A healthy diet plays a crucial role in recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. Detox is the first step in the healing process because it removes toxins and other harmful substances from the body. But you’ll also need to restore the vitamins and nutrients that your body is missing so that you can be “whole” again. While there are vitamins you can take to speed up this process, nothing is better than getting your nutrients from fresh and wholesome foods.
Acceptance Recovery Center has a drug and alcohol detox referral program for those who need medical detox before entering treatment. We recommend a medically supervised program for most individuals because it’s safer and leads to improved outcomes. Below are some of the best foods you can eat when detoxing from drugs or alcohol.
Start with Hydration
Alcohol, in particular, is notorious for dehydrating the body. The body needs lots of water to function efficiently and remove toxins. It’s also essential in detox because some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to drink plenty of water or electrolyte-packed beverages like Gatorade.
Dark, Green Leafy Vegetables
They might not be the most exciting foods to eat, but these vegetables are packed with vitamin B6, folic acid and beta-carotene. You can eat leafy vegetables in salads or cook them down and serve them as a side dish with a piece of chicken or turkey. If you don’t have an appetite for them just yet, add them to smoothies instead.
High Protein Foods
Protein helps the body repair itself, so you’ll definitely need to be getting this nutrient into your body as quickly as possible. Your body will be working overtime to heal from the addiction, and protein will provide you with energy and stamina.
Thankfully, high protein foods are usually palatable for people in recovery so you shouldn’t have trouble finding things that taste good. Here are a few ideas:
- Lean meats – beef, lamb and veal
- Poultry – chicken and turkey
- Fish and seafood – crab, lobster, oysters, scallops
- Plant proteins – tofu, black beans and quinoa
- Dairy products – yogurt, milk, cheese
Colorful Fruits and Veggies
Fill your plates with colorful fruits and vegetables. A sliced banana in the morning, an apple and peanut butter for snack and yogurt topped with berries for dessert – see how easy it is!
Fruits and veggies should be the backbone of your diet because they contain the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need to be healthy and strong. As you get used to adding these to your diet, you’ll find that they offer additional benefits like giving you energy (no need for coffee!) and fighting depression and inflammation.
Here are some of the best foods that may reduce depression symptoms:
- Fresh berries
- Kiwi fruit
The body needs complex carbs for energy, digestion and metabolism. But did you know that complex carbs can also help alleviate nervousness and anxiety? It’s true!
Stay away from refined carbs like cakes, cookies and crackers, as these do not provide the same benefits as complex carbs. Instead, they can lead to inflammation, weight gain and blood sugar problems. Focus on adding these complex carbs to your diet:
- Whole grains – quinoa, buckwheat, whole-wheat pasta
- Fiber-rich fruits – apples, berries, bananas
- Fiber-rich vegetables – broccoli, carrots, leafy greens
- Beans and legumes
Low-Fat Dairy Products
Dairy products aren’t just for calcium. They also pack in vitamin A, vitamin B2 and live cultures that promote good digestive health. Additionally, dairy products promote strong, healthy bones that you need for balance and exercise.
Luckily, it’s easy to squeeze dairy into your diet. Yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, smoothies and plain milk are all great snacks that will give you the energy to keep going.
Can’t I Just Take Supplements to Get the Nutrients I Need?
Your doctor may prescribe specific supplements for detox and recovery based on your individual needs. For instance, people with alcohol use disorders are often deficient in vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate and thiamine. However, it’s also possible to get too much of these nutrients, causing scar buildup and digestive problems.
If your doctor does recommend taking a supplement, it will probably be short term. Eventually, the goal is to take care of your body by eating the right foods. When you choose a holistic rehabilitation facility like Acceptance Recovery Center, you’ll receive nutritional education that teaches you how to eat healthy.
It takes time to adopt a wholesome, balanced eating regimen, so don’t expect to jump into this diet right away. Give yourself grace and focus on adding something nutritious to each meal. Also be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand so that you don’t get hungry. Hunger can be confused for a craving, so you want to prevent yourself from reaching this point.
Establishing Healthy Habits in Recovery
Eating healthy is a great first step, but it comes with other lifestyle changes. To get the most benefit, you’ll need to exercise regularly and stick to consistent meal times. If you start therapy right after detox, you’ll be working on creating healthy habits right away. It’s the best way to get your health back on track!
Acceptance Recovery Center is an outpatient rehab facility in Scottsdale AZ. We have comprehensive treatment plans that can be personalized to your specific needs. We communicate with our referral detox centers so that we are aware of any special accommodations our clients need.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about starting a complete and personalized addiction treatment program.