A big part of a healthy recovery is a healthy diet. That’s because the chronic use of alcohol or drugs can deplete your body of vital vitamins and nutrients. Case in point: Alcoholism is among the major causes of nutritional deficiency in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.
While there’s no one magic food to reverse all the damage of substance abuse, a well-balanced and diversified diet can help improve your health, mood and energy levels and keep your organs functioning properly.
If you don’t know that much about nutrition, take heart: The easiest tip is to focus on whole foods – not processed or fast foods – including fruits and veggies, meat, fish, eggs, ancient grains (quinoa) and oat. This will ensure that you’re providing your body with vitamins and minerals instead of sugars, unhealthy fats and salt. And don’t forget to sip water throughout the day to help flush those toxins from the body!
Here are a few ways whole foods can fuel your recovery:
- Antioxidants. Foods high in antioxidants like berries, artichokes, leeks and pecans can help to rebuild your immune system and improve the body’s cleansing process during detox and withdrawal. Antioxidant-rich foods have also been proven to decrease symptoms of depression.
- Tyrosine. This amino acid can help boost dopamine levels, which can result in greater energy, better mood and fewer substance cravings. Examples of high-tyrosine foods include bananas, sunflower seeds, soybeans, lean beef, lamb, pork, whole grains and cheese.
- Tryptophan. Foods high in tryptophan like cheese, turkey, lamb, pork, tuna fish, oat bran and beans and lentils can help boost your mood. This is because the amino acid tryptophan supports the production of serotonin, a powerful mood regulator.
- L-glutamine. Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and parsley are great for boosting L-glutamine, which offers immune and antioxidant benefits and can help reduce sugar cravings. Note: A diet high in sugar can lead to anxiety, inflammation and depression – none of which will help your recovery. levels.
- Omega-3s. Filling up on omega-3 rich foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts and flaxseeds can help lower inflammation in the body and ease symptoms of depression. Omega-3s are also great for the brain – so you’ll be able to make smarter decisions in your recovery!
Take Back Your Health Today
At Spearhead Lodge, one of our goals is to help our clients understand their body and how to maintain optimal health. To learn more about our approach to addiction treatment or to verify your insurance benefits, contact us at 866-905-4550.