Once an individual has made the decision to stop drinking, it’s important to prepare for the withdrawal symptoms that will occur. Fortunately, some of these symptoms can be reduced by following a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some nutrition tips to keep in mind for restoring the body and eliminating the craving for alcohol.
Alcohol strips the body of moisture and deprives the internal organs of necessary water in order to function properly. During the early stages of alcohol detox, it is natural to feel fatigued, anxious and even nauseous. The dehydration that sometimes occurs after the body is no longer receiving alcohol can also result in depression and loss of appetite. These symptoms are also common when it comes to alcohol detox in general, but not getting enough fluids can make these symptoms much worse.
It’s important to drink lots of water, especially during the initial stages of detox. Juices that are low in sugar and high in vitamin C are also helpful for hydrating the body and boosting the function of the immune system, which is crucial during this time.
Incorporate Broths and Soups Into the Diet
During the initial stages of detoxifying from alcohol, it’s best to saturate the body with nutrients in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Soups and broths have lots of vitamins and minerals and are easy to digest, which is why they work well during the first few days of an alcohol detox. These foods are also light on the stomach and can help to reduce or prevent nausea. The broths or soups should include as many vegetables as possible; carrots, cabbage and onion are among the vegetables that make flavourful and healthy stocks. Including chicken and turkey in these soups adds protein to the meal and helps to provide a feeling of fullness that isn’t too overwhelming.
Supplement With Vitamins and Minerals
In addition to eating foods that are rich in nutrients, it’s also essential to supplement with several minerals and vitamins. It’s quite common for alcoholics to be deficient in a number of important nutrients, including vitamin A, which is vital for the health of the cells, and vitamin D, which helps to strengthen the bones and muscles. Vitamin A, which is also an antioxidant that fights off free radicals and prevents premature aging, is found naturally in foods like carrots and fatty fish. Vitamin D is found in natural sunlight, and can also be found in fortified milk and cereals.
Vitamin E may also be necessary, since this nutrient restores the health of the skin, hair and nails. Natural sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils and almonds. Vitamin K, which is prevalent in spinach and bananas, is also vital to those who are recovering from alcohol addiction. This vitamin restores the health of the blood and helps to heal and prevent muscle and nerve injury. The body is also craving healthy sources of fibre during this time, which is why whole grains and leafy greens should be a staple in the detox diet.
In addition to adhering to these diet regulations, it’s also very important to abstain from sugars and caffeine during the detox period, since these substances can aggravate the nervous system and worsen the anxiety and jittery feeling that often comes with weaning the body from alcohol.