What We Eat Affects How We Feel

HHRC-Hungry overweight woman holding hamburger

While specific organs bear the brunt of the damage caused by addiction, drugs and alcohol have a harmful influence on your whole body. Reversing the effects of harmful drugs is a complex undertaking, but a proper diet can assist.

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re in the process of recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction and wondering how eating might help. Today, we’ll discuss how healthy food recipes and eating are connected to addiction, as well as some strategies for developing habits that can heal your body and mind.

How Food Affects Mood

It’s long been known that the food we consume directly connects to our general physical health. Still, there have been increasing studies concerning the mind-body link, particularly as it applies to food that makes you feel good. Scientists are examining the link between food and mood and how what (and even when) we eat may directly impact our mental health and general wellness in research known as “nutritional psychiatry.”

It might be difficult for many people to prepare healthy food recipes daily. However, knowledge brings power and intention in the case of personal well-being. Not only should beneficial eating habits be prioritized and maintained for optimal bodily functioning, but people need also be aware of the link between your diet and mental health.

Eating and Addiction 

While each substance and individual is unique, drug and alcohol misuse has similar inevitable consequences for those who use them. First, when a person is intoxicated, their appetite changes. Many people lose their appetites or may only eat particular foods.

Addiction-related lifestyle changes might also result in bad diets. An addiction might cause someone to lose track of time or favor using a substance above eating regular meals. Stimulants, for example, can cause a person to stay awake for days while also suppressing their appetite. This can result in significant weight reduction. Marijuana, on the other hand, can lead to overeating. Addiction can also make it challenging to get an adequate or healthful diet.

Furthermore, drug or alcohol usage can alter a person’s metabolism, causing them to waste energy more quickly than they would otherwise. This can lead to dietary deficiencies, leading to additional concerns, including irritation and exhaustion, and more severe repercussions over time.

Alcohol, in particular, can hurt a person’s eating habits. When a person drinks excessively, he fills his stomach with empty calories while depriving himself of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), alcohol addiction is most commonly associated with vitamins B1, B6, or folic acid deficiency.

Alcohol consumption can cause damage to both the liver and the pancreas. These organs can be damaged over time and have an effect on how the body absorbs toxins and metabolizes fat.

Proper diet is also essential in mood regulation, and when you feel better, you are less prone to use drugs. This cycle may also be reversed; a poor diet can lead to a melancholy or irritated mood, which increases the risk of taking drugs or alcohol. Changing your diet might have an impact on the entire chain.

Addiction and the Importance of Healthy Eating 

Nutrition is much more crucial for persons suffering from addiction. When someone is suffering from drug misuse or addiction, their priorities are often distorted, and the drive to obtain and use substances overpowers even the most fundamental human requirements, such as eating. Malnutrition and poor health are issues in these circumstances for two reasons: not only does the pursuit of drugs create a disregard for correct food and nutrition, but the substances themselves have a substantial influence on general body health.

How to Develop Good Eating Habits

Eating and addiction are inextricably linked, with each having an impact on the other. It is critical to focus on both to enhance your overall health, and the best way to do so is to connect with expert care.

When you begin addiction treatment, you will have access to dietary assistance. Some rehabilitation programs have seminars on healthy eating in which you will learn how to plan meals, balance nutrients, and obtain enough calories from the correct foods. You may also be able to work with a licensed dietitian to obtain personalized assistance for your unique requirements.

You can also make adjustments that will help your recovery outside of formal therapy.

How Healthy Eating Can Affect the Mind

Drew Ramsey, a nutritional psychiatrist, is concerned that the rising prevalence of depression can be attributed to America’s diet, traditionally high in saturated fats and low in nutrients and serotonin foods. Ironically, for a nation that has been concerned about diet and health concerning the body’s structure, many Americans don’t realize that how we feel can be affected by what we eat.

The brain is responsible for mental health and overall functioning. However, the vagus nerve also links the gut and the brain. Because the GI tract is responsible for producing between 90-95% and 90% of the body’s serotonin (a chemical that regulates mood and aids in mood regulation), it has been called “the second brain.” The food we eat matters significantly. The human brain needs various nutrients such as fatty acids and various vitamins to function at its best. Many of these nutrients can be found in plant-based foods. Yet, very few people consume sufficient amounts of nutrients, whole products, and serotonin foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only 10% of adults consume the recommended 1.5-2 cups of fruits and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day.

Healthy Food Recipes: What Are They?  

In general, specialists suggest people consume less meat and dairy and more whole foods, such as those high in healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, and other vegetables. The color and diversity of natural, nutrient-rich meals guarantee that we acquire a variety of healthful victuals that help us function and perform at our best. The dependency on highly processed (yet easily/readily available) foods is one of today’s most serious challenges. While sugar can induce a transient increase in different “feel good” hormones like dopamine, it inflames the stomach, feeding the harmful bacteria, resulting in mood and energy changes.

Because the brain and nervous system rely on nutrition to create new products such as cells and tissues, it is critical to provide the body with the varied carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals required. Specialists recommend adding (and prioritizing) the following food types into your regular diet for optimal body and cognitive health:

  • Complex carbohydrates: These are meals made up of sugar molecules that the body converts into glucose, which the body utilizes as energy. Legumes, beans, whole grains, and different starchy vegetables are vital in nutritional content and help you feel fuller for longer.

  • Proteins: Proteins work hard to create muscle mass and perform critical tasks; lean proteins have less saturated fats without sacrificing nutrients and contribute to long-term energy. Most chicken and fish are lean, but plant-based meals such as soybeans (in all forms), different nuts, and seeds are not.

  • Fatty acids: These beneficial acids and oils aid in the normal functioning of body systems and may be found in various fish and animal items.

It Is Also Important to Consider How We Eat 

Our culture is becoming frantic, hurrying about and cleverly organizing chores and recreation during our hectic days. Often, we don’t allot time to savor the foods we’re eating; we are too fixated on other activities and, in return, we forget to make mealtime its destination. What was once an essential, life-giving deed is now (for many) only a bothersome pit stop we must make lest we choose to forego everything else we genuinely want to accomplish.

Intentional mindfulness (in all aspects of life, but especially during eating) may be a terrific approach to reconnecting with your body and the present moment. Much of health and wellbeing is about being mindful. When we are alert, it is simpler to make healthy, sensible, and appropriate judgments for our brains and bodies.

Feel Well by Eating Well at Haven House Recovery 

There’s no denying that consuming heart-healthy foods may help you recuperate. However, eating well isn’t enough to address the underlying cause of addiction. A well-balanced diet should always be used in conjunction with behavioral therapy.

If you’re looking to get both from rehab centers in Nashville, TN, Haven House Recovery exists just for people like you. We are an outpatient treatment center with a rehab facility in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, for those who are addicted. Flexible scheduling, caring treatment experts, and a wide range of program alternatives will quickly have men feeling healthy, strong, and recovered. Reach out to us now!