Eating healthy is not always easy. Between picking out the right foods in the grocery store to the time it takes to cook a meal, fast food and frozen dinners seem like the faster options. This is especially true for someone struggling with addiction where eating healthy doesn’t oftentimes register as a priority.
But the foods you eat play a role in the recovery from addiction. While having the right diet won’t fix everything, it can help you reach a higher level of wellness during this important transition in your life.
How to Eat Healthy in Addiction Recovery
Start with Some Leafy Greens
At first glance, this might feel like a very cliché option. After all, you’ve probably been told to eat your vegetables all throughout your life. But there’s a reason leafy greens are on the list. Leafy greens are naturally high in antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent and delay cell damage in the body, which is beneficial when you’re in recovery. They’re also rich in vitamins and minerals, which can help your body strengthen your immune system.
Kale, arugula, mustard greens, spinach and swiss chard are all examples of leafy greens to get you started. The good news is that leafy greens are easy to incorporate into your diet. All you need to do is mix some into a salad or smoothie for a quick and easy nutrition boost.
Foods That Have the Amino Acid Tyrosine
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is linked to dopamine. The “feel good” chemical dopamine is usually produced at lower levels early on in recovery. Having low levels of dopamine can cause:
• Low motivation
• Feeling tired more often
• Drug and alcohol cravings
Eating food rich in tyrosine is a natural way for you to boost your dopamine levels. Some common foods that are rich in tyrosine include bananas, soybeans, lean beef, pork, whole grains, cheese and sunflower seeds.
Fish are Your Friends
When you’re in addiction treatment and recovery, managing stress is a key skill. Since stress and anxiety can increase your risk of relapse, any extra help for dealing with those feelings is a plus. Seafood can help you relax and cope with any anxiety or stress you might be feeling.
Fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are high in fatty acids known as Omega 3 oils. These oils can help your body manage and balance your mood, improving your anxiety. If you’re looking to capitalize on this benefit, try to eat two servings of fish each week.
Leverage Whey Protein
Protein is an important source of nutrients for your body and mind. In fact, you should try to incorporate protein into all three meals you eat in a day. For example, you can mix some Whey protein powder into your oatmeal or morning smoothie. You can also drink a protein shake in the afternoon or with dinner to supplement your peanut butter sandwich or chicken breast.
Find a Balanced, Recovery-Focused Diet at Fountain Hills Recovery
There’s no question that having the right diet can help throughout addiction treatment and recovery. But it’s only one piece of the puzzle. At Fountain Hills Recovery, we can help you reach lasting recovery with a personalized approach to treatment that includes nutritious and energizing meals.
As one of the premier addiction treatment centers in Arizona, our team can help you break free from addiction. We believe that it shouldn’t be a challenge for you to find addiction treatment that feels right for you. If you’re ready to start your journey towards lasting recovery, we’re here to walk with you. Contact our admissions team today.