If there is one thing that can be said of all addicts, no matter what their drug of choice is, it would be that they are all malnourished in some way. From alcohol addiction to cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or any drug whatsoever, they take a toll on your body in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. For this reason, it is vitally important to eat healthily, but especially in recovery. Here are a few other reasons why.
Healthy Eating During Detox
One of the areas in which many addicts suffer physically is in how the body processes toxins. They will either be processed through the liver or the kidneys and this is why you see so many addicts jaundiced, even if they haven’t contracted Hep C. It is usually the liver that filters the body of toxins and an overworked liver produces copious amounts of bile, which in turn is the ultimate cause of jaundice. You will not want to eat foods high in saturated fats and you will want to eat foods known to cleanse the liver. Common foods that detoxify the liver include:
- Dark red, orange and green veggies high in antioxidants
- Dark leafy greens
- Green Tea
- Goji berries, acai, blackberries, cranberries (which also filter the kidneys)
In fact, goji berries are not only an antioxidant but they are also an anti-inflammatory, which will aid in passing fluids through your system, helping to further cleanse and detoxify your body on a cellular level. Have you noticed that your residential treatment center is loading you full of one or more of these nutritious foods? This is why!
Replacing Vitamins Lost During the Height of Substance Abuse
There is no doubt about the fact that your body has sustained a huge deficit in essential vitamins and minerals during the active abuse of any drug or alcohol. Most addicts either forget to eat for long periods of times or are the ultimate junk food junkies. That word came about as a metaphor for addiction to the wrong foods and so just as a heroin addict has traditionally been referred to as a ‘junkie,’ as is a person who ‘lives’ off junk food. There is little nutrition in a cookie or candy bar and a sugar rush does nothing but brings you down even lower when that burst of energy is spent.
Health Is the Path to Recovery
Another way to look at all this is in seeing recovery as a return to health. Health is also the path to recovery and that includes body, mind, and spirit. You can’t function or reason well if your body is crying for nutrition, so it makes sense to give it what it needs. A healthy diet gives you all the vitamins and minerals you need to build strong tissue and bones, builds your blood back up, and gets those neurons moving again in your brain – in the right direction this time!
You can never underestimate the importance of a healthy diet during detox and recovery, so when working those 12 steps, keep your health in mind as well.