Being in recovery, there are likely many aspects of your day-to-day life that are undergoing changes. Because you need to develop healthy habits to create a new routine that works for your recovery, you may be wondering what kinds of habits can contribute to your recovery success. One way you can begin to develop your recovery routine is to build healthy eating habits. Eating a well-balanced diet that is nourishing to your body is healing. After your body has undergone the stress and deterioration that addiction often brings, rebuilding your physical health through diet can restore your nutritional balance. Not only is your physical health impacted, but your overall mental health can drastically improve with a healthy and balanced diet. We’re going to discuss what a healthy diet is, and how it’s critical to your overall health in recovery.
What is a Healthy Diet?
Firstly, a healthy diet looks different for everyone – consult with your doctor if you are looking for an in-depth nutrition plan. For the average person, a healthy diets emphasizes:
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low fat milk
- Low in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol
Adding a variety of healthy foods to your plate can keep your diet balanced – check out this Plate Plan for an idea on what and how much to eat from the different food groups.
How Diet Can Impact Your Recovery
One key concept in addiction recovery is creating a new routine and developing healthy habits that support your long-term success. Because addiction wreaks havoc on all aspects of your life, rebuilding your routines can take time. We wrote an entire post about different healthy habits that many people in recovery rely on, and now we’d like to break that list down a bit. Eating a well-balanced diet ensures that your body receives all of the nutrients it needs to function properly. Here are just a few ways nutritional balance can positively impact your recovery –
Physical Health Improves
Receiving the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and healthy food groups improves all aspects of your physical wellbeing including:
- Immune system function
- Promotes healthy bones, teeth, hair and skin
- Brain and nervous system function
- Healthy blood pressure
- Hormone production
- Muscle function
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form new connections and rearrange old ones, typically in response to injury, disease or a change in the environment. It has been revealed that drug addiction disrupts connectivity between different parts of the brain, making it more difficult to re-stabilize healthy neurotransmission during recovery. Eating a healthy diet that provides the proper amount of nutrients improves your neuroplasticity, in turn making it easier for you to transition into recovery and create new routines and habits.
Promotes Mental Health
Because your gut is the central producer of serotonin, maintaining gut health through a balanced diet increases your serotonin production. Increased serotonin production equals better regulation of sleep, appetite, moods and pain. Maintaining your diet can promote your mental health, influencing your overall mood and energy levels.
Diet is Key to Recovery
While many factors contribute to overall success in recovery, diet plays an undeniable role in that long-term success. Boosting your mental and physical health, as well as increasing your ability to rework old habits into new and healthy ones – diet can transform your recovery. Knowing diet is all about balance, create a plan that works for you.
Rework Your Habits Now
Peer Recovery Specialists (PRSs) work one-on-one with clients to create comprehensive recovery wellness plans. These plans promote long-term success through developing recovery goals, and managing addiction triggers. These plans incorporate physical, mental and spiritual health – including your diet! Start working on developing a healthy diet, and a holistic plan to support you through recovery. Work with a PRS now on your recovery wellness plan!