It’s likely not too surprising that years of substance use can take a nutritional toll on the body. That’s because both alcohol and drugs can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which threaten physical and mental health, damage vital organs and the nervous system, and compromise the immune system.
For instance, research shows that alcoholics can consume as much as 50 percent of their daily calorie allowance from alcohol itself. Other drugs, like stimulants, are known to suppress appetite. And opiates wreak havoc on the digestive tract, causing severe vomiting and diarrhea (and vitamin depletion) during withdrawal.
Harmful lifestyle choices associated with addiction can also play a role. Most often, the need for the addictive substance is prioritized over the need for a well-rounded, healthful meal. And poor eating patterns combined with lack of exercise can increase the risk of such long-term health problems as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, weight problems, and eating disorders.
Top 10 Benefits of Nutrition Therapy
It makes sense that more addiction treatment centers are adding nutritional therapy as part of their recovery programs. Nutritional therapy approaches food and eating holistically. You’ll learn how to change your diet to cut back on salty, fatty, and sugary fare — and to focus on foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to:
- Rid itself of toxins
- Strengthen the immune system
- Build and repair organ tissue
- Enhance your mood
- Improve your sleep
- Increase energy
- Manage stress
- Regulate blood sugar
- Curb emotional eating
- Boost self-esteem
Good Nutrition at Red Oak Recovery
We value the importance a healthy relationship with food has on a lasting and fulfilling recovery. Our intention is to educate and encourage our young women to make inspired choices in the food they prepare and eat. For more information, call 828.382.9699.