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  • Writer's pictureS. Parris

The Importance of Nutrition

Diet, exercise, and proper nutrition are all vital components for healthy living. Learning how to incorporate these components into one’s daily life is, therefore, a necessary step to recovery when it comes to addiction. Both alcohol and substance abuse affect how the human body absorbs nutrients and expels toxins. As a result, those suffering from an addiction are often malnourished, experience health issues due to their addiction, and have developed poor eating habits. This is why it’s so important to educate individuals on the importance of nutrition, not only in their recovery process but for the long haul.

The Recovery Diet

Traditionally, recovery programs use a combination of counseling, detox, self-reflection, and 12-step approaches. Only recently with the emergence of more and more holistic recovery programs, has there been a push for education on the impact that nutrition has on recovery. With this push for education on nutrition—it’s becoming clear that no matter which type of treatment is chosen, programs rooted in nutrition are reporting great success. In other words, research is showing that with the proper nutrition, the recovery process is significantly enhanced. By maintaining a healthy diet, one reduces cravings for drugs and alcohol, as well as addresses many of the medical conditions that have resulted from substance abuse. The Recovery diet, as is it often referred to as primarily focuses on how to heal and nourish the body damaged by alcohol or substance abuse. By eating the right types of high protein and high carbohydrate-rich foods, individuals often experience a more positive outlook on their recovery and notice a reduction in stress. Additionally, individuals in recovery who eat small nutrient-rich, mini-meals throughout the day are able to sustain energy levels and maintain more even moods.

Nutrition and Exercise

Ultimately, it is clear that encouraging self-care and healthy eating habits can make a big difference during recovery. One’s diet and food choices can and does affect every part of the body. Moreover, exercise also plays a key role in a person’s thinking and behavior. Exercising has been proven to naturally and positively alter one’s brain chemistry. By incorporating physical activity into treatment and recovery, natural levels of endorphins are reintroduced into the body. What this means is that during recovery, physical activity not only helps a person feel better but also retrains the body to regulate brain chemistry and mood in healthy, natural ways.

Even after recovery, the importance of proper nutrition and exercise cannot be stressed enough. Taking care of one’s self through the good times and the bad times is what life’s all about.

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