionally deficient diets are at greater risk of contracting infectious diseases, developing symptoms of mental illness such as depression and anxiety, and lacking the concentration necessary to perform daily tasks. They become fatigued, easily irritated and, in the most severe cases, are overwhelmed by thoughts of self-harm and suicide. At the end of the day, their addiction prohibits them from living their life to the fullest.
When a person enrolls in a detox or addiction treatment center, it is a standard procedure to ask about their eating habits, such as how many times a day they eat, include vegetables and fruits, or if they have lost or gained weight in recent months. These consultations, which are an integral part of the nutritional assessment process, not only allow treatment providers to decide whether patients need a physician or nutritional intervention, but also to tailor nutritional regimens to the results of the assessment of the patient and their substance. of abuse.
Vital role of nutrition in curbing addiction
Detoxification is the first step in the addiction treatment process in which toxins are removed from the patient’s body as they prepare for the next stage of treatment. It is during this stage that cravings and withdrawal symptoms are generally the hardest to bear. Although no specific diet can deter a person from their addiction, it has been observed that healthy eating habits not only speed up the recovery process, but also help to refrain from addiction to a substance.
Here are some nutritional tips for people in the recovery and post-recovery phases:
- Have timely meals: People with addiction problems often forget what it is like to eat regularly. They are more likely to worry about their next drink or high, thus giving up other priorities in the process. This affects your physical and mental health and increases your risk of developing depression. A healthy eating routine can strengthen a person’s immunities and protect them from relapses or other adverse effects of malnutrition.
- Eat foods that are gentle on the stomach: People struggling with addiction are also prone to gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea, especially after they quit their addiction to a substance. Consuming easily absorbable foods, such as fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, and sprouts, which are rich in fiber, allow for a smoother transition from substance abuse to sobriety.
- Include vitamins and minerals: Substance abuse causes a deficiency of minerals and other nutrients such as vitamins necessary to maintain healthy body function. Those with the problem of alcoholism generally lack vitamin B, vitamin D, and the mineral thiamine that are essential for producing energy from food, regulating calcium absorption, and supporting neurological functions, respectively.
- Say no to sugar: Foods high in sugar can trigger a dopamine rush, especially for people trying to quit alcohol. They are likely to experience sugar cravings due to lowering of their blood sugar levels. There is an increased susceptibility to relapse, as high sugar levels can also cause mood swings and episodes of anxiety and depression.
Eat well to live well
Eating healthy and routine meals is one of the pillars of a healthy and sober lifestyle. It nourishes the body and mind, in addition to preventing the appearance of mental disorders. It also supports a smoother and faster recovery, and prevents the likelihood of a relapse.