Best Foods to Eat in Recovery

Best Food To Eat in Recovery_BAART Programs_Blog

Entering addiction treatment is the first of many vital steps a person can take for a better life. Although everyone could benefit from a healthy diet comprised of whole foods, those in substance use disorder recovery should especially take advantage of the healing properties of a nutritious meal plan. Figuring out where and how to start eating better can feel overwhelming, but the best rule is to stick to the basics while using fresh ingredients and simple recipes before moving on to more elaborate ideas.

What are Nutrient-Dense Foods?

When someone hears the term “whole foods,” a couple of different things may come to mind (including the grocery retailer). From a nutritional standpoint, it refers to foods high in beneficial nutrients like protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. These foods also tend to be unprocessed and low in sugar or artificial sweeteners, which help maintain consistent blood-sugar levels that can regulate mood, energy, and bodily strength. People in recovery can boost their healing by incorporating these healthy, natural foods that will aid in repairing the damage addiction inflicts on the body and mind.

Lean Proteins

Fish, poultry, and meats like pork and beef all contain protein vital for muscles, and Fish like mackerel, herring, and sardines, as well as lean poultry like chicken and turkey, are exceptionally nutrient-dense. These proteins are not only delicious and widely available, but they also contain Omega3 oils that can bring a sense of well-being and act as mood stabilizers for people dealing with onset stress, anxiety, or depression. These proteins also contain tyrosine, an amino acid that the brain uses to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine that promote clear-headedness and elevate mood, which is often damaged during active addiction.

Fresh Fruit

All fruits are delicious and healthy, but some contain nutrients particularly helpful for addiction recovery, like bananas and blueberries. Bananas are a tasty source of potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C. People with substance use disorder who are actively using tend to be deprived of electrolytes which can cause weakness, fatigue, confusion, and frequent muscle cramps. Other foods high in potassium include oranges, tomatoes, kiwis, avocados, cantaloupe, papaya, and others. They also provide the body with an amino acid called tryptophan which helps produce serotonin which can promote more restful sleep. Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, red grapes, currants, cherries, pears, figs, and apricots are loaded with antioxidants that help repair the immune system, providing a much-needed boost of healing power for those in recovery.

Leafy Greens

Greens get an undeserved bad wrap when it comes to cuisine, especially because they can provide many essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense options, but parsley, spinach, collard greens, lettuces, and cabbage carry the amino acid L-glutamine, which can help reduce sugar cravings, while fiber and antioxidants help keep the body running as it should.

Complex Carbohydrates

Grocery stores are filled with sugar-laden, processed carbohydrates which, despite sometimes being tasty, provide virtually no nutritional value. Focusing on more complex and unprocessed carbohydrates like potatoes, beans, and root vegetables can help regulate cravings and balance serotonin levels in the brain. They also supply the body with an energy boost to endure workouts or a productive and healthy day of activities.

BAART is helping thousands of people with substance use disorder every day and hopes to help more in the New Year. To learn about the recovery programs available, message or call the nearest BAART location today.


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