The Role of Nutrition in Recovery
During rehab, the holistic addiction therapy of good nutrition is vitally important. It’s common for people to enter inpatient drug and alcohol rehab malnourished. They often have little appetite, indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems both from the use of substances and poor eating habits over a long period of time.
Eating a healthy diet strengthens the immune system, and gives the bones, muscles, skin and all of the organs the nourishment needed to repair the damage caused by exposure to the toxic chemicals in drugs and alcohol.
A healthy diet also helps heal the brain. Drug and alcohol abuse interferes with brain’s intricate chemistry, causing levels of naturally occurring dopamine to plummet. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved in many essential brain functions, including regulating emotions, mental clarity and feelings of pleasure.
Eating nutritious and satisfying food, on a regular schedule, replenishes dopamine naturally. This helps stave off cravings and prevent mood swings that can contribute to relapse.
Through Bluff Plantation’s nutrition holistic rehab program, patients experience the full cycle of food production, from farm to table. In the horticulture therapy program, patients participate in taking care of our onsite vegetable and herb gardens. The simple act of digging in the dirt, planting seeds and watering plants is relaxing and meditative, and gets people back in touch with what is deeply satisfying about the sights, sounds and smells of nature.
Then, using fresh vegetables and herbs grown in the gardens on our grounds, the chefs at Bluff Plantation create meals brimming with flavor and important nutrients. By participating in our culinary art therapy program, patients learn how to prepare meals that will help to sustain them when they return to life after treatment.
Our chefs prepare a hot breakfast, lunch, dinner, and several snacks daily. This focus on nutrition replenishes vitamins and minerals, boosts dopamine naturally, and gives the body what it needs to repair itself from the damage caused by alcohol addictions and drug abuse.