Importance of Healthy Eating for Recovery

Importance of Healthy Eating for RecoveryHigh-octane fuels can clean the junk out of your car’s engine and help make your car run better. Likewise, a healthy diet can help to reverse some of the effects of drugs and alcohol. Maintaining a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients improves your chances of achieving a successful, long-term recovery from substance abuse.  Alcoholism and addiction takes a toll on physical health in general. For young adults and adolescents in critical developmental stages, malnourishment and a weakened immune system can be detrimental.

Healthy Eating for Recovery

Heavy use of drugs and alcohol significantly impairs the digestive system. Ingesting more than half of a daily caloric intake via drugs or alcohol is hard on the body. Those calories are primarily derived from sugars and other carbohydrates. Nutritional shortfalls are further eroded through vomiting from excess alcohol intake or suppressed appetites that are the result of ingesting certain types of drugs. Substance abuse can contribute to imbalanced cycles of binging and purging, however unintentional. As a result, young people suffering from addiction lose their ability to take in necessary calories, vitamins and nutrients as well as create meals for themselves.

Sustain Recovery Services brings in house nutritional guidance to meet the needs of each client. Individualized meal plans, shopping lists, and grocery budget management are create with the client. Developing a healthy relationship with food in adolescence will create patterns for a healthy future. Food is not only a necessity for survival, but can be a great aid in the recovery process.

For example, amino acids found in foods like avocados, sprouted grains, and eggs are incredibly helpful for mental health. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like Salmon help the brain naturally restore itself. Certain types of amino acids increase neurotransmitter production that is otherwise depleted in the brain.

Chocolate, increases the brain’s production of the serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. An individual who suffers from one of these disorders is more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. A diet that is rich in serotonin-producing foods will help manage symptoms of depression and anxiety while reducing vulnerability to relapses. Working with a dietitian and nutritionist while support in finding how to balance different food types throughout the day. Though, even The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that chocolate should always be present for an alcoholic in recovery!


Sustain Recovery Services enlists the help of professional nutritionists and dietitians to support young adults and adolescents in recovery formulate healthy eating habits. Our after care program offers extended care services to help young people build a solid foundation to build their new life of recovery upon. For more information about how we can help you or a struggling young person in your life, please call 949-407-9052