Simple Nutrition Tips to Support Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery requires several healthy coping strategies, such as getting enough sleep and dealing with stressors. Nutrition can also help you in your recovery, but you may not know where to start. Below are some simple addiction recovery nutrition tips that can help you maximize your healing journey. 

Consider Possible Nutrition Deficiencies 

Different types of drug use can cause different nutrition deficiencies. For example, the National Library of Medicine explains that people with alcohol addiction often experience a loss of B vitamins. 

This happens because substances can prevent the body from absorbing specific vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, drugs can cause appetite changes or gastrointestinal issues. 

The most accurate way to determine your vitamin and mineral status is to ask your doctor for a blood test. However, you might also look up nutritional deficiencies related to the substance you used to use. This information can give you a place to begin. 

Prioritize Whole Foods, but Have Fun 

Many experts recommend whole foods as the best source of nutrition, but this doesn’t mean you have to eat plain raw vegetables at every meal. You probably already enjoy plenty of nutritionally dense foods. You just may not have thought about them that way in the past. 

For example, tomatoes, onions, and peppers are all rich in vitamin C. If you add spices and blend them into a delicious salsa, they still contain vitamin C. Foods don’t have to become less healthy as they become more delicious. 

Addiction can interfere with your ability to enjoy day-to-day pleasures. Now that you’re in recovery, don’t rob yourself of these moments. You deserve to savor them. 

Aim for Progress, not Perfection 

On a similar note, never let dreams of perfection get in the way of real-world progress. People often think in “all or nothing” terms when it comes to building healthy coping strategies, but again, this type of thinking doesn’t usually create long-term results. Consider adding one small change to your nutrition habits at a time and celebrate your progress even if it seems small. 

Add, Don’t Subtract 

While you focus on enjoying your nutrition, try to add rather than subtract. Some people insist on avoiding all “unhealthy” foods in favor of “healthy” foods when they make these changes. However, such drastic measures don’t usually last. 

Furthermore, your body is already undergoing changes as you recover from substance abuse. Asking your body to make too many changes at once can be overwhelming. 

Rather than denying yourself your favorite foods, you can make small changes for added nutrition. Consider the salsa example. Instead of deciding that you’ll never eat potato chips again, why not swap them out for tortilla chips with salsa? This way, you’ll still feel satisfied, but you’ll also consume more vitamins and minerals in the process. 

Ask About Supplements 

It can be difficult to meet your nutrition goals with food alone, especially if you have a busy life or certain dietary restrictions. If you’re concerned about meeting your nutritional needs through diet alone, ask your doctor about taking a multivitamin or another supplement. Supplements can help you fill vital nutritional gaps

Track How You Feel 

Improving your nutrition can support your recovery in big ways. Like most healthy coping strategies, though, nutritional results can take time. When you achieve results gradually, feeling better becomes your new normal, and you may not realize just how much better you feel if you forget how you felt before you started these changes.

If you feel up to it, try tracking how you feel over time. By slowing down and paying attention, you’ll support mindfulness. Mindfulness can also help you in your healing journey by providing a way to manage stress and triggers. 

You’ll also provide yourself with a source of encouragement when you notice subtle shifts in mood and energy. 

Remember that nutrition, like recovery, is a long-term effort. Even small changes can support your physical and mental health and are therefore worth it.

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