Healthy eating is the foundation for physical well-being. But what does eating healthy really mean, and how does it specifically relate to recovery?
Benefits of Eating Well, Especially in Recovery
Eating well means giving your body the fuel it needs to function and feel good. The benefits of a healthy diet also include faster healing and an improved immune system, which allows the body to repair the damage caused by alcohol consumption.
In addition, the foods you eat directly impact your mood and energy levels, both of which affect the urge to drink. Eating well can help prevent relapse caused by depression or fatigue. Research has also shown that people in recovery maintain their sobriety for a longer period of time when they eat a healthy diet.
Eat Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread require more time and effort to be broken down into sugar, whereas "simple" carbohydrates like candy break down faster. The sugars enter your bloodstream as soon as they reach their final, usable form. When you eat complex carbohydrates, a small amount of sugar enters your bloodstream over a long time, so you maintain a steady energy level. Complex carbs also contain more fiber and nutrients, so you'll stay fuller longer.
To eat more complex carbohydrates, try to eat foods in their whole, unprocessed form as often as possible. Examples include whole oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread versus quick oats, white rice, or white bread.