16 Foods That Boost Your Immune System During Recovery

September 14, 2022 | Alcohol Addiction , Drug addiction

boost your immune system

How Addiction Affects Your Immune System

The immune system is a finely balanced process that takes place in our body, and whenever harmful pathogens (germs) or toxins like drugs or alcohol get in, our immune system will try to fight them off. It recognizes and neutralizes harmful substances like bacteria or viruses, and attacks cancer cells. The problem is that when harmful substances are continuously introduced into the body, the immune system becomes overwhelmed by the effects of them on the body, and is weakened by changes in eating and sleeping patterns, dehydration, and exhaustion.

When the immune system becomes weak, you have a poor immune response and become more susceptible to getting sick, infections, disease, and poor organ function, including digestive issues, liver failure, autoimmunity, and a decrease in white blood cell count.

To help reduce the effects addiction has had on your body and to boost your immune system you can:

  • Eat nutritious and healthy immune-boosting foods
  • Eat regular meals
  • Get enough sleep
  • Get medical advice about your diet and vitamin intake
  • Stop using drugs and alcohol for good
boost your immune system

16 Immune Boosting Foods to Eat in Addiction Recovery

Our immune systems can use a little help now and again, especially if we have been eating a diet high in saturated fat and using drugs and alcohol regularly. Some healthy foods, fruits and vegetables that will boost your immune system are:

  1. Citrus fruits – vitamin C
  2. Papaya – vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate and the anti-inflammatory enzyme papain
  3. Kiwi – vitamin K, folate, potassium, and vitamin C
  4. Red bell pepper – vitamin C and beta carotene
  5. Yogurt with live and active cultures like Greek yogurt
  6. Almonds – vitamin E
  7. Broccoli – vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, and antioxidants
  8. Garlic – boost the immune system using sulfur-containing compounds like allicin
  9. Ginger – reduces inflammation and nausea
  10. Spinach – vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene
  11. Sunflower seeds – selenium, vitamin B-6 and vitamin E
  12. Turmeric – anti-inflammatory properties and curcumin
  13. Poultry / chicken soup – high in vitamins B-6
  14. Shellfish – high in zinc
  15. Green tea and black teas – flavonoid antioxidants
  16. Sweet potato – vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin and zinc, as well as antioxidants, protecting cells from day-to-day damage

Why a Healthy Diet Is Important for Recovery

One of the main components of any recovery is making healthier choices. Your mind will work better, your body will heal faster, and you will feel better overall. A healthy immune system when combined with physical activity and a healthy diet will help you:

  • Avoid infections like the common cold, ear infection, etc.
  • Reduce your risk of developing breast cancer
  • Stabilize blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis
  • Assist in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improve heart health and decrease the risk of heart disease
  • Improve women’s health issues like regular periods
  • Improve your mood and mental health
  • Help reduce chronic pain

Who knew that green tea, a sweet potato, and a bell pepper could do you so much good? Eating a medically reviewed diet that boosts your immune system will make you feel good, improve mental health, and motivate you to focus on your well-being and stay in long-term recovery.

Start Healing with Quantum Recovery

Quantum is an outpatient care provider for addiction treatment, offering connections to inpatient detox and rehab facilities that will provide you with medically reviewed nutritional foods that will enhance immune systems and replenish vitamin deficiencies. You may also receive treatments like holistic massage, acupuncture, exercise therapy, yoga, and other ways to move your body, and regain your strength as you detox, improving health conditions.

Once you complete your inpatient rehab, you will have learned about healthy eating, so when you move back home and begin outpatient treatment with us, you will have the basics, and with our support will be able to continue living a healthy lifestyle as you work through our evidence-based scientific treatments and programs, with continued holistic care for a whole-patient approach to healing the mind, body, and spirit.

There are three levels of care at Quantum:

  • Partial care program (PC) – a minimum of 20 hours a week of treatments provided during the day
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP) – a minimum of 9 hours a week, provided on a flexible schedule that will work around your work and other important engagements, so you can live a relatively normal life while in treatment
  • Outpatient program (OP) – fewer than 9 hours a week of self-directed healing, therapy and support, with connections to 12-step groups and peer groups

Therapies and programs offered at Quantum include:

  • Physical health care/medical care
  • Medication management
  • Art therapy and music therapy
  • One-on-one therapy
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Dual diagnosis programs
  • 12-step programs
  • Relapse prevention

Your treatment plan will be tailored to your individual needs. Please call us today for additional information about addiction, and how we will create a tailored treatment plan that will help you take back control over your life, regain your health, and stop misusing drugs and alcohol for good. Call us today at (609) 993-0733.