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What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?

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What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?

Poor nutrition affects the body and mind, making detox an even more painful experience. If someone is nutrient deficient while they are going through withdrawal, his or her first days of sobriety can be more difficult, and that person is more likely to relapse. Most rehabilitation facilities offer nutritional support as part of their services as well as advice on nutrition in addiction recovery.

Foods For Recovering Drug Users

Drugs and alcohol take nutrients from the body while preventing the body from absorbing nutrients from food. The result is malnourishment, which builds slowly through the addiction and gets worse the longer the addiction continues. Eating healthy foods for recovering alcoholics can help heal malnourishment.

Drug And Alcohol Fatigue

Constant fatigue and lack of energy plague drug and alcohol users. This can be due to a lack of iron, protein, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C, B1, and B12. Most people struggling with addiction are deficient in all or some of these vitamins. Further health problems can develop, including hypothyroidism, anemia, cardiac failure, chronic fatigue syndrome, or serious depression and anxiety.

Skin Irritation

People who abuse alcohol and opiates often complain of skin problems such as itchy skin, red or flushed patches, dry skin, and bruising. They are not getting enough fatty acids or vitamin C.

Muscle Pain

Heavy alcohol use deteriorates muscle tissue. Muscles need vitamins D, B1, magnesium, sodium, and potassium to repair themselves. Without these nutrients, muscles are prone to cramps, spasms, and soreness that will only get worse over time. Those going through opiate withdrawal are all too familiar with muscle pain. These vitamins can help relieve their discomfort.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Alcoholism often comes with diarrhea due to a B3 deficiency. If you do not correct this, irritable bowel syndrome can develop. Opiate users often suffer from constipation, because the body is trying to break down the filler ingredients in pharmaceuticals such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Fiber, potassium, magnesium, and plenty of water will help relieve this issue.

Neurobiological Problems

The brain responds to poor nutrition with restless legs, muscle spasms, loss of balance, vibrations or numb spots, weakness, shakiness in extremities, peripheral neuropathy, and tingling in the hands or feet. The brain needs vitamins B1, B12, B3, B6, and E to maintain proper function. It also needs the appropriate dose of fatty and amino acids to maintain proper nervous system function.

Depression, Anxiety, And Irritability

Mood changes are a normal part of withdrawal symptoms, but you can lessen or alleviate these symptoms by getting enough of vitamins C, B, B3, B12, fatty acids, iron, and magnesium. A proper diet and nutritional plan can greatly improve the moods of those struggling with alcohol and opiates.

Foods That Help Heal The Body After Addiction

The adage that you are what you eat is especially important during recovery. A body that has had poisons like drugs and alcohol for so long now needs the best ingredients and fuel to overcome withdrawal. Good nutrition can relieve painful symptoms and help the body heal quicker.


Hydration is a key element in recovery. Most people don’t drink enough water as it is, and a body healing from addiction needs water even more to promote healthy body function. Water and drinks with electrolytes are beneficial but avoid sugary drinks like sodas.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, and collard greens are great sources of vitamin B6, iron, and calcium. If you are not a fan of vegetables, there are loads of recipes online to help you sneak them into your diet in delicious ways. One easy way to do this is to add spinach or kale to a morning fruit smoothie – you won’t even be able to taste it with all the sweet fruits.

Lean Protein

All proteins have amino acids, which are necessary for maintaining healthy muscles. Poultry contains vitamin B6, and red meat is high in iron. Salmon and other fish are good sources of omega 3, fatty acids, and calcium. Plant proteins, including tofu, beans, and quinoa are excellent options for those considering veganism or vegetarianism.

Bright Fruits And Veggies

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, oranges, mangos, pineapples, and strawberries are all high in vitamin C. Carrots are full of vitamin A. A good rule of thumb is to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to collect all your daily nutrients.

Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s fuel, and a body in recovery needs a lot of fuel. Whole wheat bread, rice, and potatoes are high in fiber. Eating healthy whole grain carbs is better for the body than processed carbs such as white bread.

Low-Fat Dairy

Milk, butter, and cheese are good sources of calcium and vitamin A. Yogurt is an excellent probiotic for people with stomach issues during recovery.

Healthy Eating Practices

What Should I Be Eating to Heal My Body from Addiction?Getting into the habit of eating three whole meals and a couple of snacks throughout the day will put your body back on the right track for nutrition. It is important not to force food, but regular meals will promote an appetite that drugs or alcohol suppressed. It is important to remember that the body may not be used to healthy foods, and when cravings come, they may be food cravings and not drug cravings.

Getting into healthy activities, such as daily walks, and learning a few healthy recipes are beneficial for several reasons. Exercising, even if it is just a walk around the block, will raise endorphins and promote a healthy appetite. Learning to cook will promote good eating habits and become a sober hobby you can enjoy.

Some Foods Are Not Helpful

When it comes to eating, remember that some foods do not promote a healthy body or mind. A person going through withdrawal from alcohol develops intense sugar cravings, but that sugar will eventually lead to a sugar crash that could put the person at risk for relapse. Caffeine may seem like the sober kick you need, but it can snowball back into relapse if you are not careful. Fast food is not nutritious and isn’t good food for recovering alcoholics or drug users. It is better to spend the extra time making healthy meals and sticking to healthy diets for addiction recovery.

Breaking old nutrition habits and creating new ones is difficult for someone going through the early days of sobriety. Take advantage of nutrition specialists’ offers at rehab to create an exercise plan and sober diet that will encourage a healthier lifestyle. They can teach you the basics of nutrition and how to keep your body and mind healthy.

Get More Nutrition and Wellness Information

Signs of Codependency, Substance Abuse and Enabling Addiction

Codependency, Substance Abuse and Enabling Addiction - Fight Addiction Now

What Is Codependency?

It might seem terribly unromantic, but Valentine’s Day is a great time to evaluate the health of your relationship. One aspect that can be especially important to those struggling with addiction is codependency and enablement in relationships.

Codependency is defined as an imbalance of power in a relationship, to the point where one person does not have a sense of identity. He or she will blindly support the other person and rarely, if ever, give any criticism.

Typically, codependent people are raised in dysfunctional families in which one or more members are suffering from mental or substance abuse issues. Unlike healthy families, dysfunctional families refuse to discuss feelings, show emotion, confront issues or develop trust. These characteristics make relationships one-sided, creating codependency.

The family member with the mental health or substance abuse issue becomes the energy focus of the family, while the codependent member will do anything in his or her power to take care of them. They are always “coming to the rescue.”

How Does Codependency Support Addiction?

Codependency and Enabling Quote Bryant McGill - Fight Addiction NowCodependency becomes a larger issue when perceived helpful behaviors become enabling to addicts. Since there is no frame of reference for “normal,” co-dependents do not know the best way to help someone. If a family member or significant other is struggling with addiction, he or she will do all they can to prevent that person from feeling the consequences of their actions.

Protecting someone from his- or herself is supporting and enabling addiction. A common example: Child Protective Services visits the home of a family with an abusive person suffering from alcoholism, and the entire family denies the presence of a problem. The person at fault is not held accountable for his or her actions.

Denying there is a problem inadvertently gives a person struggling with addiction permission to continue the destructive behavior. It provides them no incentive to seek treatment.

In romantic relationships, it is important to keep each person accountable for their actions. When you catch yourself making excuses for your loved one’s behaviors, you may need to ask yourself some difficult questions.

8 Signs You Are Codependent

Read through these descriptions and see if any apply to your family or romantic relationship situation:

  • Have a history of living with abusive or addicted people
  • Have a hard time saying “no”
  • Low self-esteem that results in severe indecisiveness
  • Feel guilty when you need to stand up for yourself
  • Fear of being alone or abandoned
  • Poor communication skills
  • Belief that others’ lives or opinions are more important than your own
  • Avoiding conflict like at all costs

OK, Yes, I’m Codependent: Now What?

The first and most important step is recognizing your problem. Secondly, do your research. Changing unhealthy behaviors or lifestyles is possible when you understand why it’s happening. This may involve therapy on your part to understand how you have developed this trait.

If you are currently in a codependent relationship, whether it is familial or romantic, you may need to seek therapy with the other person. With the aid of a therapist, you can recognize patterns in your life, change them and create your own healthy “normal.”

Unfortunately, you can only control yourself. Accepting this fact is a hard pill to swallow for people who are codependent. While you may be willing to acknowledge the changes that you need to make, the other person may not.

When you do begin the journey toward change, you need to make the other person aware. Whether they agree with it, they need to know you are making changes and the status quo will be different. People do not like change, so expect them to be nervous or even defensive.

5 Codependent Habits to Change Right Now

Get started by following these directions:

  • Stop enabling: Encourage treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues.
  • Don’t cover for other people: They must take ownership of their actions.
  • Understand, don’t deny problems: Research, research, research.
  • Stand up for yourself: Express your concerns and your emotions.
  • Stop placing blame: Everyone has their own burdens to bear.

Coming to the realization that you are in a codependent, enabling relationship can be difficult. It is important to understand the problems so you and your significant other can work through them to build healthier habits.

Share your experiences with us in our online forum, where you can discuss codependency, substance abuse and enabling addiction.

Are you codependent? When did you first realize it?
How have you dealt with enabling in your relationships?
Please comment below.

Exercise and Addiction: Is Lack of Physical Activity Causing or Worsening Your Daily Problems?

Exercise And Addiction Lack Of Exercise Causing Daily Problems - Fight Addiction Now

Most people know the value of exercise and the physical benefits that come along with it. Working out regularly helps you manage weight, improve physique and maintain the energy to handle everyday life.

However, many people neglect exercise and suffer more consequences beyond what happens to one’s physical appearance. It’s vital for everyone to know and appreciate the value of exercise for improved mood and emotional health, especially when recovering from addiction.

Why Exercise?

People who exercise on a regular basis are generally healthier, happier and more energetic than those that do not. Exercising has scientifically proven benefits to mood and happiness. Research indicates that exercising for just 20 minutes has a positive effect on mood that can last up to 12 hours. Many studies also indicate that exercise is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, depression and addiction issues.

Positive Effects on Brain Chemistry

Exercise also encourages endorphin production in the brain and reduces negative chemical levels, particularly cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” linked to inactivity, poor diet and psychological disorders like depression. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone that usually floods the bloodstream in response to fear and danger stimuli.

A person who does not exercise regularly has a harder time flushing these negative chemicals than a person on a regular exercise routine.

What Type of Exercise Is Best?

There is no “perfect” exercise routine that will work for everyone. A healthy exercise regimen is one that is challenging but possible, or “just right.” Some people are more competitive than others and may enjoy competitive sports for exercise, such as tennis, basketball or football.

While sports such as those are fantastic methods of increasing your physical activity, very competitive people should try to focus on other, noncompetitive forms of exercise. The reason behind this is that the desire and motivation to win can actually limit the exercise’s benefits on brain chemistry and sometimes turn it into a stressful experience.

Tips for Mood-Improving Exercise

If you already exercise but wonder if there are things you can change about your routine to reap greater mental health benefits, start by moving your workout outdoors. A half-hour on a treadmill or elliptical machine may be great for your body, but taking your exercise outdoors will have a much more positive impact on your mood.

If you live in an urban area, retreating to the quieter suburbs or rural areas for walks, hikes and runs will have a much more positive impact than attempting to get outside in the middle of the city. While some people enjoy running through busy city streets, urban environments have several drawbacks. There is more traffic congestion and thus a greater chance of suffering injury from drivers. There is also a higher concentration of pollutants in the air, which can have a negative effect on your respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Additionally, the noise and bustle of the city can be stressful for some people. Research indicates that exercise in quieter, more natural environments like state parks and rural areas helps you feel more relaxed and revitalized than exercise in densely populated areas. Keep that in mind as you exercise just to maintain your overall health or as a relapse prevention technique to keep addiction at bay.

Small Changes You Can Make at Home

If outdoor activity isn’t practical for you, you can still make the most out of working out at home. Research shows that music has a profoundly positive effect during exercise, so create a playlist of your favorite feel-good, energizing tunes to listen to during your workout routine.

If you have a treadmill but dread spending 30 minutes on it three to five times a week, watch one of your favorite shows while you run or use the elliptical. Watching TV or movies can help distract you from the exercise and make the workout seem faster.

Sex is another great way to exercise at home. Exercise researchers report that the average person burns three to four calories during every minute of sexual activity, which counts as moderate exercise.

You and your significant other can enjoy the positive benefits of regular exercise through intimacy. Additionally, maintaining a healthy exercise regimen boosts sexual desire and stamina, which can be incredibly valuable in intimate relationships.

Changing Your Diet Is Another Small Change

Exercise and Addiction Recovery:
Join the Discussion with Your Advice

Do you have an exercise routine that works really well for you? Do you do any particular exercises for specific issues like depression or anxiety? Are you looking for tips to improve your exercise regimen in realistic ways?

The Fight Addiction Now Facebook group is a grassroots community of individuals who share their thoughts and experiences about addiction, including coping mechanisms and tips for leading healthier lives. Many people who have struggled with addiction and substance abuse in their lives have discovered the value of exercise and come together here or on our Facebook page to share their experiences.

Even if you have never felt the negative effects of addiction in your own life, you can still participate in our discussions and gain valuable insight from other members in the group. If you are interested in talking about the benefits of exercise with others in a constructive and supportive environment, feel free to get the discussion started in our new online forum.

For help in finding a professional addiction treatment program that incorporates exercise into its rehab process, whether you’re currently struggling with substance abuse or it’s your loved one, let Fight Addiction Now be your guide.

Find Addiction Treatment Help

What Do People Worry Most About in Life? Are Drugs and Alcohol the Answer to Any of These?

Are Drugs and Alcohol the Answer to Our Worries - Fight Addiction Now

Drugs and Alcohol and Anxiety

Anytime we as humans are under stress, we look for relief. Some people choose different outlets – exercise, for example. Some of us choose to turn to drugs and alcohol during periods of anxiety.

Shutting Off Your Emotions and Natural Reactions

Using drugs and alcohol doesn’t really help worries; it just helps you shut off your emotions. Most of us already know the reason we drink or do drugs is to escape our feelings and our realities. But deep down, we also know that it only makes things worse in the long run.

What People Worry About

According to psych experts and the studies, here are some of the top things people worry about in life:

  1. Money, Money, Money

Financial worries are a major source of stress for most people. Money is one of the top three things couples fight about. And being broke, wondering how you’ll pay your bills each month, doesn’t leave much dough for fun and entertainment.

“Crap, how am I going to afford that trip to Ireland with my friends on this budget? But I soooo wanna go!”

  1. Sex and Relationships

Arguing about it, getting enough sex, satisfying our partner, fantasizing about what we really want and more – all of these things can cause anxiety. When we’re unfulfilled or rejected, we want to turn to our drug of choice.

“Can I find a boyfriend/girlfriend? Am I with the right person? Will I ever get married? Why do we argue so much? Is my significant other happy?”

  1. Health and Your Body

Body image is a big deal for most people, no matter what age. Women are a little more obsessed, but guys feel it too.

Beyond looks, if you have a health problem, it automatically comes with a great deal of stress. Additionally, there is anxiety in worrying about potential health problems, waiting for medical tests or having a condition that can lead to something worse.


  1. Finding the Right Career or Being Stressed on the Job

It’s a common worry that we will never find the right career for us. Most high school graduates aren’t sure what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

We spend most of our week at our job(s), and if it’s not something we enjoy, then most of our life is not as happy as we’d like.

What about the people we work with? Do you have a Frankenboss?

  1. Missing Out on Something

It’s a phenomenon: fear of missing out (FOMO) on something…Valentine’s Day, not going out on a Saturday night, not being invited to a party not getting whatever “everybody else” is getting.

There is a principle called sunk cost fallacy that we all fall victim to. As humans, we have a natural aversion to loss that is much stronger than our desire to acquire gains. This loss aversion makes it harder to abandon something — fixing up a house, playing a progressive video game, staying in a long-term relationship — the more you’ve invested in it emotionally or financially.

So, for fear of missing out on something in our long-term investment — losing rewards in a game, for example — we make decisions that may not be in our best interests. We worry about what we’ll lose if…

The Takeaway on Worries

How can drugs and alcohol really help with any of these things? Sure, there is a momentary reprieve from our feelings, but as soon as the high is over, the same problems are staring back at us – with the added burden of the consequences of a substance abuse problem.

Other Solutions Instead of Turning to Drugs and Alcohol

Here are a few tips for when your worries have you in a rough spot and you’re tempted to reach for drugs and alcohol as relief:

  • Realize you’re not alone! If these are the top things people worry about, it’s happening to a lot of people.
  • Talk it out, write it out, pray it out.
  • See a psychologist.
  • Exercise for anxiety.
  • Make time for yourself. Do something fun that you can afford, like a hobby or hanging out with friends.

You Are Invited!

You are invited to join the discussion! Tell us what you worry about most in the comments below. Also, feel free to share your views on drugs and alcohol and how they relate to anxiety and worries. Get commenting now!