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You don’t have to be an experienced mechanic to know a few key details about cars. If you make the decision to never replace the oil in your car or use olive oil in the engine as opposed to motor oil, you’re going to have a major issue on your hands.

Or, if you just randomly decide to fill your gas tank with diesel fuel one day to see how the car reacts, you’d quickly find out that putting in the wrong type of fuel does more than just stop your car from running. On top of that, it can destroy the complexities of your car and force you to spend a lot of money to fix the issue.

Now imagine that your body is a car, and the food you put into your body acts as the fuel to keep you running. Food like vegetables and fruits are healthy for your body, whereas fast food can do long-term damage over time. And drugs and alcohol are even worse.

The bodies and minds of individuals recovering from a substance addiction are working overtime to recalibrate their internal systems and correct the damage that addiction has had on their entire physical being.

That is why focusing on your nutritional needs throughout the recovery process is a key component to achieving long-term success and sustained sobriety.

At Covenant Hills, the idea of healthy eating and focused nutrition is embedded in your individualized treatment plan, establishing improved personal eating habits and guiding you to a healthier and happier you.

The Importance of Nutrition for Recovering Addicts

Nutrition truly helps the healing process by enabling your body to physically recover from the abusive toll that your addiction has had on every aspect of your being.

A substance use disorder can negatively impact everything from the manner in which your organs function to the amount of sleep you get to your skin complexion, so taking the necessary steps to correct these physical health issues while in treatment is essential.

The fact of the matter is proper nutrition will help you feel better for a number of reasons,

  • Nutrients give the body energy
  • Nutrients help build and repair organ tissue
  • Nutrients strengthen the immune system
  • Nutrients help stabilize the internal body clock

Your addiction has most likely damaged vital organs and inner workings throughout your body. A solid nutritional plan will provide you with the nutritional building blocks needed to begin restoring the damaged tissue and impaired functionality associated with addiction.

Understanding these facts and embracing a healthier nutritional plan establishes the type of foundation necessary to maintain your sobriety and avoid relapsing due to unnecessary physical ailments and discomforts.

Addiction Recovery and Nutrition: How Substance Abuse Affects the Body

Substance abuse and addiction can have tremendously negative impacts on every facet of your body. This is due to the manner in which various substances erode healthy body functionality through overstimulation, decreasing natural defenses and increasing chemical production to unhealthy levels.

The following examples provide a glimpse into the negative ramifications associated with your addiction and how your body pays the price for your destructive choices:


Vitamins are essential to maintaining growth and normal metabolism because they regulate many physiological processes. Chronic heavy drinking and drug use is associated with deficiencies in many vitamins because of decreased food ingestion and, in some cases, impaired absorption, metabolism and utilization.

For example, alcohol inhibits fat absorption and thereby impairs absorption of the vitamins A, E and D that are normally absorbed along with dietary fats. Vitamin A deficiency can be associated with night blindness, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with softening of the


Deficiencies of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are common within people struggling with addiction. Mineral deficiencies can cause a variety of medical consequences from calcium-related bone disease to zinc-related vision complications and skin lesions.

These deficiencies can result in a number of concerning physical issues, including:

  • Decreased calcium absorption due to fat malabsorption
  • Magnesium deficiency due to increased urinary excretion, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Iron deficiency related to gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Zinc malabsorption or losses related to other nutrient deficiencies

A substance use disorder can distract you from the important things in your life, like daily nutrition and positive self-maintenance. It can create a scenario in which the only thing on your mind is your next fix, and staying hydrated or properly fed doesn’t cross your mind.

In addition to the vitamin and mineral deficiencies associated with substance addiction, extreme physical deterioration is common among people struggling with addiction.

This reinforces the importance of a structured nutritional component to your individual treatment plan and highlights the necessity to embrace the changes associated with this treatment component.

Nutrition in Addiction Recovery at Covenant Hills

Change is an integral element throughout the recovery journey. This includes changing your substance use habits, as well as your nutritional routines.

At Covenant Hills, the importance of a comprehensive nutritional plan is not simply something we encourage, but it is something we establish and champion.

It serves as a foundation on which your body can begin to rebuild itself after the addiction and works to improve your physical body and emotional wellbeing.

Embracing this change will not only make you feel physically enriched, but it will also drive you toward a healthier future full of hope and optimism.

Learn more about our whole person approach to Christian-based treatment recovery, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.