Eating well makes you feel strong. So if you’re about to embark on a life-changing journey to recovery from substance use disorder, strength feels good. That’s why nutrition is such an important aspect of any recovery program. When your body and mind function how they were intended, recovery becomes that much easier. Thus, learning how nutrition can help recovery is valuable.
How Nutrition Can Help Recovery
Scientists are discovering strong correlations between how we eat and how we feel. It’s generally accepted that much of today’s convenience foods are unhealthy. They’re filled with sugar and salt to make them taste addictive. Even non-organic produce may also hide harmful toxins such as pesticides and herbicides. Consequently, to feel truly healthy, we have to eat foods that fuel our bodies and help balance our gut microbiota.
In humans, the gut microbiota is the culmination of all bacteria, fungi, viruses, and more that live within this area of our bodies. Accordingly, to feel healthy and be disease-free, we must balance this microbiome. But how? By eating well. This is how nutrition can help recovery.
Balancing our Gut Microbiota
Since there are roughly 1,000 different species of bacteria that live in our guts, for us to feel well, they must all be balanced. So to do this, we must feed existing bacteria the foods they need to grow and prosper while introducing new foods to our systems that bring more living microbes. More concisely, we must eat pre- and pro-biotics. This is also how nutrition can help recovery.
Prebiotic foods essentially fertilize our good gut bacteria. Consequently, many foods are natural prebiotics, including:
It’s easy to mix foods such as these into our daily lives as seasonings and spices on healthy dishes. Additionally, others can be conveniently juiced, baked, or eaten raw as light and delicious snacks.
Probiotic foods are the ones that add live organisms to your microbiome. In effect, these are the healthy organisms your gut needs to achieve balance. Probiotic foods include:
- Raw goat cheese
Probiotics are mostly fermented foods. Even apple cider vinegar and lemon juice have probiotic properties that can help balance your gut microbiota, yet more information is needed on how nutrition can help recovery.
Nutrition and Recovery From Substance Use Disorder
Eating well helps flush toxins from our bodies. Additionally, it can help lessen the effects of anxiety and depression. Better — eating well helps us sleep better at night. These are all benefits that aid in recovery from substance use disorder. But indulging in a healthy diet has other advantages, too. These include:
- Sharpening our focus and cognitive function
- Giving us energy and helping us feel more alert
- Improving our memory skills
- Helping us avoid the onset of chronic diseases
- Lowering blood pressure
- Slowing cognitive decline with age
When we’re trying to recover from substance use disorder, we need every advantage we can get. If we’re able to think, have plenty of energy, and can maintain good focus, we can achieve lofty goals. Regardless, there is still much we need to learn about how nutrition can help recovery.
Emphasis on Nutrition at Integrative Life Center
Integrative Life Center is a drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment center in Nashville, TN. Located on a quiet, picturesque campus, we’re a cozy place to recover away from the hustle and bustle of a hectic life.
Our dedication to our clients in recovery extends to our kitchen, where we serve healthy, farm-fresh meals daily. Because we understand how nutrition can help recovery, we make sure the foods we serve are beneficial and packed full of prebiotics and probiotics.
When you’re ready to begin your path to recovery, call on Integrative Life Center in Tennessee at 615.455.3903. We’ll help you find healing through evidence-based practices that include eating a healthy, balanced diet.