Diet, Nutrition and Substance Use Disorder

Research shows that a healthy diet with plenty of nutrients can boost your recovery from addiction

March 2, 2022
Chopping vegetables

Looking for research on nutrition and recovery?

We found Utah State University’s fact sheet on diet, nutrition and substance use disorder very helpful. The university’s research concluded that:

While nutrition interventions are not regularly utilized in treatment and recovery resources, they have been shown to produce positive impacts on various aspects of recovery. People with an SUD should consider reviewing the role that proper nutrition can play in SUD treatment, and advocate for its inclusion in their own recovery journey.

One of the key takeaways highlighted in the fact sheet about recovery and nutrition:

Food provides “fuel” for the body and mind, with different nutrients impacting mood and overall health in various ways (Jensen, et al., 2019). Increasing consumption of healthy “fuel,” such as fatty acids, B vitamins, zinc and antioxidants can increase neurotransmitter signaling in the brain (Du et al., 2014). Depressed neurotransmitter signaling is associated with depression and suicidal thoughts that sometimes occur with SUD, so increasing the consumption of these healthy nutrients can reverse these negative symptoms (Du et al., 2014). Furthermore, with adequate nutrition to power the brain, a person in SUD recovery may experience fewer cravings and prolonged abstinence (Jeynes & Gibson, 2017; Martinotti et al., 2010). The benefits of adequate nutrition can be key during recovery and treatment, so learning about improving nutrition can aid a person’s recovery journey.

Here’s a link to the full Utah State University fact sheet and recommendations.

Source: The article was produced by Utah State University’s Health Extension: Advocacy, Research, and Teaching Initiative, also known as HEART. This cutting-edge, four-year pilot program is aligned with the National Cooperative Extension’s recently instituted essential focus area in health and wellness. HEART serves as a model of how the extension can join community partners to better address the health and wellness needs in Utah. HEART brings unique academic resources into the community, partnering locally and nationally to address the opioid epidemic and other pressing public health issues.

More Lifestyle

Man and woman traveling sober in Marrakech, Morocco

The Definitive Guide to Sober Travel

Vacations shouldn't be nerve-racking, but in recovery, it's not always that simple. We asked three sober travel pros how to make your trips fun — and more fulfilling than ever.

Sober couple riding a motorcycle on the beach

Sure-Bet Sober Date Ideas

Ready to get back out there? Sober dating isn't so hard. But here are a few pointers anyway, to help you find your groove.

Man playing bass at a concert

Sobriety Roundtable: What's Your Favorite Sober Activity?

From roller derby to CrossFit and dog fostering to splurging on Mexican, nine sober folks shared what they do for fun and fulfillment. Get some ideas for your own Dry January or longer-term sobriety!

Annie Zimmerman's soberversary cake

The Joy of Baking (Sober)

Two months sober, Annie Zimmerman decided to make cookies. Now, her hobby turned passion yields fulfillment, connection and delicious soberversary cakes. Read the interview!

NFL players celebrate after a touchdown

Now Elite NFL Players, They First Tackled Addiction | News Roundup

All Sober compiles the best of the latest headlines. Here's your addiction and recovery news for the week of Feb. 19, 2024!

All Sober in Chicago

All Sober in Chicago

A great town for recovery, come sun, rain or snow! Check out our video guide to the Windy City's best sober options for bars, bottle shops — and even an arcade with vintage games.

All Sober in New York, at Hekate Cafe

All Sober in New York

The Big Apple truly has it all — including a sober bar with a "witchy vibe" and an array of enchanting non-alc cocktails. Take a peek in our video guide to the sober city!

All Sober in Portland at The Recovery Gym

All Sober in Portland

Oregon's cultural capital may be weird and proud, but it's sober and proud too! We scoped out the coolest sober-friendly spots in our new video guide.

New Report

Close