As with anyone proper nutrition is important for a healthy life. However, if you suffer from addiction, nutrition is even more vital. It is one of the essential links to a successful and long-term recovery. During periods of addiction, many people develop poor nutritional habits and, in some cases, more severe health problems like eating disorders, health ailments etc. In order to achieve long-term recovery, you should understand the relationship between nutrition and substance abuse.
Basically, substance abuse has a major impact on long term health and nutrition. Many people may know the harsher effects of drugs and alcohol on the body, such as liver disease from alcoholism or visual dental etc. However, substance abuse extends well beyond this and can create a variety of impairments in physiological functions of the body, including the ability to absorb essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. All the things a person needs to function and maintain their immune system etc.
Some of the most common effects of substance abuse include:
Stages of Nutrition and Substance Abuse Recovery
It’s important to bear in mind, that everyone is unique so these are the basics. Having the right dietary tools for your healing process is key for a long term recovery.
During the detox phase
This can be one of the most physically demanding stages of recovery. Physical side effects of detoxification can include vomiting, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. For this reason, it’s crucial to have a balanced nutritional strategy to boost energy and improve overall mood and health during the detox process as much as possible.
Post-Detox: Long Term Nutrition and Recovery
Once you finish detoxing whether in or out of a treatment program (preferably in a treatment program to maintain safety), you should learn some long-term recovery strategies. In the months after detox, you’ll work through the stages of your program by attending counseling sessions, learning new behaviors, and identifying triggers. A healthy diet can only help you sustain this process and avoid relapse.
Some essential dietary and nutritional guidelines for addiction recovery include:
Creating a Substance Abuse Recovery Nutritional Plan
Hopefully, you have had access to a nutritionist or dietitian either in 1:1 setting and/or in a group educational setting. During 1:1 sessions, they would be more beneficial because it will allow for more focused evaluation on your nutritional needs where a group educational session would be more general based information. However, if you have not been able to receive access to a nutritionist or dietitian then finding one that specializes in addictions would be beneficial for you in the long run.
They’ll help you recognize nutritional deficiencies and create plans to meet your dietary needs. The goal is to provide a healthy and well-balanced combination of vegetables, complex carbs, healthy fats, and other important nutrients. Much like other parts of your recovery process, you need to be honest with your nutritionist or dietitian. Tell them where you are struggling so they can help you find the right strategies for improvement.
They should also work be able to help you with creating an exercise program which could include yoga, pilates, and meditation as some options. This combination of diet and exercise can boost your mood and your self-esteem, repair organ damage, and help minimize your urges to return to alcohol or drugs.
Long-term recovery is a holistic whole person process that includes mental, spiritual, and emotional healing. In order to support your growth and development remember the program's steps and--
About 1 in 5 (19%) children in the United States is obese per the CDC... I know this can be a subject that is "touchy" but as parents and fellow community members we need to be aware and informed even on the "touchy" subjects...
Please note there is no simple solution, there are many ways we can support our children with their journey to good health.... And I still believe a person is more than a number (weight)... and at the same time children need to learn healthy habits from us more than ever. Children are the future which we want them to have the best possible future... hence posting this since it's part of September's awareness month and it is important...
Possible Health Issues-
Other possible resources-
Basically, this fad was created for weight loss which it doesn't help with nor does it help prevent disease -it actually led to a plethora of new, processed, low-fat foods, which tasted worse w/out the fat, so manufacturers added sugar & other additives to make them more appealing.
As the image shows there's no fat but high in sugar which turns into fat. Basically the extra sugars or carbs have to be stored somehow and normally that storage is inside the fat cells and those can accumulate also inside the liver, and cause what we call non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Foods that are naturally low-fat — like fruits and vegetables — are great! Furthermore, we need to consume healthy fats daily such as avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, chia seeds, dark chocolate etc., for a balance diet...
What is Protein?
Protein is the building blocks for our bodies. This is the raw material that makes up our cells and organs. A quarter of our body is made up of protein. See protein is pertinent for development and growth along with increasing muscle strength, repairing tissues, making hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and antibodies to help fight diseases.
Proteins are molecules that consist of amino acids. These amino acids are required for absorption by the body when proteins are digested. There are 25 known amino acids but only 8 are essential and must be obtained by food. FYI- if one of these amino acids is lacking or missing in ones diet then the effectiveness of the other seven amino acids will be reduced.
What is your body's protein requirements?
There are health guidelines and formulas for this. The best way to break this down is to advise 15-20 percent of person's calorie intake should be protein or about 1/4 oz of protein for every 20 lbs of your body weight unless there is an ailment or health issue that requires a different recommendation such as kidney failure, COPD, PCOS, Cancer, Heart disease etc. So this is based on someone that is healthy with no known health concerns or issues.
Also remember that the quality of protein will affect how much should be consumed too. Balance of protein is important because excess is turned into glucose which is energy but it then turns into fat. Other issues if protein intake isn't balanced is kidney problems, loss of minerals from bones and high blood pressure.
What do you mean by quality of protein?
The quality of protein in one's diet is as important as the quantity. Knowing the difference can help balance one's essential amino acids. Proteins found in animal derived foods such as meats, poultry, seafood, eggs and cheese can provide a balance of the necessary amino acids. Again caution is required because to much can contribute to high calories then excess fat. The other proteins not mentioned yet are proteins from plants such as seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, and grains. The plant proteins have many vitamins and minerals but can lack in certain necessary amino acids. Plant proteins are needed and in a lot of ways much better for us overall.
As you can see balancing protein intake from both animal derived foods and plant based foods will help keep those 8 amino acids in balance among various other necessary nutrients our bodies need.
Examples of animal proteins-
Following will provide 1 oz of protein-
3 1/2 oz of skinless chicken breast
1 3/4 oz cod
4 strips of lean bacon
4 oz cheddar cheese
2 cups of milk
Healthier choices would include lower fat options such as fish and cottage cheese etc., plus organic meats are preferable as they are free of inject-able hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. Again a varied diet of dairy and vegetables is preferable because of the saturated fats one will get when consuming animal derived meats.
**Side note- American Heart association recommends no more than 8-9 serves per week which they advise 3 oz is a serving size and USDA advises that a serving size for lean meats is 5.5 oz-- all based on lean or extra lean and skinless options. There are some sources that say only 3 times serve sizes per week of animal derived protein should be consumed. Now this does not include plant based proteins. So as you can see there are numerous recommendations but there are a lot of variables to a person's recommended animal derived protein
Examples of plant proteins-
Following will provide 1 oz of protein-
20 oz brown rice
13 1/2 oz tofu
3 1/2 oz pumpkin seeds
4 large potatoes
30 oz broccoli
Many of the plant based proteins are incomplete but they are lower in fat and high in beneficial complex carbohydrates which makes them a healthier options in a lot of other ways. Even through many of them are incomplete proteins, a combination of plant proteins can make them more complete. SO if you are a vegetarian there's no need to worry as long as you are combining foods and vary your foods daily it should provide an adequate and balanced intake of proteins.
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