Key Factors in Addiction Recovery? Nutrition and Exercise!
For many patients going through addiction recovery, nutrition and exercise might not be the first thing on their mind regarding treatment. But recovering from addiction requires a concerted effort to restore the patient’s nutritional balance, as nourishing the body is a critical factor to achieving long-term sobriety.
How Nutrition and Exercise Support Recovering from Addiction
Think about it – when you’re recovering from addiction, your body is detoxing from the drugs and alcohol it’s been filtering out for weeks, months, or years. As you undergo addiction recovery, nutrition is essential to becoming healthy because your immune system has been compromised, as excessive drug and alcohol use has actually limited the amount of nutrients your body can absorb. When you don’t get the correct amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc., your whole body suffers. Your mood changes, you suffer from a lack of appetite, you gain or lose weight due to poor eating habits, and your gastrointestinal system can’t process foods like before.
When patients are recovering from addiction, an optimally-balanced menu full of nutrient-rich foods will help to restore the body’s natural functions to support long-term recovery. Limited sugar, reduced caffeine and increased vitamins and amino acids will help improve your mood. Our addiction recovery nutrition plans incorporate a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains to restore balance to the diet and improve appearance and the immune system. A balanced meal eaten during regular intervals throughout the day (with snacking, as appropriate) can actually help normalize patients on a routine, which can help diminish cravings.
The general benefit of frequent exercise is common knowledge; however, exercise can play a key role in helping someone who is recovering from addiction. During recovery, nutrition and exercise work together to release endorphins, which stimulate a better mood and optimism, while diminishing depression tendencies. We facilitate frequent exercise periods during The Ridge program since we feel it correlates to a more hopeful, engaged patient who has a better chance to achieve long-term sobriety. In addition to overall health benefits, exercise can also be a good life pattern for patients to adopt post treatment and, in effect, reduce the chances of relapse.