What Foods Have Healing Properties in Recovery?
Anyone who has had a substance addiction problem probably has unhealthy habits. Many people with addiction have damaged their short term and long term health as they don’t eat nutritious food. The food they do eat gets counteracted by the drugs they are taking, and so the vitamins and minerals are not properly absorbed by their bodies. Once a person struggling with addiction has decided to start a detox, consuming certain foods can help to heal their mind and body, repair physical damage, lift their mood, as well as curb cravings.
Milk and Sleep
One of the challenges of detox is getting enough sleep. And sleep is essential for healing the body and mind. A glass of milk an hour or so before bed can help you get some rest more easily. Dairy contains tryptophan, which helps produce melatonin, which helps aid sleep, as well as calcium, which relaxes the nerves and muscles. A small bedtime snack containing dairy is extremely helpful during detox.
Often substance abuse will have ravaged the person’s liver. Damage to the liver can be caused by alcoholic cirrhosis, or even through hepatitis which can be contracted via shared needles. If the liver is not functioning optimally, then the nutrients from food are not being processed. A superfood that can help cleanse and repair the liver, is broccoli. If you’re not fond of broccoli, you can try cabbage, kale, and arugula.
Those who have abused drugs or alcohol are usually low in both potassium and magnesium, They are electrolytes that regulate blood pressure, heartbeat, nerves, and muscles. An electrolyte deficiency can lead to feeling weak, confusion, fatigue and muscle cramps. Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, thus eating a banana will give you a double dose of electrolytes. Some other fruits that are rich in potassium and magnesium are oranges, kiwis, papayas, and peaches. Looking for something savory? Try avocado, spinach, and tomatoes.
The cravings that recovering alcoholics experience, happen for several reasons. One of those reasons is that the body is used to getting glasses and glasses of sugar, through alcohol. alcohol breaks down into sugar, and afterward, the blood glucose levels fall. This is why people in recovery will find themselves craving sugary snacks as well as alcohol. Eating complex carbohydrates, like potatoes, will delivery glucose slowly to the system, then eating refined carbohydrates that spike your sugar, then leave you feeling depleted and craving more.
Lasting recovery can only be achieved if the former addict can control the way they respond to stress and anxiety. Seafood, which is packed with Omega 3 oils, is effective in stabilizing mood, and easing anxiety, making you feel mentally resilient and stable. If eating fish is not your thing, there are Omega 3 supplements available.
The best detoxifier for your body is water. Water flushes out toxins and helps the organs function more effectively. Make sure you’re drinking a liter or two of water every day, along with your new healthy eating. Add a twist of lemon, or a sprig of mint if you don’t like plain water. Or you can infuse your water with fruits if you have a hard time drinking just H2O.
There are many natural ways of getting back on the healthy track, once you are in recovery. Starting with eating fresh, non-processed foods, and plenty of hydrating fluids will go a long way toward your recovery effort.
A Step in the Right Direction provides education and support for the journey of healing around addiction. Our goal is to provide space to teach you how to navigate recovery, stay healthy, and maintain this lifestyle going forward into recovery. For more information on sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.