The Importance of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

The U.S National Library of Medicine states that drug abuse negatively impacts the body externally, and internally, as well.

We tend to think that the impact of substance abuse is only on the skin. We see the skin wrinkle, the cheekbones become hollow, the irregular rashes, and realize that this person is suffering from addiction.

However, what we do not realize that the person’s metabolism, organ function, and other such internal systems have been ruptured as well, hence the formation of skin issues. The drugs, in short, throw everything in our body off balance, and good nutrition actually helps bring back that balance.

The negative effects of different addictions on health:

  • Alcohol is known to damage numerous organs of the body, especially liver, which is known to flush out the bad toxins from the body, and the pancreas, that is known to control the blood sugar levels and fat absorption.
  • Opiate drugs such as morphine, heroin, and oxycontin damage the gastrointestinal organs which lead to the person constantly suffering from constipation while on the drugs, and then diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea while withdrawing from them. The users of the drug have often reported a deficiency in B6, iron, and vitamin D.
  • Marijuana causes a surge in one’s appetite which leads the frequent user of the drug to gain a huge amount of weight.
  • Stimulants, such as cocaine, are known to produce an adverse effect on the person’s appetite in comparison to marijuana. People under the effects of cocaine are considerably underweight, other than that since the drug gives the person energy and helps them stay awake longer it is a possibility that the user is dehydrated.

Often, by the time an addict seeks out help they are gravely malnourished. They lack important nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin K and C. These deficiencies, along with the other side effects of the drugs, tend to wreak havoc on the body of the drug abuser.

The role of nutrition in recovery

Research has shown that to have a healthy mind and body you need to practice healthy eating at all costs. This goes especially for those who are recovering from a drug addiction. A healthy diet lets your body use the minerals that it needs to repair the parts of your body that have been damaged by drugs.

You need to remember to cut out junk food and items high in saturated fat. Eat foods that contain more vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibre, protein, and unsaturated fats. Eat food items such as egg-whites, raw soybeans, parmesan cheese, dairy products, spirulina, turkey, beans, spinach, beat, salmon and dry fruits. Make sure to drink water and consume fruits and vegetables that high water content, especially if you are recovering from cocaine use.

Other than that, you can also practice some daily healthy habits which will speed up the recovery of your body:

  • Kick-start your day with protein-rich breakfast
  • Divide your daily meals into 5-6 portions
  • Drink minimum 8 glasses of water daily

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