If you’re on your journey to Addiction Recovery, you’ve already taken many of the necessary steps to cultivate health and wellness in your life. Moving forward, it’s important to take care of your body and mind so you can continue your recovery, and that involves the food you eat.
Food is fuel, and you want to make sure you’re giving yourself the best fuel possible to take on the tasks of recovery and everyday life.
Most of the foods you’ll want to avoid are unhealthy for anybody, and similarly, most of the foods you’ll need are great for the body at any stage of life. Paying extra attention to how these foods interact with your body’s chemistry at this point in your journey can help you stay on top of your health throughout your recovery.
Foods to Avoid in Addiction Recovery
While you should always talk with your doctor and the professionals around you about specific concerns, there are a few foods you may do well to avoid. While some of them are okay in moderation, everything is a spectrum, and you have to find what’s right for you. Here’s what to watch for:
Caffeine impacts your energy levels and heart rate, which can be jarring for a body in recovery, especially if you rely on medications to regulate those things. It can also weaken your immune system, which needs to be strong to carry you through your recovery.
If your addiction doesn’t already mandate abstaining from alcohol, it may do you well to avoid it either way. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and can cause lasting feelings of sluggishness. Feeling hungover or even a little less than your most energized self isn’t ideal for someone already working to recover.
3. Processed Foods
Processed food tends to be less healthy overall, and avoiding it in favor of fresh food is ideal for anyone, recovering or not. Processed foods contain unhealthy additives, preservatives and fewer vitamins and nutrients than you really need from your meals. Plus, avoiding processed eats can encourage you to cook more and find healthy, fresh foods.
There are a few medications that don’t mix well with grapefruit, and methadone is one of them. Since grapefruit suppresses your enzyme system, it can impact the way your body processes medications. To be sure of its interactions with any medications you’re taking, talk with your doctor and get the information you need.
5. Refined Sugar
Refined sugars hold no nutritional value and function as empty calories within the body. They deprive your body of essential nutrients and can make you feel bogged down. While there are many types of refined sugar, traditionally processed foods tend to be the main culprit.
Foods to Eat
Many foods can aid in your recovery by providing you with the nutrients you need. By focusing on whole foods and plants rich in vitamins and minerals, you can fuel your body with all the energy and nourishment you need to recover. While these foods are healthy on their own, you can pay them a bit of extra attention in your healing process:
Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. These filling fruits offer energy-rich vitamins while giving you a sense of satiation. Toss them in smoothies or take them on the go.
2. Whole Grains
Whole grains, which are on the opposite side of white flour and refined grains, are a healthy way to get in that much-needed fiber. Fiber helps moderate carbohydrate absorption, which allows your body to sustain energy and digest your food well.
Berries like blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants that are great for healing the body and giving you the energy you need. Blueberries are a superfood, which means they pack a ton of nutrients to help rebuild your immune system and keep it strong.
Healthy fats are important for nourishing the body and protecting you during recovery. Whole fats are best, as you get all the nutrition and vitamins your food has to offer. Avocados are a great example of that — a healthy fat with delicious flavor and vast nutritional benefits.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are another filling, healthy carb that contains all kinds of nutritional benefits. From iron to B vitamins, sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and immune-system-boosting nutrients.
Centering Wellness in Addiction Recovery
Addiction Recovery isn’t always easy, but building a diet that helps you feel strong and empowered on your journey can do more for you than you may realize. It’s a process that involves your all-around health and wellness — and you can stay strong through it all.