Substance abuse can have a significant impact on your overall health. Regular substance abuse can cause diminished brain function, reduced muscle and tissue growth, compromised immune health, and neurodegeneration. However, there is a direct relationship between what you eat and how healthy your mind and body are.
To that end, nutrition and wellness in addiction recovery play a significant role in your ability to:
- Stay motivated
- Pay attention
- Learn and store new information
- Balance stress or anxiety
- Avoid depression
Controlling Mood with Nutrition in Addiction Recovery
Depression and anxiety levels can be controlled with nutrition and wellness in recovery. During recovery, you will deal with a lot of stress, and this can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety, but having the right balance of nutrition can give you the power to support your mood and your overall health. There are several nutrients that have a direct correlation to the production of hormones like dopamine and serotonin, which naturally boost your mood. Zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, B vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids all have a direct correlation to mood. You can get these nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, olive oil, seeds, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
Improving Immune Health with Proper Nutrition
Getting enough nutrients in your diet is essential to the health and function of all of your cells, including your immune system. Eating certain foods can better prepare your body for things like inflammation or infection. Nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, amino acid glutamate, zinc, iron, and selenium are essential in the growth and function of your immune cells. You can find these nutrients in fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and fish.
Boosting Brain Function with Nutrition
Several studies indicate a direct connection between nutrition, brain function, and mood. What you eat affects how your brain works, including how alert you are during the day, which can have a direct impact on your retention of new coping skills or other strategies acquired during treatment.
Proper nutrition can also impact the production or release of neurotransmitters, which are directly responsible for moving information throughout your body. If you don’t have the right function or production of neurotransmitters, it can also disrupt things like memory and long-term learning, which can have an impact on your recovery.
Your brain’s ability to control responses and store sensory information and memories are basic mental activities, but moreover, they can directly impact your mood, leaving you feeling more depressed or anxious if you don’t have the right nutrition and wellness in addiction recovery. Omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids can control your mood and brain function. Find these nutrients in nuts, seeds, beans, grains, eggs, and fish.
Regulating Nutrition in Addiction Recovery with Balanced Cortisol
Cortisol is a stress hormone, and the quality of your nutrition and wellness in addiction recovery can have a direct impact on how much cortisol you have.
Cortisol doesn’t just have an impact on your stress levels. Cortisol affects your appetite, too. With high levels of stress, you are more likely to overeat or to eat things that calm your nervous system, namely simple carbohydrates and foods full of sugar, neither of which are helpful in contributing to your overall well-being.
Cortisol can affect your blood pressure, inflammation, neuroplasticity, and hydration. Improper levels of cortisol can have a harmful impact on your mood, behavior, sleep quality, and perception of pain.
Vitamin B5 and B3 can impact the synthesis of cortisol and high cholesterol. You can get these nutrients from things like avocados, nuts, seeds, dairy, brown rice, bananas, and fish.
Getting Professional Help with Nutrition and Wellness in Addiction Recovery
It is important to make sure you have a well-balanced diet, especially at the early stages of your recovery or during detox. But this might not be a time when you have the mental capacity to plan that. Thankfully, meals prepared for you during your treatment can offer a stable foundation for recovery by giving you high doses of the nutrients and vitamins that are essential to your overall well-being while avoiding or limiting unhealthy foods.
- Address the powerlessness you might feel because of addiction
- Address unhealthy attitudes and habits, particularly around nutrition and wellness and addiction recovery
- Learn to change your behaviors with medication management and nutrition therapy
Nutrition is an essential part of your overall health. Without the right nutrition, your mind and body will not get the resources necessary to help you stay in a good mood, sleep properly, or rebuild your body after damage from substance abuse.
Call the team at our Austin drug and alcohol detox center today to learn more about how our treatment staff can provide tailored treatment programs that incorporate proper nutrition into your addiction recovery.