Contact Us P: 949-371-4198

Eating Right: Why is Nutrition Important in Addiction Recovery?

There are many different components of an effective drug and alcohol rehab program in Southern California. Along with detox, therapy, and exercise, nutrition also plays an important role. Those in active addiction do not always maintain a healthy diet and drugs and alcohol can impact the way the body processes what they do eat. Luxury drug rehab programs often provide nutritional counseling to clients that is tailored to their needs. They learn about how to properly fuel their body for recovery and continued wellbeing.

Changes in Appetite

Substance misuse can lead to changes in appetite. For some people this means eating more than they normally would and for others it means eating less. Alcohol is full of sugar and empty calories. It leaves people feeling full even though their body does not have the food it needs. Alcohol can be a source of additional calories with little value that can lead to unwanted weight gain. It can also contribute to weight loss if clients are not consuming enough other calories to support their body’s needs.

Other substances suppress appetite or change the person’s mental alertness so they may not realize that they have been skipping meals. Once again, their body is not getting the nutrition that it needs to support itself. This can impact organ function and immune system leaving clients more susceptible to illness. Their body does not have the energy and fuel that it needs to fight off germs and bacteria.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Alcohol affects how the body processes vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are not absorbed as well as when a proper diet is followed without the influence of alcohol. When foods are not broken down and used effectively, it impacts how the person feels. If they are not getting enough of certain nutrients, they can develop deficiencies and become malnourished. This takes a toll on their body in addition to the drugs and alcohol they may be using. This can make it more difficult to sustain energy, fight off illness, and think clearly.

Stabilizing Blood Sugar

Highs and lows in blood sugar can not only affect mood but also physical health. Learning how to eat right can help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce mood swings. Eating on a schedule and regulating sugar intake can allow clients to better manage their weight as well as their energy and mood. A proper diet is especially important for those who may have diabetes and must manage this condition in collaboration with addiction. Keeping blood sugar stable will help to stabilize mood and in turn make it easier to push through cravings.

Increased Energy

Poor nutrition and the impact of drugs and alcohol can drain the body of energy. Clients may feel exhausted and lethargic. Their body is not getting the foods that it needs to create energy and maintain good health. Or, perhaps while under the influence they were making poor choices eating a lot of processed and unhealthy foods. This can also reduce energy as well as contribute to weight gain. A well-balanced diet provides the body with the right combination of nutrients it needs to stay fueled and give the person energy throughout the day.

Making Better Food Choices

Through proper nutrition counseling, clients learn how to make better food choices for their health. Their individual needs are assessed and a plan is created that ensures they are getting the right balance of calories and nutrients for their body. As they improve their eating, they will begin to feel the effects both physically and mentally. A well-balanced diet incorporates the following:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lean protein
  • Whole grains
  • Plenty of water

Focusing on eating fresh foods rather than processed ones can make a difference as well. Southern California provides access to a wide variety of fresh produce year round. There are also certain foods that people find beneficial in reducing cravings. Clients develop strategies and skills that they can take with them and apply to their meal planning once they return home. Eating a more nutritionally sound diet helps to repair tissues and muscles, improve cell function, boost the immune system, enhance mood, and increase overall wellbeing.

Throughout recovery, clients will notice how their appetite changes and how much better they feel by eating right. It can take time for the body to recover and repair itself, but healthy eating can make a big difference and also be a motivating part of starting a fresh chapter in life.

Nutritional counseling is just one of the many components of the customized treatment programs at Chapters Capistrano, a luxury rehab center in Orange County, California. If you or a loved one is ready to turn your life around and make your health and happiness a priority, contact Chapters Capistrano today at 949-371-4198. We will work with you to create a personalized treatment and recovery plan that fits your individual needs and supports you in embracing a substance-free lifestyle.