Alcohol Detox Diet
Alcohol abuse can cause significant deficiencies in nutrition. A healthy alcohol detox diet is critical so that a person healing from addiction can ingest and replace the nutrients that are necessary for proper healing. When detoxing from alcohol, it may initially be challenging to think about eating or ingesting anything, but as symptoms improve, it is important to be mindful of incorporating a balanced diet. An alcohol detox diet at home should focus on hydration, replacing electrolytes, correcting abnormal fluid levels and ingesting the right types of vitamins and minerals.
When Detoxing From Alcohol Focus On These Things…
At the beginning of alcohol detox, it is important to eat lightly, as heavier snacks or meals may induce nausea and vomiting. Initial foods to detox from alcohol should include soups that contain vegetables and lean proteins such as beans, fish or poultry. Other liquids should also be incorporated, including teas, fruit juices and vegetable drinks to provide the body with nutritional assistance.
Hydrating With Electrolytes
Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body. Staying hydrated is crucial during the beginning stages of alcohol detox, as dehydration will only intensify symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite and sweating. Hydration is also important as the body adjusts to lower amounts of fluid intake to help get rid of toxins.
Alcohol and imbalanced electrolytes can interfere with the metabolism and the body’s systems. It is imperative to detox with water after drinking alcohol to stay hydrated and help flush the system. Juices, soups and broths, ice pops and gelatins are some other choices for rehydration.
Supplementing with Vitamins and Minerals
Alcohol prevents the body from efficiently absorbing nutrients, which often results in various vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Alcohol vitamin deficiency is especially prevalent with B vitamins, which are critical for turning food into usable energy sources. Detox foods containing high amounts of vitamin B, such as eggs, nuts and milk can be helpful in correcting this deficiency. Other sources of vitamin B can include leafy greens, beans and whole grains, which can further correct deficiencies of vitamin b impacted by alcohol. Other important vitamins for alcohol detox should include vitamins A, D, E and K to help the body heal faster.
Maintaining A Balanced Diet
Alcohol negatively impacts the body’s ability to use and digest critical nutrients. It is important to maintain a balanced diet during alcohol detox to assist in the body’s recovery. A balanced diet of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy oils and fats can help increase cardiac health, cognition and brain functioning and moods.
- Protein: Eating protein after drinking alcohol is important, as protein assists the body in restoring certain organs such as the liver, kidneys and pancreas. Lean sources of protein also help with hangovers. Fish, poultry, nuts and beans, also help blood sugar levels and tissue repair.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Consuming complex carbohydrates is important to settle the stomach. Eating fruit after drinking alcohol prompts the digestive system to start moving and regulate blood sugar levels. Complex carbohydrates take a long time to digest and give energy for extended periods of time.
- Unsaturated Fats: Unsaturated fats are healthy fats, which help the body with nutrient absorption and can be a significant source of energy. Alcohol and omega-3 are correlated in that reduced omega-3 consumption may lead to increased levels of depression.
Foods to Avoid During an Alcohol Detox
It is important to stay away from heavy foods that are difficult to digest and absorb while detoxing from alcohol. Unhealthy foods, such as junk foods, fatty foods or processed foods should be avoided during alcohol detox. When detoxing from alcohol, you should try to stay away from foods that are high in sugar, simple carbohydrates or salt. It would be beneficial to avoid heavy red meats, dairy, eggs and condiments like mayonnaise.
More About the Detox Process
Alcohol detox focuses on helping the body to detoxify from alcohol. A person can either detox by tapering down and gradually lowering their alcohol intake or stopping their alcohol consumption all at once. Professional alcohol withdrawal treatment programs are the safest option for detoxification, as it allows individuals to be closely monitored during the withdrawal process.
The severity of withdrawal can vary from person to person and is dependent on various factors, such as how long the person has been abusing alcohol, the quantity and frequency in which a person has used alcohol and physiological factors such as weight or age. The alcohol detox timeline takes approximately one week but can last for shorter or longer duration of time depending on the individual.
If you or someone you know is struggling to stop using alcohol on their own, help is available. The Recovery Village Columbus offers medical detox programs that include a monitored diet for healthy recovery. Call today to learn more about medical detox for long-term healing.
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- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “The Role of Thiamine Deficiency in Alcoholic Brain Disease.” 2003. Accessed April 12, 2021.
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