The Necessity of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

Eating healthy in addiction recovery

Nutrition is necessary for a healthy mind, body, and spirit, yet so many Americans neglect what’s needed in favor of unhealthy foods. People in addiction recovery often find that finding a healthy nutritional balance is challenging because of the urge to abuse substances – and with sobriety sometimes comes different cravings from the body.

A 2017 study published by U.S. News explains reminds people to use the acronym H.A.L.T., which means to watch out for the following emotions which can bring out cravings to eat less-than-nutritious foods:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

These emotions can be challenging to manage in recovery, especially when a person is already becoming accustomed to sobriety. As one addiction recovery counselor stated,

“Depression makes you crave the drug you just detoxed from. Many alcohol abusers and drug abusers self-medicate to deal with emotions they can’t handle. When they feel emotional distress, they reach for the drug or the drink.”

When this isn’t plausible – such as when a person is in formalized treatment and on the path towards recovery, food can sometimes take its place. Sugar and processed foods become a top choice, and before a person realizes it, they’ve swapped one addiction out for another. In 2014, Today’s Dietitian reported the prevalence of nutrition management in addiction recovery treatment because of this exact concern; the foods we eat go on to fuel the way we think, feel and act, and this can have direct major influences on our recovery progress.

Nutrition education can benefit a person in a number of ways:

  1. Healing and nourishing the parts of the body that have been damaged from addiction
  2. Reducing a person’s cravings for drugs and alcohol
  3. Encouragement of a healthy lifestyle
  4. Stabilization of a person’s mood
  5. And more

If you’re ready to take hold of your life and be on your way towards a happier, healthier future, speak with a professional from Cumberland Heights today. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of two 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers, and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first. For more information, call 1-800-646-9998 today.