Is a Healthy Diet a Key to Sobriety?

Healthy Berries are Good Food for HealthPhoto credit:

Ask anyone who has been involved in overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs, and he or she will likely tell you how success requires an all-encompassing approach. Because of that reality, you may notice how many centers that specialize in helping people overcome addictive behaviors insist on learning new lifestyle habits that attend to the mind, body and spirit.

More often than not, this means altering diets so they are healthier and full of beneficial nutrients. Keep reading to discover how some foods could help you have an easier experience adjusting to a life that’s free of harmful substances.

A Two-Part Problem

Poor dietary habits are common among addicts. This often means they aren’t consuming the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals, which is certainly a serious issue, particularly if it continues over a long-term period. However, the National Institutes of Health also warns substance abuse can perpetuate poor eating habits, because formerly dependent people often forget what it feels like to be hungry and confuse that sensation with the urge to indulge in substances again.

Good Dietary Habits Begin During Withdrawal

When coping with the challenges of withdrawal, you may experience a wide range of physical symptoms such as severe body aches, nausea and chills. Not surprisingly, they could cause you to not feel like eating, but when those subside, a high-fiber diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates like beans and vegetables may be helpful in lessening severity of issues related to withdrawal.

Healthy Snacking

If you spend time in addiction treatment programs talking to others who are aiming for sobriety, it should soon be clear how many factors contribute to the resultant addictive tendencies. However, one common theme about the lure of destructive substances is that people often reach for them in an attempt to soothe inner turmoil or perhaps alleviate boredom.

A 2009 study of Swedish participants published in Psychological Medicine found there is a higher prevalence of disordered eating in people who are substance users. Taking the results of that study into account, it’s important to figure out ways to snack healthily, particularly if you’ve had problems with using food as a coping mechanism in the past.

During times of stress, people may be more likely to reach for foods that are tasty but unhealthy, such as cake, ice cream and potato chips. Keep your sober-living habits on track by striving to have meals on a regular schedule and trying your best to munch on things like fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese and crackers and yogurt instead.

Success in sobriety is tied to keeping a balance, and that extends to mindful eating. A proper diet isn’t the only thing that can play a role in helping you put aside substances for good, but it is an important factor.