Recovery is right in front of you. Roughly 27.5 million adults have had at least one substance use problem at some point in their lives. But 20.5 million adults are in recovery or have recovered from their addictions.
You can make a full break from addiction if you have a thorough addiction recovery plan. One part of your plan should be prioritizing nutrition in recovery. You need to adopt a balanced diet that gives your body the nutrients you need to come free from drugs.
What are the best vegetables and fruits you can eat? What should you eat when you want protein? Are there any good sources of carbohydrates?
Answer these questions and you can master nutrition for recovering addicts in no time. Here is your quick guide.
Ask your doctor about superfoods, and they’ll probably bring up leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables contain numerous vitamins and minerals, which can restore liver and brain function. They also contain fiber, which will help bring your digestive system up to normal.
Kale and microgreens contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, and K. You can put them in a salad, or you can roast them with seasoning and olive oil.
Collard greens have the same nutrients as kale, but they can taste bitter. Try boiling the greens with lemon and red pepper flakes to offset the taste. You can also make a classic Southern collard greens recipe by combining your greens with vinegar and pieces of ham.
Spinach is more versatile than collard greens. You can saute spinach and eat it on its own, or you can put it in a soup or salad. When you’re looking to eat fruits, you can make a smoothie and throw a few spinach leaves into it.
Nearly all fruits are good during recovery from addiction. But berries are your best choice because they contain high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent damage to cells and allow your cells to replenish themselves after damage from drugs.
You can select any berry you want. Blueberries are light and sweet, and they have high concentrations of vitamin K and manganese. If you want tart fruit, you can eat cranberries and raspberries.
Try to avoid eating jams, as they may contain high amounts of sugar. If you want to do something different with your berries, make a parfait with them. Put them on top of yogurt and mix them with honey and your favorite nuts.
Fish is your best option when you are looking to eat animal foods. Seafood has omega-3 fatty acids, which form membranes around the cells in your body.
Try to buy cold-water fatty fish, as they have higher amounts of omega-3 acids than other types of seafood. Salmon, tuna, and sardines are available in most grocery stores.
You can eat shellfish, though some shellfish are high in cholesterol and can be acquired tastes. You can try oysters, mussels, and shrimp at most seafood restaurants. Feel free to experiment with dishes from other countries like ceviche and sashimi.
Do not fry your seafood. Deep-fried seafood dishes are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can offset the effects of omega-3 fatty acids.
You can eat fish raw if they are fresh and butchered properly. If you have older or frozen fish, you can saute or bake your food in the oven.
Nuts and Seeds
If you need more protein in your addiction recovery diet, you should buy nuts and seeds. They contain the same levels of protein as red meat without unhealthy fats. Nuts have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can improve heart health and fight off inflammation.
Get creative with the nuts you eat. You can try peanuts, walnuts, and almonds alongside less popular nuts like pecans. You can sprinkle nuts on top of salads or combine them with dried fruits to make a trail mix.
You can eat nut butter instead of whole nuts, though you should not eat butter sweetened with sugar. You can offset the nutty flavor of the butter by dipping fruits or vegetables like celery into it.
If you’re allergic to tree nuts, you may be able to eat seeds. They have similar nutritional profiles to nuts, and they can offer savory flavors not found in nuts. You can buy pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds and eat them alone or as a topping on salads.
Whole grains should be your main source of carbohydrates as you start your sobriety journey. The carbohydrates they contain burn slowly, so your body can use them as fuel over a few hours. They do not spike the blood sugar as much as refined grains like white rice does.
When people think about whole grains, they often think of whole wheat bread. Whenever you are making a sandwich, you should use it.
But you should also try brown rice, oats, and quinoa out. They can be hard to eat raw, so you can boil or roast them. You can turn oats into oatmeal and combine them with fresh fruit and nuts for a nutritious breakfast.
The Perfect Addiction Recovery Diet
Addiction recovery requires more than not taking drugs. You should build a good diet based around leafy greens, namely kale. When you want to eat fruit, you should have some berries that are rich in antioxidants.
You can eat seafood once a day, as long as you don’t fry your fish. If you need more protein, you can snack on nuts and seeds. When you want a side dish, you can have brown rice or quinoa.
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