Most of us know or have heard, “you are what you eat”. Over the years this common-sense logic has gone by the wayside with the ease of fast food, dining out, and the need for quick solutions when your stomach grumbles with hunger.
It is always important to feed our bodies with nurturing foods that aid in our health and wellbeing. Nutrition becomes even more important in recovery, repairing the body from the inside out. Even short-term substance use takes a toll on the body which is forced to work overtime to eliminate toxic substances, defending itself against the damage they do.
People who abuse substances typically do not focus on nutrition and even if they do, substance use prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. The body’s inability to get nutrients necessary for optimum health may result in some or all of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite: Substances either suppress appetite or cause the user to forget about eating altogether.
- Poor eating choices: Substance use promotes poor decisions in all things including food choices of fast food or sweets.
- Organ damage: Substance use causes direct damage to the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder which are the organs responsible for nutrient breakdown and processing.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Substance use contributes to chronic issues in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that prevents effective absorption of nutrients in food.
What are the essential nutrients and how do they affect the body? Understanding the relationship between nutrition and substance use means understanding the roles nutrients play in the body. There are six essential nutrient groups that the human body needs to stay healthy.
- Vitamin consumption and absorption are essential to for the immune system, bones, skin, and hair, metabolization of protein and carbohydrates, and aides in the function of the brain and nervous system.
- Minerals are important because they allow for appropriate hydration levels. Optimizing trace minerals contributes to a healthy immune system and blood pressure, proper blood clotting, and oxygen levels.
- Proteins, found in every cell of the body, are often referred to as the building blocks of the body and associated with muscle building. Proteins are composed of a variety of amino acids, some absorbed solely from food and needed for optimal function.
- Fat is essential for hormone production, blood clotting, muscle function, blood sugar regulation, brain function, and vitamin and mineral absorption.
- Carbohydrates are essential for the function of the central nervous system and brain.
- Water is essential for nearly every bodily function, including brain function, flushing toxins, and transferring nutrients between cells. Dehydration quickly becomes a matter of life or death.
An internationally recognized residential treatment center, Healing Springs Ranch knows that nutrition education for its clients is an imperative role in their path to recovery. Through a partnership with Top Nosh, a wellness-focused food service provider, they have access to a large network of dieticians, training resources, and added support.
Top Nosh’s curriculum emphasizes the importance of nutrition and exercise as valuable tools for recovery, supporting digestive health, balanced hormones, healthy brain function, and insulin regulation, all key factors in your well-being.
The nutritional program at Healing Springs Ranch gives clients ownership in their own health through cooking instruction and nutritional awareness classes. Clients learn how to recognize healthy foods and prepare them at home to eliminate the physical and mental stressors of a poor diet so that they can live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Healing Springs Ranch works together with you to balance your physical and mental states because we understand how important it is for your whole person to be well, not just your addiction. There’s a new person within you, waiting to get out of the prison of addiction. Call 866-656-8384 to learn more about recovering from addiction today.