Best Foods to Eat in Addiction Recovery

MastHead Outline
May 3, 2018

Let’s face it; eating healthy isn’t always the easiest thing to do. When a friend invites you to go get fast food or 9 p.m. rolls around and the chocolate ice cream in the fridge is calling your name, it can be hard to fight temptation. While the food you eat may not have the immediate impact that drugs or alcohol do, they can certainly negatively impact your long-term well-being. Making the best choices to improve your overall health is key. So what foods will help you stay on track?

First, H20

When you are thirsty, do you reach for a soda, juice, or water? Many of us are guilty of quenching our thirst with loads of sugar instead of what our bodies are truly wanting. How much water should you be drinking? Here is a list of free apps to help you figure that out as well as track how much you are drinking every day. Some even have alerts to remind you to stay hydrated. While water itself is not considered “food”, it is the foundation of everything we eat. It is also something that is necessary to make our bodies function properly, especially when going through withdrawal. Dehydration, a common symptom of withdrawal, puts a lot of a stress on your body. Staying hydrated keeps everything working as well as flushes out harmful toxins.

Make Your Plate Colorful

Fruits and veggies are a no-brainer when it comes to healthy food, but like anything, you must have variety and eat them in moderation. Here are some benefits according to Choose MyPlate:

  • They have no cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease
  • They are full of nutrients such as potassium, fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin C
  • They can help reduce constipation, obesity, and type 2 diabetes
  • They can help with vision, keeping skin healthy, and protect against infections

Make Your Body Strong

Proteins help keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy. While in addiction recovery, your body is repairing itself, and the proteins help build your tissues and organs. Protein can be found in many foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t worry, you can find protein in beans, peas, soy products, nuts, and seeds. Just because your body needs protein doesn’t mean you can eat a cheeseburger or T-bone steak every night. It is important to eat lean cuts of meat that are not highly processed. Choose the lowest fat content of red meat, or choose naturally lean meats such as grilled chicken, seafood, or turkey.

Good For You Oils & Fats

Believe it or not, oils and fats can be good for you. One thing to keep in mind is that they must be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated to lower the risk of heart disease. Here is a list of recommended oils:

  • Olive
  • Canola
  • Flaxseed
  • Avocado
  • Sesame

Healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds, fish (those healthy omega-3s), and some dairy products.


Superfoods are a term for those foods which have a high concentration of vitamins and minerals and pack a powerful punch when regularly incorporated into your diet. 15 of the top superfoods include:

  • Wheatgrass
  • Cinnamon
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Salmon
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Goji Berries
  • Raw Milk
  • Almonds
  • Kale
  • Spirulina
  • Acai Berries
  • Coconuts
  • Flaxseeds

Salmon, chicken, turkey, broccoli, cabbage, kale and spinach are considered to be particularly useful in recovery from addiction.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Just like you have goals in addiction recovery, set goals for yourself when it comes to eating healthy. Keep a journal or use an app to help you stay on track. While eating a bag of chips may not seem to be a setback, not feeding yourself the nutrients your body needs will slow down the physical aspect of your recovery. If you find yourself having a cheat meal or snack, know that it does not mean you should stop trying. In fact treating yourself, in moderation, can make it easier to make healthy choices more often. A healthy lifestyle is a lifetime commitment, and you owe it to yourself and your body to give it only the best.