What is Veganism?
Veganism is the most restrictive form of vegetarianism. No animal products are consumed, at all, including eggs and dairy products. It can be a major lifestyle change to adapt to veganism, and may not be right for everyone. However, veganism can be beneficial to some people recovering from drugs and/or alcohol.
The Benefits Of A Vegan Diet During Detox And Treatment
The first few weeks of recovery are typically the most difficult. They are filled with emotional ups and downs caused by major hormone swings in the body. These hormone swings can bring about excess weight gain, as is common in people going through the process of quitting a substance.
A vegan diet can help someone in recovery maintain a healthy weight throughout their recovery. Studies have also shown a vegan diet can promote clear skin, decrease the risk of heart disease and type II diabetes, and help in preventing some cancers.
Additionally, many nutritionists believe that the mood disorders experienced during recovery from drugs and alcohol may happen, at least in part, due to an excess of Omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids make up a majority of the American diet. They can be found in foods like vegetable oil, salad dressing, cookies, and french fries, to name a few.
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However, some studies show that a leafy-green diet, like veganism, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, can have a positive effect on mood. This type of diet has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression markers in some people, which is a major benefit to those in recovery. Foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids can include but are not limited to:
- Brussel sprouts
- seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and flax)
- olive oil and fish oil
Omega-3 fatty acids have also been known to benefit eye and heart health, joints, and overall brain function. Diets that include a lot of omega-3 fatty acids typically are low in the types of fats that slow digestion, this can be helpful when going through the initial detox period of recovery.
Plant-based diets can also battle against inflammation which helps to keep many diseases at bay including breast and ovarian cancer, and obesity. After a long-time addiction, a vegan diet can be an excellent source of antioxidants, which is very beneficial in fighting off free radicals in an used body.
Drug And Alcohol Rehabs That Provide Vegan-Friendly Options
When selecting a rehabilitation center that provides a vegan-friendly diet option it is also important to consider the additional services that may be offered, as well. A holistic focus on the mind and body through various therapies, exercise courses, and mindfulness practices can be very beneficial to some as they go through the process of recovery.
Stabilizing one’s mood during the initial recovery process may mean the difference between a successful and unsuccessful recovery. A meat-free diet, in combination with plenty of exercise and counseling, can be the key to leveling out your mood and providing the clarity needed to quit the addictive substance.
The following are examples of drug and alcohol treatment centers that have been recognized by PETA to provide vegetarian-friendly (including vegan) diet options as wells as other holistic treatment services, to service the whole individual.
The Caron Foundation is located in Berks County, Pennsylvania and offers five-star eating. “…the Caron Foundation is a vegan’s paradise.” A not-for-profit leader in behavioral health and addiction rehab. The Caron Foundation has impacted thousands of lives in their 60 years of service.
The Meadows is located in Wickenburg Arizona and has helped patients for 40 years with various types of addiction including drug and alcohol and eating disorders. The Meadows has a holistic approach to healing and believes that to fully heal one must address the underlying conditions that lead to addiction.
These are just a few examples of treatment centers that offer vegan diets, and more centers are adding this option to their offerings every day. It is important to consider these options and many more as you decide on the right place for your individual needs.
If a vegan-friendly diet is a serious concern, it may be important to ask if the treatment center has a licensed nutritionist on-site that can help address your individual needs on a one-on-one basis. This can help you get the greatest benefit from your rehab experience and allow you to maintain this lifestyle choice into the future, beyond your recovery.
Drug and alcohol treatment is becoming less about treating the symptoms of addiction and more about treating the individual at the source of their addiction. Recovering at a vegan-friendly drug and alcohol treatment center could mean all the difference.