How Does Nutrition Assessment Fit Into Recovery?


Healthy meal

Nutrition is a major but often overlooked component in mental health and addiction recovery because our diet can significantly affect our mood and physical health. As stated on the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the body undergoes changes such as with metabolism, organ function, and mental well-being when a person is in recovery from substance abuse. Weak or damaged organs that occurred from addiction need time to rebuilt and regain strength. Nutrients fuel the body with energy and may help a person to heal. Healthy organs help fight off infections, giving a person a stronger foundation for throughout their recovery.

With a nutrition assessment, a dietitian will assess the following:

  • Your food and nutrient intake
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical history

Through this, they can help you develop goals towards healing and nourishing the body, stabilizing mood and reducing stress, reducing cravings, addressing co-occurring mental and physical conditions, and engaging in self-care and a healthy lifestyle. A 2014 monthly issue published in Today’s Dietitian noted that carbohydrates, insulin, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, B-vitamins and more are crucial for stabilizing the body’s functioning capabilities and helping a person maximize their mental health.

With the lean towards fast-food in our society, people are more motivated to consume lots of salt and sugar and less fruits and vegetables. These choices can lead to a host of issues, as research has shown that fast-food and commercial baked goods can cause depression, obesity, and more. Recovery is an excellent time to focus on developing a healthier diet so that you can avoid or overcome these issues.

Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter that is affected by addiction, as an influx of dopamine is associated with “reward” feelings. Most often unhealthy foods also become associated with feelings of reward, causing people to develop bad eating habits. If you’re looking to boost your recovery, consider meeting with a dietician. Some treatment centers offer this, and it’s complementary to other aspects of recovery.  

Located in Orange County, CA, Simple Recovery is a world-renowned drug and alcohol treatment center that believes that recovery is a process, not a destination. Our Simple Recovery programs include a variety of resources such as relapse prevention and support, group and individual therapy, vocational and educational programming, and more. If you’re in search of freedom from addiction, call us today at 888-743-0490. Recovery is possible.