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The Recovery Diet: Essential Nutrients in Early Recovery

Visualization of an ideal diet in recovery

During early recovery, your body can use all the nutritional support it can get. That’s because a steady diet of alcohol and drugs can rob your body of vital vitamins and nutrients. Plus, a healthy diet is not a top priority in active addiction. Contact BRC Recovery today at 888.559.2036 to learn more about our nutrition therapy program in Texas for addiction treatment and how paying attention to your diet in recovery is crucial to healing.

Why Your Diet in Recovery Is Crucial

Addiction treatment is a holistic process that involves healing the mind, body, and spirit. One essential aspect of this approach is nutrition. Nutrition plays a crucial role in early recovery as it helps repair the damage from drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Institutes of Health, alcoholism is among the major causes of nutritional deficiency in the United States. Chronic alcohol use can lead to deficiencies in vitamins A, B, C, D, and K and calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Cocaine abuse can lead to deficiencies in the B vitamins and vitamin C, and long-term use of marijuana can lead to zinc deficiency and problems metabolizing omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, digestive issues experienced during withdrawal and recovery can cause trouble absorbing nutrients.

Ensuring you get the proper nutrition in recovery isn’t just about restoring your body to a healthy state. It’s also crucial for long-term sobriety. A well-rounded diet can help improve:

  • Mood
  • Energy levels
  • Sense of well-being

Without a proper diet in addiction treatment, individuals in recovery may experience low energy, irritability, depression, and anxiety—all factors that could increase the risk of relapse.

A Nutrition Therapy Program for Addiction Treatment

While there’s no magic diet to reverse all of the damage, eating a well-balanced diet can help speed the healing process. Here are a few essential nutrients and vitamins for early recovery—along with the best foods to fit into your diet:

  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent for those in recovery from a substance use disorder. Vitamin D helps with brain, cardiovascular, immunity, muscle, and respiratory functions. Best food sources: salmon, eggs, tuna, mushrooms, beef liver, fortified juice, and milk. Sunlight is perhaps the best way to get vitamin D, so spend 15 minutes per day outside without sunscreen.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – So-called “good” fats can help with mood, cellular pair, and your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. A deficiency of essential fatty acids can also lead to depression. Best food sources: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, salmon, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and eggs.
  • Protein – Provides energy and helps repair damaged cells. Protein can also help keep you full, so you don’t mistake hunger for cravings. Best food sources: lean meats, beans, eggs, peanut butter, low-fat dairy products, and nuts.
  • B vitamins – Studies show that people with substance use disorder have low levels of B vitamins. Best food sources: B6, B12, and B9 (folate) include leafy greens, cantaloupe, oranges, poultry, whole grains (rice, pasta, bread), beans, soy milk, and fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Fiber – Addiction can wreak havoc on digestion, leading to constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. Slowly adding fiber-rich back into your diet can help minimize these effects. Best food sources: Fruits and vegetables (including the skin), brown rice, oatmeal, berries, beans, and dark leafy greens.

Our intensive healing program takes a holistic approach to nutrition in recovery that utilizes a combination of clinical and complementary therapies, including healthy meal preparation.

Enroll in a Nutrition Therapy Program for Addiction Treatment in Texas at BRC Recovery

Pay attention to your diet in recovery from addiction at BRC Recovery. Contact our team at 888.559.2036 to learn more about the proper diet in addiction treatment and our nutrition therapy program in Texas.