Diet and Nutrition
The right diet and proper intake of nutritional foods is vital to maintaining a healthy body, and mind. What we put into our bodies fuels not only our physical well-being but our emotional and mental health state as well. For individuals either battling substance dependency or for people recovering from addiction and substance abuse, taking care of the body and understanding the mind-body connection is a key part of a life-long recovery process.
Substance dependency and addictions can leach the body of vital minerals and vitamins it needs to stay strong and healthy. Making good nutritional choices during the recovery process is part of learning how to properly care for oneself as well as heal the body from the damage caused by substance use.
Diet- Where to Begin
On the road to recovery, adopting a healthy diet can have many health benefits including:
- Improving mood and decreasing depression
- Increasing energy
- Improving memory
- Building a strong immune system to reduce the risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes
According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy diet should include:
- A variety of foods from the major food groups: fruits; vegetables; whole grains; low-fat dairy products and lean protein, including beans, nuts and seeds; and healthy fats.
- Eating the recommended daily allowance of calories.
- Limiting foods that are high in salt, saturated fats and added sugars.
- Incorporate exercise to avoid being sedentary.
- Follow the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.
- Nutritional supplements (vitamins) to complement a healthy diet (not replace it).
- SAMHSA Wellness Initiative - https://www.samhsa.gov/wellness-initiative
- Choose My Plate - https://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables-nutrients-health
- Healthy Eating - https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/tc/healthy-eating-overview#1