Diet—the food and drink we consume, and how frequently we consume it—is particularly important to those of us in the first 90 days of recovery. There is a lot of research to support the idea that our bodies, often badly malnourished by our drinking and using, are far more likely to heal fast if we regularly eat nutritious, whole foods.
Our Bodies Suffered While We Drank and Used
When we were active in our addiction, we cared much more about consuming our drug(s) of choice than about eating healthy food. In fact, many of the substances we put in our bodies actually prevented us from getting hungry, while simultaneously stripping our bodies of crucial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
For those of us who drank alcohol to excess, our body’s ability to absorb nutrients was badly damaged. Over time, alcohol causes the digestive tract to stop absorbing nutrients essential to everything from creating nerve cells to building and strengthening bones. Alcohol-damaged intestinal lining loses its ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals contained in the food we eat.
Drugs other than alcohol also deplete the body and brain of crucial nutrients, causing our digestive tracts—areas of bodies responsible for producing mood-stabilizing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine—to stop functioning properly.
These effects of alcohol and drug use on the body can have dangerous consequences for those of us in early recovery. Early on, we are far more likely to turn to our drug of choice when our bodies cannot naturally produce the means for making us feel good.
Keys to Helping the Body and Brain Heal in Early Recovery
Hunger returns soon after toxic levels of alcohol and drugs have left the body, but it’s easy to feed that hunger with all the wrong foods. Here are some helpful suggestions for what to eat and drink—and what to avoid—during the first 90 days of recovery.
- Eat breakfast daily. Breakfasts jumpstart the metabolism; provide additional energy; balance blood sugar levels, and maintain heart health. Protein, in the form of eggs and yoghurt, and fresh fruit and whole grains, are some of the healthiest breakfast options.
- Drink water (2 liters/day) to keep hydrated to support kidney function and skin health.
- Eat fresh fruit and raw vegetables with each meal, as they are packed with micronutrients and fiber.
- Include beans, nuts, or seeds with every meal and eat them for snacks. They are sources of good carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, iron, and zinc.
- Avoid all sugary drinks, energy drinks, and fast food, as these lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels, both of which are bad for recovering bodies.
Recovery means being willing to do things differently, including changing the way we eat. A healthy start to your recovery can begin right now. Contact Alta Loma Recovery at 866-457-3843 today and start living a healthy, happy, and sober life!