As you undergo the journey to recovery, you’ll find that the choices you make in your eating habits play a strong role in the way you feel about yourself day to day. The foods you put into your body can improve mood, change fat to muscle ratio, and provide you with extra energy. All these things are crucial to succeeding in your daily effort to remain clean.
At Recovery Coaching Alliance, we work closely with those in recovery from beginning to end, offering addiction help online. It’s important to us that you feel supported throughout each step of the recovery process, and that includes healthy eating. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 super foods to help you feel better about your eating habits.
- Kale: Long hailed as a super food, kale is loaded with calcium, phytochemicals, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A is especially helpful for those who are working to overcome addiction and recover from the physical effects of it. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report, “Many alcoholics are malnourished, either because they ingest too little of essential nutrients (e.g., carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins) or because alcohol and its metabolism prevent the body from properly absorbing, digesting, and using those nutrients. As a result, alcoholics frequently experience deficiencies in proteins and vitamins, particularly vitamin A, which may contribute to liver disease and other serious alcohol–related disorders.”
You can include more kale in your diet by adding it to your morning smoothie, tossing it into a salad, or even topping your pizza with it. Kale goes great with a lot of seasonings and flavor profiles, making it an easy addition to any meal of the day.
- Pomegranates: The forbidden fruit from Greek mythology packs a punch in the antioxidant department. Each pomegranate is loaded with approximate 7g of fiber, 3g of protein, and a myriad of beneficial vitamins such as K, C, and B.
Foods rich in antioxidants are essential for rebuilding your immune system after the destructive qualities of addictive substances have taken their toll.
- Bananas: Not only are bananas loaded with potassium, which relieve high blood pressure, stress, and improve muscle development, they’re also high in tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid which the body needs to create protein cells. U.S. News reports, “Tyrosine is the precursor to the “feel good” neurotransmitter dopamine, which typically occurs at abnormally low levels in early recovery and is associated with low energy and motivation, apathy, a depressed mood and intense substance cravings. One way to naturally boost dopamine levels is to eat tyrosine-rich foods that will convert to dopamine during the digestion process.
- Oatmeal: It might sound boring, but for those in recovery many nutritionists recommend foods which are easy on the tummy. This is because alcohol and many drugs wreak havoc on your digestive system. Opiates in particular are known to disrupt digestion and cause gastrointestinal distress.
Oatmeal is plain yet full of much needed fibre, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It will help get you regular and provide you with the energy you need to make it through the morning.
- Apples: The humble apple is a sweet fruit, which can be helpful to those overcoming alcohol addiction. One of the foods nutritionists and doctors suggest you avoid in recovery is sugar. Cakes, cookies, and chocolate bars sound good in the moment, but when the sugar wears off and you crash, it could leave you feeling down.
Apples are high in natural sugars, which your body digests differently than the simple sugars in our favorite sweets. They also provide vitamin C and potassium, both of which are helpful to boosting your immune system and spirits.
- Shellfish: If you like shellfish, now is the time to load up. Oysters, especially, are high in natural levels of zinc, which your body desperately needs during recovery. For those who have battled alcoholism, zinc levels might be extraordinarily low. This is because alcohol lessens the amount of zinc your body absorbs during digestion, flushing it out with urine, instead. According to Healthline, “Zinc deficiency can show up as a reduced sense of taste and smell, crusty skin sores on the face, and poor night vision. Zinc deficiency also has been linked to depression, irritability, confusion, and apathy, which are often challenges for people with an alcohol addiction.”
- Pork: It sounds a bit counterintuitive to eat pork as a healthy option, but a single lean pork chop has almost 70% of the recommended daily dose of thiamine your body needs. Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, is often suggested to those in recovery because it protects the brain, heart, intestines, and other essential organs.
Thiamine is especially important to strengthen your nervous system, which is often damaged or strained following addiction.
- Fish: Salmon and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for recovering bodies. Brain food, fish is known to have a calming effect, and provide plenty of energy and strength. Fatty fish are also high in vitamin D, which your body needs to maintain bone health. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases writes, “Alcohol negatively affects bone health for several reasons. To begin with, excessive alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium, an essential nutrient for healthy bones. Calcium balance may be further disrupted by alcohol’s ability to interfere with the production of vitamin D, a vitamin essential for calcium absorption.”
- Milk: Another helpful bone-strengthener you should invest in during recovery is calcium. Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy-rich foods are great for helping increase calcium levels and prevent bone-related conditions. Any online drug counseling specialist will tell you that you should receive a minimum of 1,000mg of calcium a day. That’s equivalent to 3 cups of milk.
- Acai Berries: Through online counseling, you will learn about several ways to redirect your energy from addiction to new hobbies and new foods. One food you may have heard of but not tried is the acai berry. High in natural antioxidants, this feel good berry will provide plenty of energy for the day ahead, and support immune system functionality.
For more nutrition advice you can gain insight from online substance abuse counseling services. At Recovery Coaching Alliance, you can work one on one with your recovery coach to determine the best eating plan for you and your recovery.
Call today to learn more about online drug and alcohol counseling and how it can help you.