Addiction recovery requires healthy lifestyle changes to get your mind and body healthy. One of the most important aspects of getting both your mind and body healthy again is clean eating.
Substance use changes the mind and body in major ways, as it influences negative lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes reflect a poor diet and a fluctuating appetite. Clean eating offers many benefits for addiction recovery and plays a vital role in regaining your health back. Let’s look at some ways you can understand and incorporate healthy eating into your recovery regimen.
How Addiction Affects Nutrition and the Body
Abusing substances makes major changes to the body. It can damage major organs such as the brain, heart, liver, and lungs. Substance abuse affects aspects of your health, such as:
- Changes in Appetite: Substances can influence and change your appetite. Stimulants (such as methamphetamine and cocaine) suppress appetite, which causes weight loss and overall poor health. Marijuana mainly increases appetite but could also reduce appetite.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Long-term alcohol and drug use can lead to many digestive disorders. Your gastrointestinal system is in charge of breaking down and digesting food. Drug use can cause digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, and intestinal inflammation.
- Poor Mental Health: Nutrition is known to play a key role in mental health. A poor diet can lead to worsening mood disorders, increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Your body and mind are connected, and therefore when you neglect your health, each is affected.
Once you start your addiction recovery process, it is necessary to learn the benefits of clean eating to your journey. Clean eating contributes to both the mind, body, and spirit. Here are a few advantages that you can experience with a clean diet in recovery.
Increased Energy Levels and Mood
Being able to function efficiently throughout your day requires a decent level of energy from your body. Healthy eating fuels your body to produce and sustain higher energy levels and boosts your mood. After having a few drinks, you might feel relaxed. However, over time alcohol begins to harm your energy, mood, and mental health. Alcohol is one of the most major causes of nutritional deficiencies in the US, with the most common deficiency in Vitamin B. Vitamin B deficiency is associated with depression, low moods, and lethargy.
Making the switch to adding meats such as fish, chicken, and beef into your diet gives you a great source of B vitamins. Leafy greens, eggs, and yogurt also serve as a great source of B vitamins. Increasing your water intake will also help you feel more refreshed and hydrated, which will benefit your energy levels and mood. Cutting out processed and fast food and replacing your diet with fruits, vegetables, and proper meat is essential for clean eating.
Stronger Immune System
Your liver is what collects waste from chemicals that have entered your body. Alcohol and other drugs contribute to adding these chemicals into your body. A weekend immune system makes it harder for your body to fight off disease and infections. However, eating whole foods gives your body nutrients that can help repair the immune system.
Foods that help you build a stronger immune system include:
- Citrus fruits
- Beans and lentils
Incorporating plant-based foods into your diet like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts helps build a healthy immune system. Eating nutrient-rich foods allows your body to repair itself, which is necessary for fighting off diseases. They also help contribute to better focus, memory, and energy.
Healthy Nutrition Supports the Detox Process
When you begin your recovery process, the first step is usually going through detox. The detox process is physically demanding on your body and includes intense side effects such as vomiting, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue. A healthy and clean diet can help lessen and relieve withdrawal symptoms. Light and fresh foods that sit easily on the stomach help relieve nausea and vomiting. Foods that are high in fiber help relieve and lessen constipation.
As you continue to feed your body nutritious foods, you should start to feel better overall. The recovery process requires much time, patience, and compassion for yourself. Treating your body with the proper care by clean and healthy eating will help repair itself from the damages of previous substance use. Finding a treatment center that also teaches the importance of a proper diet gives you the tools needed to make necessary lifestyle changes important for lasting recovery.
At Clearfork Academy, we offer a range of treatments and therapies to help teenage males safely detox and create a healthy lifestyle. Our programs include guiding teens to develop self-care routines, from coping strategies to maintaining a clean diet. Our therapists will help teens identify what steps they need to create a healthier lifestyle conducive to their sobriety. We provide teens with the tools they need to overcome negative habits, form healthier habits, and provide life skills they can use throughout recovery. Finding the best-suited treatment facility for your teen requires a center that focuses on the unique needs of a teenager’s circumstances. We also work with the whole family so that you and your teenager can understand addiction and face the challenges of addiction recovery together. If your teen is currently struggling to manage their recovery, seek help today. To find out more about our programs, call Clearfork Academy at (866) 650-5212.