Nutrition and Wellness

Wellness and Addiction

Recovery is like a puzzle with many different pieces. Of course, each of these pieces is important for one reason or another, and each piece works with other pieces to create the larger picture. At Coalition Recovery, we offer a wide variety of resources to help individuals overcome their struggles with alcoholism and drug abuse. One of the resources that we offer is a focus on nutrition and wellness, ensuring that our patients acquire the knowledge of food and diet so as to provide their bodies with the nutrients necessary for health.

What is ‘Nutrition’?

There are a few key things that every person needs to live. We need these things so that our bodies and minds can function optimally, making them necessary for our very survival. For instance, while a good night’s sleep can seem like a luxury, we actually require sleep for a number of physiological processes with healing being one of the most important; without adequate sleep, our bodies are much less capable of healing from the injuries we sustain in day-to-day life. Likewise, food is an extremely important part of our survival, but as many of us recall learning in grade school, it’s more than just eating any food that we come across. In fact, our bodies require very specific types of food to meet our needs. That’s where nutrition comes into focus.

According to the simplest definition, nutrition refers to the process of either obtaining or providing the foods that are necessary for growth and overall health; however, nutrition is also an academic study that deals with how to body processes food and what the various nutrients in foods do for our bodies. As well, the study of nutrition includes a focus on how the intake of food provides energy for the various physiological functions that take place throughout the human body. To a degree, it’s not inaccurate to think of food as one of the basic building blocks of biological life. But, as mentioned above, having optimal nutrition is more than just eating whatever food at your disposal.

The way it works is that the body requires very specific nutrients for optimal functioning, and each of those nutrients are available only in certain types of food; therefore, optimal nutrition is about achieving the right balance of foods that can provide all the nutrients that you need to be healthy. Due to the role that food plays in virtually all of the body’s systems and functions, nutrition is an increasingly important resource from a therapeutic perspective. In fact, many types of therapies for a wide variety of afflictions incorporate some level of focus on nutrition, including treatment for substance abuse and addiction.

Nutrition & Wellness

As suggested above, there’s a relationship between nutrition and wellness. For one thing, the various hormones that exist in our bodies are frequently regulated by the food that we eat; so when we need more or less of a hormone, this is often easily achieved by adjusting one’s diet. Moreover, many of the psychological symptoms and distress that we experience — including anxiety, depression, anger, and so on — can either be alleviated or partially mitigated through the strategic employment of nutrition. For this reason, balanced and well-rounded nutrition has become a major focus for such conditions as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, Autism, and many other behavioral afflictions.

Understanding the role of nutrition for overall wellness is easiest when you consider the effects that unhealthy foods can have on the body. For instance, foods that are high in fat and caloric content are obviously a major catalyst for weight gain. This has become a major problem, particularly in the United States but also in many other westernized countries. The intake of these high-fat foods cause an imbalance in the blood, particularly with regard to hormones, and trigger such symptoms as unstable and unpredictable mood. Likewise, foods that are high in sugar are known to cause mood imbalances, too, as well as negatively affecting mental acuity and clarity. In short, the brain functions at a much poorer level when an individual consumes a diet that is high in fat and sugar, which have been directly linked to things like heart disease and diabetes.

Why Nutrition is Important for Recovery

Over the course of decades of research on substance abuse and addiction, we have learned that nutrition can be hugely influential to an individual’s recovery for a number of reasons. This is arguably the most apparent with individuals who are in the throes of active addiction; when in active addiction, individuals are often much less concerned about health and wellness, resulting in many such individuals adopting an extremely poor and unbalanced diet. As a result, individuals suffering from addiction experience the effects of poor nutrition, which include poor mental acuity, hormonal imbalances, mood swings, and numerous other effects. Consequently, these individuals must often relearn of the importance of nutrition as part of the recovery process, during which time they must also learn how to re-balance their diets to ensure that their bodies’ nutritional needs are met.

It’s important to remember that the habitual misuse of alcohol and drugs over an extended period of time has dire consequences for the body. Among those consequences, things like the brain’s neurochemical levels and the body’s hormonal levels are thrown off balance. While ceasing one’s substance abuse is definitely a way to get things back on track, we’ve learned that nutrition can be used to help restore the body to a state of physical health. In studies where patients in substance abuse treatment programs were provided with balanced nutritious diets, individuals experience a much more notable improvement in their symptoms associated with addiction. Moreover, individuals in the earlier stages of the recovery process, including detoxification, often experience a reduction in symptoms associated with withdrawal when they’re provided with a nutritious diet. These results illustrate just how important that the foods you eat are to the overall recovery process.

Call Coalition Recovery Today

At Coalition Recovery, we recognize that not all individuals have the same recovery needs; however, being that addiction is a disease wherein the body’s chemical and hormonal balance is compromised, we encourage our patients to learn more about the nutrition needs of their bodies so as to ensure that their recoveries are as successful as possible. If you or someone you love would like to learn more about the nutrition and wellness services we offer, or for more information about our other offers, call Coalition Recovery today.

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