Foods to Eat During Addiction Recovery

It can be frightening, but also rewarding to make a big change in your life. Beating addiction can  test your mental and physical well-being. 

The body can be greatly affected by alcohol and drug abuse. When getting clean, nutritional requirements can change dramatically and your body needs to be properly fueled.

During detox from alcohol or drugs, your body requires all the fuel it can get. Restoring your body to normal is an important part of recovering from addiction. It’s important to understand the importance of nutrition and addiction recovery.


Addiction can have many negative effects on your life. You have to recognize that there’s no single way to beat addiction. The type of addiction you have will impact many factors.

Is a special diet required during recovery?

When relying on drugs and alcohol, you’re less likely to meet the recommended daily food intake. Additionally, you may have a tendency to avoid healthy foods. 

You might choose to eat less nutritious food or skip meals entirely. The old saying about a “liquid lunch” is when someone chooses to drink a beer or cocktail instead of eating.

Additionally, the speed at which your body burns energy can be affected by substance use disorders. This may mean that you’re full of energy one minute, but can barely move the next.

Vomiting or diarrhea is another way addicts deplete the nutrients their bodies need. This can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health and is sometimes difficult to recognize. 

These withdrawal symptoms are your body trying to communicate to you that it isn’t healthy. Depending on your specific addiction, your gut may be damaged so that it’s unable to absorb nutrients from food.


It can be hard to decide what foods you should eat during a detox from drugs or alcohol. It’s important to establish a foundation, such as the Dopamine Diet. Your physical condition can play a part in determining the foundation. 

Different dependencies can have varying impacts on your life. However, there are some basic rules that will apply in deciding what foods are good for those in addiction treatment programs. 


Your level of dependence on alcohol will determine nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamins. Vitamin B6 and vitamin C are a couple of examples of those depleted when you drink alcohol. 

Alcohol addicts often lose the minerals calcium, zinc and magnesium. Also, osteoporosis is more common in women who have been exposed to alcohol.

Opioid addiction

While the best foods for opioid addiction recovery are varied, they’re all easy to incorporate into your existing diet. Heroin and prescription drugs are the most commonly used opiates. 

This type of addiction isn’t easy to recognize, but it can cause constipation and other digestive problems. A high-fiber diet is important, so leafy greens, whole grains, and beans are all good options.

Stimulant addiction

Cocaine and methamphetamine are linked to this addiction. Stimulants may result in staying up for days on end, which can lead to a variety of health problems. 

A good diet for this addiction should include foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s can help reduce depression and the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

best foods for addiction recovery


Here are some basics to remember when looking for foods that can help you recover from addiction.

Fruits and vegetables

A well-balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are essential for proper nutrition and can also be used to improve the appearance of skin and hair. 

When looking to eat the right foods, fruits should always be included. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help boost your immune system and clear out harmful toxins. Bananas are also rich in tryptophan which helps to support serotonin which promotes relaxation. Who wouldn’t want to get a good night of sleep?

Whole grains

The dietary needs of someone recovering from an addiction may vary from those of someone who is simply eating healthy. Complex carbs can be your best friend during recovery. Whole grain pastas, whole grains, and rice are all good options to help your digestive system.

Poultry and fish

These proteins contain an amino acid called Tyrosine that is vital in the creation of neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. This promotes clarity and well-being.

Consuming protein in general is vital. Both animal and plant protein are broken down into amino acids, which the body uses for cell repair.

Other protein sources

  • Excellent sources of B6 include chicken, turkey, tuna and chicken.
  • Red meat, pork and poultry are great for iron.
  • Omega 3s are high in salmon.
  • Lentils, black beans, and other legumes are great vegetable sources.

Although there is a stigma attached to soy foods, it can be used if you have the right cooking skills. It’s easy to digest, high in protein, and can aid in repairing liver damage. It can be easily seasoned which allows it to be used in many different dishes.


As we’ve mentioned, your specific recovery needs will vary. However, these guidelines will help you approach your new diet with confidence. 

Include these things in your diet:

  • Complex carbs: These should make up 50% to 55% of your daily calories during detox or recovery. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables, fruits, and grains.
  • Dairy products: Even if you don’t eat dairy products often, calcium must be included in your diet. Two to three cups of dairy products per day is a good goal.
  • Protein: Protein should be 15% to 20% of your daily caloric intake. Two to four ounces of protein-rich meat or fish should be consumed twice daily.
  • Healthy fats: Although we would love to say that all fats are equal, it is vital to eat healthy fats. These fats include flaxseed, olive and canola oils.
  • Water: You must stay hydrated with any diet. The rule of thumb is to drink at least twice your body weight in ounces every day. Although it may seem difficult initially, once you get used to the idea of getting enough water, your body will soon feel much better.

preparing your own meals


Here’s an example of a meal plan for early recovery that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a variety of healthy snacks. It is important to discuss your dietary requirements with a licensed nutritionist to help you determine the best combination of nutrients for you.

  • Breakfast: Start your day with two slices of whole grain bread, toast, and drizzled with olive oil. Salt and pepper to your liking. Avocado toast is a trendy breakfast choice, but it’s also high in energy-producing whole grains, healthy fats, and other nutrients that will give you lasting energy.
  • Lunch: A big salad with fresh vegetables and tuna salad is a great option for lunch. Tuna is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, and will keep you full until dinner. You can make a simple dressing by mixing equal amounts of olive oil with balsamic vinegar. It’s healthy and easy.
  • Dinner: Finish the day with oven-roasted chicken breasts, sautéed broccoli in olive oil, and a side dish of brown rice. This balanced meal includes lean protein, a healthy vegetable, and whole grains. For dessert, you can try greek yogurt with raw honey and chopped strawberries.
  • Healthy snacks: Reach for some apples, celery sticks with almond butter, or raw nuts if you feel hungry throughout the day.


Your nutritional needs will vary depending on where you are in the recovery process. It is important to understand the impact of your substance abuse on your nutritional needs. A balanced diet is essential for any person who wants to live a healthy life, regardless of what drug they are using.

You have already taken the first step to regaining control over your life by seeking help. These tips will help you to use your nutrition to achieve your highest potential. You are worthy of being healthy.

You have already taken the first step to regaining control over your life by seeking help. These tips will help you to use your nutrition to achieve your highest potential. You are worthy of being healthy.

For more information on addiction treatment services, please give us a call at (877) 693-6010 or complete or short inquiry form at the bottom of this page.

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