Immersion Recovery Center
Nutrition Therapy

Those who are suffering from a substance abuse disorder will generally lack adequate nutrition. Active addiction strips sufferers of the base ability to function at a normal human level. Self-care falls by the wayside, and drugs and alcohol take top priority. Proper nutrition is essential to the recovery process because eating a balanced and nutritious diet helps physical and mental health. Functioning of the body and the brain will begin to regulate, and the healing process will be sped up significantly. Unfortunately, the role of nutrition in addiction recovery is frequently overlooked. At Immersion Recovery Center, we put a huge emphasis on nutrition. In fact, we have developed a specialized Nutrition Therapy program designed to help clients learn how to take care of their physical bodies and develop the skills necessary to take care of themselves for years to come.

The Impact of Addiction on Recovery

A study published in the journal Drugs and Alcohol Today and titled “Nutrition and addiction — can dietary changes assist with recovery?” explores the relationship between successful addiction treatment and a healthy, balanced diet. The study notes that while traditional addiction treatment programs put a large emphasis on the psychological, social and spiritual components of recovery, focusing on adequate nutrition can be extremely beneficial, and should not be overlooked. Breaking down the role of nutrition in addiction even further, a similar article suggests that individuals who have been suffering from opiate addiction will need to put an even greater focus on healthy eating because they will inevitably be experiencing some major nutritional deficiencies. In severe cases of addiction, physical health and self-care will be completely neglected. In mild or moderate cases, even if an individual has been keeping up with a healthy diet, he or she will also be ingesting chemical substances on a regular basis. Regardless of which chemical substance is in question, it will inevitably do extensive damage to the physical body.

At Immersion Recovery Center, our team of licensed and experienced professionals has worked to develop a comprehensive and effective Nutrition Therapy program. We offer a wide variety of services geared towards helping our clients develop the skills they need to maintain physical health and consistently prepare healthy and nutrient-dense meals for themselves once they transition back into fully independent living.

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Our Nutrition Therapy Program

Some of the nutrition-related services we offer include:

  • Teaching clients what to eat and what not to eat – While in active addiction, most individuals will engage in “convenience eating,” meaning they will grab some fast food when they realize they are hungry or pick up a bag of potato chips while they are at the liquor store. We work to instill “conscious eating” habits in all of our clients. We teach them which foods will help their bodies heal and which will make them feel comprehensively unwell. We focus on recipes that involve fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
  • Teaching clients how to grocery shop for themselves – Grocery shopping can be intimidating for those who are not used to it. We help our clients develop reasonable grocery lists and shop for the items on the list when we accompany them to the grocery store. We teach our clients the most efficient way to shop and how to shop on a budget.
  • Teaching clients how to cook easy and nutrient-dense meals for themselves – One of the main sources of malnutrition is the excessive consumption of fast food. We teach our clients how to cook healthy and nutritious meals for themselves in our fully equipped kitchen. We have nutritionists come in and teach cooking classes on a regular basis as well. We require our clients to prepare their own meals for the most part, and to eat three full meals on a daily basis. Of course, clients also have the freedom to enjoy healthy snacks whenever they are hungry.
  • Addressing individualized health issues with food as medicine – At Immersion Recovery Center, we believe that food can act as medicine, and that a healthy diet can majorly speed up the overall recovery process. We teach clients about the benefits of different types of foot – for example, healthy fats that are found in fish, nuts and avocado can help lower blood pressure and heart rate while facilitating a reduction in inflammation. We bring experienced and licensed nutritionists to our facility to teach our clients about all of the ways in which food can be used as medicine.

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  • The ways in which food can aid mental health – Adequate nutrition plays a major role in mental wellness as well as physical wellness. Harvard Health published an article titled “Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food.” The study suggests that the brain runs on fuel, and the fuel is food itself. The way our brains function will depend very heavily on the food we eat. It is not uncommon for men and women who suffer from addictive disorders to simultaneously suffer from mental health issues. Learning to eat well plays a role in alleviating some of the more invasive symptoms of mental health disorders.
  • The effects that active addiction and malnutrition have on the physical body – We teach clients about the individual issues that are liable to arise and how they can effectively manage any persistent health-related concerns. For example, hypoglycemia, an issue related to low blood sugar within the body, is very common amongst men and women who are new to sobriety. Some studies have shown the hypoglycemia rates can be as high as 85 percent amongst those suffering from active addiction. We teach our clients what this disorder is, why it occurs, and which foods to eat in order to begin reversing symptoms.

Nutrition Therapy and Long-Term Care

A study titled “Nutrition in Addiction Recovery” lists a range of physical maladies that individuals who have been suffering from active addiction are likely to experience. These physical issues include adrenal fatigue, allergies and other environmental sensitivities, hypoglycemia, leaky gut syndrome and other stomach issues, and issues relating to an excess of candida within the body. These issues tend to be chronic, and symptoms can be severely reduced when special attention is paid to adequate nutrition.

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The fact of the matter is, the majority of men and women who suffer from addiction are severely malnourished. The malnourishment generally stems from a variety of contributing factors. Below are several of the negative health-related patterns that addicted individuals tend to experience.

  • Skipping breakfast/not eating until later in the day
  • Consuming a significant amount of refined sugars and refined carbohydrates
  • Lacking protein intake 
  • Eating predominantly highly processed foods
  • Not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables

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These unhealthy habits can be reversed over time. Of course, in order to reverse a habit, you must first become aware of it. At Immersion Recovery Center, we enlighten and educate before we set to work teaching healthy life and self-care skills. Our program of comprehensive addiction therapy truly does cover all bases. To learn more about our Nutrition Therapy program, give us a call today.