Alcohol detoxification is the process of eradicating all the toxins and waste products in the body due to excessive alcohol consumption. Usually, it involves counseling to help people understand the process and overcome their psychological dependence on alcohol.
A detox may take up to a week. However, it may last longer and be more dangerous, depending on the severity of alcohol addiction. If you think you need medical assistance, you may visit Jacksonhouserehab.com or your local treatment centers.
At this point, you’re probably wondering if there’s any particular food that may help you during alcohol detox. Food plays a crucial role when undergoing alcohol detox. It allows your body to rest and recover from the damage brought by chronic alcohol consumption.
On top of that, eating the right foods may help you cope with the discomfort due to withdrawal syndrome. So, what are these foods you should be eating during alcohol detox? This article will tell you all the best foods to consume while detoxification. But before that, it’s important to know what foods you should avoid while on alcohol detox.
Foods You Should Be Avoiding During Alcohol Detox
The foods below may slow the detox process and induce withdrawal symptoms such as extreme craving, anxiety, irritability, and depression. In addition, the following foods may prevent your body from healing all the damage brought by chronic drinking:
- Sugary foods such as candy bars, cookies, chocolate confectionery, cakes, ice cream, sweet pastries, soda pop, and more
- Greasy foods such as fried chicken, fries, cheeseburgers, potato chips, deep-dish pizzas, doughnuts, onion rings, and more
- Fatty foods such as buttery popcorn, sausage links, shakes, savory pies, salad dressings, butter, sour cream, creams, and more
Best Foods To Eat During Alcohol Detox
Generally speaking, if you want to maintain proper nutrition, you should focus on eating whole foods. These include nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Also, these are important if you’re looking to boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, it’s important to eat well to have a healthy mind and body. A balanced diet will supply you with the energy you need to make you feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally. Also, proper nutrition may affect your mood, encouraging you to have a positive outlook in life and reducing your risk of relapse.
While it’s always essential to give close and thoughtful attention to the foods you can and can’t eat, some foods contain tons of benefits that’ll help your body recover and heal. Of course, if you’re quite unsure about what to eat, consult your doctor right away. They’ll also help you avoid certain foods that may cause health issues such as allergens.
Here are the best foods you may consider eating while on alcohol detox:
1. Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are among the best foods to consume during alcohol detox. They’ll help cleanse your system and eliminate the substances in your body. Also, they contain plenty of fiber that may aid your digestion, helping you cope with symptoms such as vomiting and nausea.
Here are some fruits and vegetables you may consume while on alcohol detox:
- Berries: These include raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, which contain a healthy dose of natural sugar to combat your cravings and make you full.
- Grapefruits: These contain healthy nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, which may accelerate your detox.
- Apples: These are rich in fiber and a wide range of antioxidants that may help you combat withdrawal symptoms and chronic conditions at the same time. These chronic conditions include heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
- Cucumbers: These are high in electrolytes, which promote hydration and prevent dryness of the mouth—one of the withdrawal symptoms.
- Tomatoes: These are rich in lycopene—an antioxidant that helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Also, it’s rich in vitamin C, which may help boost your immune system during alcohol detox.
- Broccoli: This contains tons of vitamins and minerals your body needs to heal and recover during your detox.
- Onions: These are rich in antioxidants and compounds that may help reduce your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. As such, your body will be able to heal and recover from damage a lot faster.
2. Whole Grains
Whole grains are famous for being rich in fiber. This slows down the release of sugar in your system, preventing mood swings. Also, they can make you feel full and give you enough energy for the entire day. This is why eating at least one serving of whole grains per day is highly recommended.
Here are some of the best whole grains to consume while on alcohol detox:
- Brown Rice: This is an effective way to limit sugar intake by making you feel fuller. Also, it’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese, iron, and selenium, which may help accelerate your body’s healing process.
- Quinoa: This is rich in fiber and extremely low in sugar, perfect for those striving for a sugar-free diet. In addition, quinoa has a higher amount of fiber than brown rice.
- Oatmeal: This is another whole grain that can make you feel full and reduce your blood pressure at the same time.
- Barley: This is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic disease and boost your immunity during detox.
Also, there are grains you might need to avoid. These include white rice, boxed cereals, and others where flour is one of the main ingredients. These options have little fiber content, making you feel weak after eating every meal. As a result, your cravings will increase, leading to an unhealthy diet and a longer detox duration.
3. Foods Rich In Vitamins
Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption may lead to vitamin deficiency, especially when it comes to vitamin B. Vitamin B is responsible for a wide range of critical processes in the body. These include proper brain functioning, maintaining brain cells, and converting food into energy.
However, other essential vitamins may also be affected such as A, E, and D. Without vitamin A, your liver may get weak and damaged. Without vitamin D, your body won’t be able to absorb enough calcium for your skeletal system. This would lead to loss of bone density and mass.
With vitamin deficiency, you’ll become more vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. This is because your immune system that fights off such illnesses is weak without the right vitamins to boost it.
That said, here are some foods rich in vitamins:
- Milk: Milk is a good source of water-soluble vitamins like riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, folate, cobalamin, and vitamin C.
- Beef: Beef is a good source of vitamins B3, B2, B12, and B6. Aside from that, it’s also rich in minerals such as iron, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and potassium.
- Chicken: Chicken is rich in many nutrients necessary for a healthy brain function and nervous system. These include a wide range of vitamin B and other minerals such as potassium, iron, selenium, and zinc.
- Lean Fish: This is an excellent source of vitamin D and some minerals such as selenium and iodine. Also, it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their great contribution to heart health and low cholesterol levels.
- Spinach: This dark, leafy green is an excellent source of a wide range of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, and potassium. However, eating more than enough may lead to abdominal pain and gas cramps.
However, if you have some special food restrictions, which may be due to allergies, consult your doctor right away to look for other options. Your doctor may advise you to take supplements to supply you with the right amount of vitamins and minerals. If that’s the case, it’s best to search for a multivitamin that contains a whole set of vitamins and other essential minerals.
4. Nutrient-Packed Liquids
Nutrient-packed liquids play a crucial role during the recovery process. These include healthy and low-fat soups, stews, smoothies, and shakes. In addition, these foods are essential factors for healthy and balanced eating after rehab. They’ll be able to provide you comfort while restoring the function of your gut that has been severely affected by chronic drinking.
Here are some foods you might want to consider adding to your nutrient-rich liquid diet:
- Fruits And Vegetables: As you already know, these wonders are packed with tons of vitamins and minerals that may help restore the cells lost due to substance abuse. You may turn them into healthy smoothies or extract the juice from them with a juicer.
- Soups: These include clear broths (chicken, beef, vegetable), bouillon, pureed and strained vegetable soup, strained meat soup (may contain pieces of meat), and cream-based soups. As much as possible, keep your soups low in fat and oils.
- Dairy: These include all kinds of cow’s milk (low-fat, fat-free, reduced-fat, whole, fresh), half-and-half, butter, sour cream, custard-style yogurts, and lactose-free substitutes (soy milk, almond milk, nut milk, and flax milk).
- Grains: These include grits, cream of rice, cream of wheat, and other cereal cooked and thinned with milk.
- Beverages: These include lemonade, hot cocoa, and sports drinks.
These foods are essential for substance abuse recovery as such substances may strain the digestive system. The digestive tract has to function properly before any food enters your body. Soups may provide relief while you’re still in the process of getting back to your previous diet. Also, they’re less taxing on your body.
5. Healthy Nuts For Snacks
Nuts are wonderful snacks and a great way to fill your stomach. If you’re craving something, nuts may be able to help satisfy your needs without excess sugar. Also, they’re high in protein and low in calories.
In addition, some nuts may be able to increase your energy such as macadamia and almonds. So, if your mood swings or blood sugar drops, make sure to have plenty of those on hand. Also, try to make this a habit instead of eating candies and other sweets that may put your health at risk.
Here are some types of nuts you may consider adding to your alcohol detox diet:
- Pecans are a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium for controlling blood pressure.
- Macadamias are bursting in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and healthy fats for regulating metabolism and weight loss.
- Almonds are rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and phosphorus for healthy bones and skin.
- Hazelnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phenolic acids for regulating hypertension, oxidative stress, cholesterol levels, and preventing inflammation.
- Brazil nuts are a good source of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, particularly selenium, for reducing inflammation and supporting heart health function.
- Walnuts are a good source of polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower bad cholesterol in the body.
- Pistachios are bursting in potassium, fiber, minerals, and unsaturated fats for regulating blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.
- Cashews are a good source of fiber, healthy fats, and protein, which promotes a healthy weight, heart, and blood sugar levels.
On top of that, nuts are one of the best snacks to make you feel fuller while providing you with tons of nutrients such as protein, zinc, iron, and fiber. These nutrients, especially the latter three, have been found to offer protection against different types of cancer when eaten regularly.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a great spice that may help you recover during alcohol detox. It contains capsaicin, which has stimulating and pain-relieving effects—a perfect way to cope with symptoms. This may help you in the early stages of your recovery when the cravings are high. So, how does it work?
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps stimulate the production of endorphins—a hormone responsible for the feelings of delight and happiness. It also provides relief when experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. That said, adding a dash of cayenne to your dishes will be able to boost your journey out of addiction.
Here are some healthy and nutritious dishes that can be further improved with the help of the magic spice:
- Vegetable soup
- Chili sauce but with less grease
- Chili con carne but with less oil
- Healthy marinades for lean meats such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken
- Indian curry, but be careful in using cream and oil
Alcohol detoxification is an effective way to remove all the toxins and substances brought by chronic drinking. However, it’s not an easy process, especially when it comes to withdrawal symptoms. You may crave foods that aren’t good for you such as greasy, fatty, and sugary foods.
So, instead of such unhealthy snacks, you might want to try the six food groups mentioned in this article. These options are bursting in vitamins, minerals, and other components that may help you live a healthy and sober lifestyle. Also, these will help you cope with the symptoms you might experience during the process.