Nutrition In Addiction Recovery

When you drink alcohol, it releases a burst of dopamine, serotonin, and other “feel good” chemicals in your brain. With prolonged alcohol use, your body can come to rely on alcohol to feel good, and crave the boost in feel good chemicals. When someone stops drinking, their dopamine and serotonin levels are initially depleted, so it’s common for them to seek out other sources of comfort and pleasure to compensate. For many people in the withdrawal phase, this results in cravings for specific foods. Excess processed foods can lead to weight gain, elevated blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. When consumed after an evening of drinking, processed foods can exacerbate these negative effects.

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Diet for Recovering Alcoholics

It’s important to note that in some cases, alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous or even life-threatening. That’s why it’s crucial you speak to a healthcare professional before significantly reducing your alcohol consumption. For people experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, eating can prove difficult. But nourishment is important once a physician deems an individual stable enough to eat.

How Whole Grains Assist in Detoxification

Secondly, addiction influences habits such as sporadic eating and poor nutrition that impair the body. Milk thistle is essential for those with cirrhosis and alcohol-induced fatty liver. It can improve liver function and protect the liver from various toxins. While more research is needed to see if it can also aid those with cancer, some studies have noted its potential in this area. Similarly, nutritional yeast contains many B vitamins that your body is likely missing as a result of alcohol use.

Why Does Alcohol Withdrawal Cause Food Cravings?

Diet for Recovering Alcoholics

It should be no surprise people who have a drinking problem don’t practice the best nutrition. Eating irregular can cause low blood sugar levels, which alcohol recovery diet has a direct effect on your mood. When newly sober people get anxious, angry, or irritated, these negative moods can make you crave alcohol or drugs.

Supplementing with specific vitamins and minerals like thiamine, vitamin C, and magnesium can support your liver’s recovery and restore essential nutrients that AUD has depleted.Improving your gut health can also make your liver and kidneys more efficient at detoxing.

Although refined grains like white bread also offer carbohydrates for energy, they are not as healthy an option compared with whole-grain alternatives. At Gateway Foundation, we understand the importance of nutrition for recovering addicts, and we incorporate it into our many recovery programs and services. Every individual has different nutritional needs that can impact their experience in treatment, which is why we work hard to provide customized treatment plans that address nutrition. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to form new connections and rearrange old ones, typically in response to injury, disease or a change in the environment. The development of addiction is itself an example of neuroplasticity, as the reward pathway’s activity chemically adapts to the presence of drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and poor eating can stop your liver from releasing glucose into your blood.

What are some nutrient-rich foods that can support the recovery process for alcoholics?

Food addiction: ‘It was like I had to control a monster inside me that wanted to eat everything’ – BBC

Food addiction: ‘It was like I had to control a monster inside me that wanted to eat everything’.

Posted: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 08:00:00 GMT [source]

You may have a strong urge to eat sweets because they set off dopamine, the same chemical messenger triggered by some drugs. Of course, these same chemicals can cause you to crave drinking again which can be a serious problem for former alcoholics for obvious reasons. Take our short alcohol quiz to learn where you fall on the drinking spectrum and if you might benefit from quitting or cutting back on alcohol. Eat a variety of whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice).

We have inpatient and outpatient facilities nearby and across the country ready to help.There are no meal plans that major scientific or medical organizations specifically recommend.Having enough protein can help reduce withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, headache, and fatigue.Recovering drug users see improvement in their moods when they eat balanced diets, which often leads to the greater mental willpower necessary to conquer addiction.

Best Foods for Alcohol Detox

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