Woman changing her diet in early recovery

Your Diet In Early Recovery

A well-balanced, healthy diet is vital for good nutrition and excellent health, especially for those in early recovery. Misusing alcohol and drugs can contribute to nutritional deficiencies, so adhering to a healthy diet in recovery can be especially essential to restoring quality of life when receiving treatment and recovering from addiction.

Eating foods with little to no calories, added sugars, sodium or saturated fats (“nutrient-dense”) can replenish and nourish the mind and body after substance use-based damage. For this reason, focusing on nutrition while receiving evidence-based and holistic addiction treatment can be critical for early recovery.


Effects of Addiction on Nutrition

Different alcoholic beverages and drugs can impact a person’s health in various ways. Still, many substances have similar effects on an individual’s ability to receive all the nutrients required for good health while recovering. 

People who misuse and abuse any drug and alcoholic beverage may be likely to experience one or several of the following common symptoms:

  • Poor nutritional choices People under the influence of substances are more likely to make bad dietary decisions, such as living on a diet consisting of sweets or fast food.
  • Decreased appetite – Many substances can lead to a suppressed appetite or cause a person to forget about or stop eating altogether. This phenomenon is worse during the detox and withdrawal phase of treatment, making dietary stabilization an important focus of early treatment.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders – Drugs and alcohol can contribute to chronic issues of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and keep it from effectively taking up nutrients found in food.


Nutrition and Early Recovery

Once you decide to stop the excessive consumption and misuse of alcoholic beverages and drugs, it may be easy to reward yourself with junk food and sugary and salty snacks. A noticeable trend in the recovery community is the tendency to rely on energy drinks as a remedy for the lack of energy often caused by your body’s attempt to recalibrate itself. However, this time is vital to ensure that you are taking up new habits that will support your newfound recovery and contribute to mental wellness overall. 

Instead of the snacks that your body craves, fuel it with the food your body needs. Replace unhealthy choices with healthy ones like grilled chicken, salads, high-fiber muffins, whole grain options and more foods that contain essential nutrients. 

Foods to include in your diet are:

  • Carbohydrates – Eating pasta, bread, grains, fruits, root vegetables (e.g., carrots, potatoes) and legumes (e.g., lentils, peas and beans) can help keep you in optimal health.
  • Calcium-rich foods – Dairy products like milk and yogurt and other foods with high calcium like kale and tofu can be beneficial during early recovery.  
  • Proteins – Moderate consumption of protein sources like fish, meat or tofu, in addition to carbohydrates, can keep individuals in recovery at their best.


Receiving the Best Treatment for Your Health

A part of addiction recovery is understanding how nutrients impact the body. An expert team of professional therapists and clinicians at a high-quality treatment center like The Ranch knows that good nutrition contributes to improved mental, physical and emotional health and reverses the harmful effects of addiction on the body.

The Ranch Tennessee can be the best center for you, as it offers top-notch therapy programs and treatment plans. This center offers multiple treatment and therapy options because the team knows that addictions can vary for each individual and require different solutions and personalized treatments. At The Ranch, patients can participate in evidence-based and holistic inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Treatment programs offered by The Ranch, designed to treat all addiction types, include:


Calling The Ranch Tennessee at 888-503-1801 allows you to receive the judgment-free support and treatment you deserve and learn how to care for your body and eat well during and after treatment.

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