And that’s not to mention their tendency to make us feel depressed or sluggish after eating them. Because withdrawal can already induce depressed and sluggish feelings, it’s best to eat healthier foods that leave us feeling energized and nourished. If you find yourself craving sugar during the withdrawal phase, it’s best to seek out healthy, natural alternatives like fruit.

  • Drinking coffee can cause rapid heart rate, restlessness, and shakiness.
  • This is why nutrition and a healthy diet are such key components of the recovery process, starting at the beginning with detox.
  • These minerals are known as electrolytes which help regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure, and keep your nerves and muscles healthy.

It also affects your body’s ability to absorb B vitamins and folic acid. It can trigger irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and other gastrointestinal illnesses, too. Heavy drinking makes it harder for your organs to work the way they’re supposed to, especially your stomach lining, pancreas, intestines, and liver. Loss of appetite is one of the signs of liver diseases like cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. Good nutrition also helps your brain rework old connections and make new ones.

Foods High in Zinc

As it reduces cravings, improves mental health, and heals damage from substance abuse. Other recovery programs have gyms and fitness centers that you can use at designated times. Both regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve mood, increase energy levels, promote self-confidence and self-esteem, repair tissue and organ damage, and alleviate drug or alcohol cravings. Excessive alcohol consumption inhibits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, dramatically influences the diet of the heavy drinker and can result in severe malnutrition. A healthy diet, complete with supplements recommended by your doctor, can go a long way toward restoring normal body function.

So, you’ve quit drinking—and perhaps you’re already starting to feel the health benefits. You may feel fatigued or toxified, struggle with food cravings, or not feel like eating much at all. And if you established unhealthy eating habits while drinking alcohol, they may suddenly be very obvious. Let’s speed up your recovery and ease your transition to a newly sober life. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can prolong alcohol withdrawal symptoms and lead to malnutrition and dehydration.

Are there any specific meal plans recommended for recovering alcoholics?

Stimulant users will often stay up for days at a time and repeatedly use the drug. These “binges” may lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances due to a significant decrease in appetite and inattention to nutrition. Consistent, long-term use can lead to severe weight loss and malnutrition. This stage typically starts 3–5 years after you’ve stopped drinking. People often need to address past trauma or familial issues during this time.

  • Secondly, addiction influences habits such as sporadic eating and poor nutrition that impair the body.
  • Some of the most important amino acids for neuroplasticity are tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and glutamine.
  • A nutritionist can help you address specific dietary needs, establish regular meal patterns, achieve portion control and help meet many other important nutritional needs.
  • Along with supplementation, designing your ideal diet is a major pillar of physical recovery from alcohol addiction.
  • Although refined grains like white bread also offer carbohydrates for energy, they are not as healthy an option compared with whole-grain alternatives.

It’s important to note that it’s best to avoid excessively sweet drinks like soda, teas, or juices sweetened with added sugars. If you want something with a bit of flavor, unsweetened green tea is a great choice. It’s also helpful to minimize caffeine intake, as caffeine is a diuretic and can exacerbate dehydration in early recovery. These are molecules that stop the bad effects of free radicals, which are unstable and reactive atoms that can hurt the brain cells and reduce neuroplasticity.

Nutritional Guidelines and Diet for Addiction Recovery

Alcohol does not provide essential nutrients, and malnutrition can develop. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, found in walnuts and salmon, can help reduce anxiety in people struggling with substance abuse. Chronic alcohol use can cause nutrient deficiencies, and fruits and vegetables are one of the best ways to restore these imbalances. They may also help improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help with alcohol detox. Alcohol vitamin deficiency is difficult to spot, and by the time symptoms start, it is too late to treat. Recovery from alcohol withdrawal is possible with the right foods, fluids, and vitamins.

  • Drug and alcohol abuse severely affects the natural levels of two essential amino acids within the brain, namely tryptophan and tyrosine.
  • Embracing a full and balanced diet will not only make you feel better physically but your mental state will improve immeasurably.
  • Our ancestors instinctively knew that organ meats have more nutrient density than the popular cuts that we eat today.
  • And since your brain needs certain fatty acids to function optimally, eating enough good fats is key in a healthy diet for alcoholics.
  • Symptoms may persist for days or weeks after the last drink of alcohol, making it harder for someone to eat a proper meal.
  • They are likely brand names that you can easily find in stores or on Google.

Good nutrition helps your body heal, fixing the harm that too much alcohol has done. Foods that are rich in nutrients help your mental health, easing feelings like sadness and worry that often come with recovery. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar steady, which gives you more energy and mood balance, which are important for facing the difficulties of recovery. Detox can be an uncomfortable and difficult process for patients experiencing alcohol addiction and dependence.

While water is always important, it is even more important for those undergoing alcohol detox and the early stages of treatment. Especially in the beginning, you should be drinking so much water that you feel like you are going to float away. Water is a great and easy way to help speed up the alcohol detox process and help flush your body out of all the alcohol recovery diet harmful substances that you were ingesting when you were using. Nutrient-rich liquids such as soups, stews, and smoothies are one of the best foods for alcohol detox, especially in the beginning of the detox process and the early parts of rehab treatment. One of the first things that need to be “fixed” when undergoing treatment is the digestive system.

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