The Importance of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Addiction is hard on the mind and spirit, but it is especially hard on the body. One of the best ways to avoid the physical damage that so often accompanies addiction is to pay attention to nutrition. Nutrition is important for everybody’s health, but ignoring proper nutrition can have particularly devastating effects when your body has been weakened by addiction. For this reason, every well-rounded addiction treatment program should include a wellness component, which aims to give individuals in recovery the tools they need to maintain their sobriety through healthy living and eating well-balanced, nutritious meals.

Hammocks on the Edisto is a women’s-only treatment center near Charleston, South Carolina, dedicated to helping women struggling with addiction. Our nutrition therapy program will teach women about nutrition and how to prepare healthy meals with a variety of delicious foods. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, call 833.793.0191 today to speak with our caring staff about our wellness coaching program.

How Addiction Affects Your Eating Habits

Women struggling with addiction will prioritize satiating their cravings and continuing to abuse their substance of choice. As the addiction worsens, everything else begins to fade into the background, including eating and maintaining good health. A poor diet is a common counterpart to substance abuse and can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiency, brain damage, organ failure, and weaken your immune system.

Even women who eat a healthy diet during addiction may not get enough nutrients. Appetite suppression is common with certain drugs, while others can promote unhealthy eating habits that lead to significant weight gain.

Substance abuse can damage the liver, stomach lining, pancreas, and intestines. This damage will negatively affect your digestion and reduce your ability to store and absorb nutrients. Other gastrointestinal disorders that can result from poor nutrition accompanying addiction include:

  • Chronic gastrointestinal tract inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • Pathogenic bacterial overgrowth
  • Fungal intestinal infections
  • Acid reflux

The Importance of Nutrition in Rehab

Learning about nutrition and healthy eating is more than just about rebuilding your strength and restoring your health. You will learn about the effects of addiction on the body and how you can heal most of the damage done through eating nutritious foods and leading a healthy lifestyle. Cooking is a healthy, sober-living skill that is crucial for maintaining your health and sobriety.

A nutritious meal plan during addiction recovery will include:

  • Complex carbohydrates – Foods like root vegetables, bread, pasta, and legumes can help balance serotonin levels and are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Complex carbs should make up 50-55% of your diet.
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium and help with absorption rates.
  • 4-8 ounces of red meat, chicken, or fish per day can give you the protein you need to build your strength and give your body the energy it needs to heal.
  • 30% of your diet should include healthy fats. Excellent sources of healthy fats include fish, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.<sup>3</sup>

Food can also help bring people together. At Hammocks on the Edisto, we have a smoothie bar with nutritional snacks for our residents to gather and bond. We also include cooking demonstrations from our on-site executive chef, who will teach you everything you need to know about cooking healthy, nutritious meals.

Learn More About the Importance of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery at Hammocks on the Edisto

At Hammocks on the Edisto, our expert team prides itself on providing women with a combination of evidence-based and holistic approaches to their addiction recovery. Our wellness coaching and nutrition therapy programs can give you the life skills necessary for maintaining your sobriety. Plus, you will learn how to shop and cook healthy, nutritious meals from our executive chef.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 833.793.0191 today to speak with one of our caring support staff about the importance of nutrition in addiction recovery.

  1. According to Science Daily, poor nutrition is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide. “Globally, One in Five Deaths Is Related to Poor Diet” – Science Daily
  2. CPE Monthly: Substance Abuse and Nutrition” – Today’s Dietician
  3. The Role of Nutrition in Recovery” – Here to Help

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