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Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the foundational pieces to reaching lifelong abstinence in drug addiction rehabilitation. With the proper diet, you are able to nourish the mind and body with healthy nutrients rather than with the drug. A proper diet not only prevents common health problems such as obesity, but it can also reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms. Anxiety and depression are two main psychological disorders that are often co-diagnosed with substance abuse. Finding ways to replace negative thoughts and emotions with healthy nutrients can ultimately make a profound impact on your drug addiction recovery journey.

Your body is the only vessel you have in life. You must take care of it and nourish it with healthy nutrients to live a long and happy life. When you become educated on the benefits of nutrition in drug addiction rehab it will give you the energy boost and motivation you need to make this essential lifestyle change.

Nutrition’s role in the body

Dieticians will work with you to make a nutrition plan after you have completed the comprehensive medical and psychological assessment. These assessments will determine your proper diagnosis and will influence your individualized treatment plan.

Because drugs act upon the pleasure-seeking part of the brain and work to inhibit pain, incorporating the proper foods in your diet can release vital neurotransmitters in the brain that make you feel happier during drug rehab.

A healthy diet, such as the mediterranean diet, that focuses on healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber helps to lower the risk of depression.[1] Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil are key sources of food that maintain satiety and offer beneficial omega-3 sources, such as in walnuts and salmon. Complex carbohydrates and fiber include a wide range of vegetables and fruits that provide important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Protein sources can come from beans, nuts, eggs, salmon, and other healthy seafood sources, as well as moderate lean meats and dairy. Protein can help to build and maintain muscle and keep you feeling fuller longer.

Your health was damaged by the prolonged use of drugs but during drug rehab, you will learn that by following your nutrition plan, you will also be preventing other health concerns. By implementing a healthy diet, you can reduce your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.[2] By eating healthy, you are not only saving your mind and body from your drug use, but you are also preventing a multitude of psychological and physical health problems.

Education is key

The first step in the nutrition plan component during drug rehab is to become informed about how food can fuel the mind, body, and soul and how it can ultimately reduce cravings for the drug. Not only does food replace bad toxins and unhealthy sources of pleasure, it helps in the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for maintaining healthy sleep, regulating appetite, enhancing mood, and inhibiting pain. 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. When you eat unprocessed foods, they act as natural probiotics, or good bacteria, that help to coat the GI tract and absorb more nutrients.[3]

When you begin to eat healthier, your mood will be lifted and you will feel good. This natural euphoric feeling from healthy nutrients will motivate you to continue to be healthy in all other parts of your life. During drug rehab, you can also begin to restore your physical health. You can participate in a wide range of exercise programs that include running, walking, tai chi, yoga, crossfit, strength training, cycling, group fitness classes, hiking in nature, and high intensity workouts. When your mind and body become mentally and physically healthier, you will become a happier individual which will encourage you to avoid a relapse.

A balanced diet leads to a happier and healthier life

By transforming your diet, you will look and feel better in your own skin. Following a balanced diet energizes you and makes you feel calmer and happier in everyday life. By prepping meals and trying new and healthy recipes, you will also find a renewed sense of joy and creativity in the prepping and cooking processes.

Food brings people together and cooking and preparing healthy meals can be a phenomenal gateway to re-strengthening the relationships that were strained during drug addiction. Cooking can be extremely meditative and can be used as a coping mechanism when stressed or anxious about a difficult moment in life. By channeling your energy towards cooking healthy foods, you can begin to rebuild your life with your family and friends who have supported you every step of the way. Cooking can act as a healthy new hobby and productive outlet in your everyday life and can be used as a tool to bring people together and to replace destructive actions.

A comprehensive treatment approach

Covenant Hills emphasizes a whole-person approach to helping you nourish your mind, body, and soul with a healthy diet and exercise plan. You will work with a medical staff, therapists, and counselors to create a meal plan and to learn how to buy and cook nutritious meals to replenish your body and maintain a nutritional balance.

Therapists make individualized treatment plans that incorporate using exercise and cooking nutritious meals as a coping strategy to encourage you to live a healthy lifestyle every day. Teaching you the skills needed to replenish your mind, body, and soul and to restore you into a healthy human being through the Word of God are the foundational components of the treatment recovery process.

To learn more about the treatment programs at Covenant Hills, please call  (800) 662-2873.