Help an Addict Recover - Healthy Eating

One way to help an addict recovery is through encouraging healthy eating. Addiction takes it toll on the body so a basic way to support an addict is applying this simple truth, healthy eating beats addiction. Some addicts, as part of their addiction, neglect basic nutrition, so offering meals and fruit will help give them more energy and strength so that they can make better decisions, vital for their recovery.


Addicts, like everyone else need to have basic nutrition, including fresh fruit, vegetables, water, and the usual mix of what has been described as a balanced diet.Getting some one experiencing addiction to improve their diet, no matter how much will help them to feel better, think clearer and make better choices.

Malnutrition for problem alcohol users

For alcohol users, they have a very highly calorific diet. Alcohol is the second most calorific food stuff, second only to fat. Though high in calories it is devoid of any nutrients and so alcoholics are experiencing malnutrition leaving their body incapable of growing and healing properly.


Drug users also experience similar issues. Alongside this they also experience gastric problems, including constipation, and so feel bloated. The effects of some drugs, as well as alcohol serve to suppress appetites which ultimately leads to addicts having little energy and result in poor decision making. There are many sources of information to improve diets for those in recovery, common sense is a good guide, but if you want more info around the effects of chemicals on the body see foods and nutrition for recovery here 

Mood stabilising diet

To improve decision making, and ultimately to have the mental stamina to deal with triggers, which lead to the instant gratification drive of an urge to use, an addict needs more stable moods and processing skills. The correct diet helps restore the key chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitter matter needed to manage this. The less that food is processed, the more natural it is and the better it is.


You can help an addict recover by being making yourself aware of the nutrients they need in their body for healing. Giving someone the right food does not mean that they are going to take on this nutrition so to fully support someone to beat addiction through healthy eating it may be necessary to encourage someone to eat.

Encourage healthy eating by keeping food in sight

Research has found that to encourage people to eat something they should be able to see it, it should be less than 6 feet away from them and it should be part of a selection of foods. In many rehabs they adopt this research by having water coolers and fruit bowls of mixed fruit around the building. They position it next to popular areas, doorways, popular congregation areas and rest and relaxation spaces. Because of the positioning of the food and keeping processed foods full of sugar away form the person moods remain stable, allowing good decisions and making recovery to be more easily achieved.


An extension of this can be to make up a prepared salad bowl of cut up, bite size fruit and vegetables. To add variety this bowl could also have nuts and even appropriate spices on it or dips nearby to encourage grazing. Ultimately, any extra fruit, vegetables and water that will help the body and brain function better will support good choices and will lead to healthy eating beating addiction.


There are mood de-stabilising foods which will promote energy fluctuations and mood swings. Not only do they impact on mood but also impact on sleep, necessary for further healing and the development of routines and lifestyle structures. To better help an addict on their journey to recovery, be alert to these addiction enhancing foodstuffs. These foods include sugars, caffeine, simple fast release carbohydrates such as white bread and should be avoided or their consumption limited as much as possible. See Food ADDICTION for explanation.


To help an addict takes more than encouragement it involves understanding why people behave the way that they do and how best to support them. Using the simple suggestions throughout this site you will be able to help them to reach their recovery, whether it is an addiction to gambling, drugs or alcohol.

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