For people recovering from addiction, it is important to understand the crucial role that diet and exercise plays in restoring health and the balance in their lives. These two classic additions to the routine not only lead to incurring good lifestyle habits in a person, but they also help in overcoming the challenges that could hinder recovery.
As easy as it may sound, introducing the concept of nutrition in an addiction treatment program is actually a daunting task. Most addicts are not ready for a healthy behavior change. Instead, they are more inclined to focus on abstinence. These people never had a good relationship with themselves let alone with food so that has to be addressed first.
Why is it Difficult to Introduce a Healthy Eating Plan?
During the recovery process, addicts tend to prefer unhealthy foods like candy, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream, and similar items. The reward center of the brain wants to consumethese foods as a replacement for the pills, alcohol, or other psychoactive substances. Exposure to highly addictive substances creates a reward deficiency syndrome where the addict resorts to foods that are too sweet or high in fat. During the early process of recovery, if these people are given unlimited access to such foods, they’ll probably take the road to obesity.
Why not Resort to the Use of Multivitamins?
Of course, supplements can be used for patients who have a limited diet or whose ability to eat has been compromised. However, making an easy way out and forgoing the nutritional quality of natural food is not something that should be recommended by any addict’s dietician or nutritionist.
Giving supplement vitamins is not a good idea for many reasons. First, they lack the natural antioxidant potency of actual food. Second, phytochemicals never stay stable in these multivitamins whereas they flourish in real food. Third, the most important nutrient needed for recovery is fiber, which is only found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts. To improve gut function, it is imperative that fiber should be obtained directly from food. Lastly, increased consumption of junk food hinders the process of recovery as it is loaded with sugars, carbohydrates, and excess fats that make a person sluggish.
A Suitable Diet for People in Early Recovery Phase
Despite the tendency to choose “rewarding” items, the best option is to select nutritious food. The signal generated by the brain’s reward center gives them an illusion that they are getting what they truly want. Instead,the kind of food that they should seek contains proteins, antioxidants, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.
While looking for a recovery center through rehabs, make sure to find the one offers a nutritional component to the recovery plan. This includes the six food groups, including vegetables, fruits, dairy, grain, plant protein, and animal protein. Choosing a facility that emphasizes a healthy diet can lead to a quicker and lasting recovery process.Plus, the addict has a healthier overall lifestyle that will add other benefits in the form of more energy, less risk of medical conditions, and a positive outlook on life.