Rehabs That Offer Vegetarian Diets To Improve Recovery

Someone entering rehab is likely in a very vulnerable state emotionally and physically. The right combination of diet and exercise can significantly reduce drug cravings, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your full recovery.

Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet During Drug Rehab

First of all, a vegetarian diet may not be the right fit for everyone, but utilizing a meat-free diet in rehab can offer a number of benefits. A 2010 study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), demonstrated a significant improvement in mood with the vegetarian study group over the omnivorous control group.

These results ran contrary to previously held beliefs that diet low in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA) impaired moods. What the new study revealed was that the vegetarian diet, while low in these essential fatty acids, was high in a-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA), countering the effects low EPA, DHA, and AA intake and resulting in significant overall mood improvement on part of the vegetarian participants.

An overseas study indicated those individuals who ate a diet high in omega-3 acids showed a 30 percent decrease in symptoms of depression over the control group. Omega-3 acids affect mood in a complex way. Where there is a depletion of these essential acids, blood tests show higher levels of neuroactive steroids present in blood plasma. In short, this elevation may lead to higher rates of nerve cell excitability, resulting in higher levels of anxiety and related depression.

Which Foods Are High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Foods high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids include many seeds and leafy greens. Seeds including flax, chia, sunflower, safflower, and pumpkin; nuts including walnuts and pecans; leafy greens like kale, arugula, spinach, and purslane; legumes like mung, navy, and kidney beans; cabbages like cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and brussels sprouts; squashes like acorn, butternut, and pumpkins; and cooking oils like olive, mustard, and canola, at low temperatures.

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Foods that tend to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Cabbages
  • Squashes
  • Some low-temp cooking oils

Vegetarian diets are lower in the kinds of fats that slow digestion, making them slightly easier on the body, which can be helpful as a person is going through the initial detox period.

Drug Rehabs That Provide Vegetarian Options

When looking for drug rehabs that provide vegetarian options, also consider complementary therapies that improve mood through exercise including yoga, swimming, biking, hiking, and even meditation. The following are examples of rehab centers that provide a full spectrum focus on an individual’s overall health and well-being. Exercise in conjunction with a low-meat diet is a quick way to stabilize your mood during the turbulent first few months of recovery.

  • Clarity Way is a treatment facility located in Pennsylvania known for their treatment of addiction as well as their chronic pain management program. In addition to vegetarian options, Clarity offers a variety of non-12-Step options, including the evidence supported the SMART Recovery model. The program includes nutrition counseling and classes in yoga, Pilates, and meditation.
  • Cottonwood Tucson in Arizona treats a wide variety of addiction-related issues with a strong focus on diet and physical health and well-being. Vegetarian options are offered in addition to complementary treatment approaches like yoga and swimming. Cottonwood staffs a recreational therapist to work with patients in crafting an exercise regimen that is right for them.

These and many drug rehabs provide a level of comprehensive care to improve your physical, and mental health with diet, exercise, and effective treatment models. When deciding which treatment center is right for you, it’s important to ask about these options.

If you’re serious about utilizing vegetarianism during your early recovery, ask whether the rehab center staffs a licensed nutritionist or someone who can assist you in meal planning during your stay. This will help you get the most out of your rehab experience and will equip you with the tools to maintain a healthy and sober lifestyle well into the future.

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