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Drug & Alcohol Detox Diet: Best Foods to Eat While Detoxing

Last Updated: December 7, 2023

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Every day, our bodies undergo a natural detoxification process to expel toxins and harmful substances. This happens primarily due to the detoxifying actions of the liver but can also involve the kidneys and other organs.

When you decide to stop using drugs or alcohol after a prolonged period of use, your body experiences a heightened form of detox. It not only rids the body of any remaining drugs in the bloodstream but also readjusts your brain to accommodate for their absence, often resulting in withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, the power of nutrition can be harnessed to support and ease some of these challenges, setting the foundation for a smoother detox journey.

Why Diet Is Important When Detoxing From Drugs and Alcohol

The tumultuous journey of addiction often brings about nutritional deficiencies in individuals. As you use drugs or alcohol, they prevent your body from effectively absorbing essential nutrients. 

During detox, it’s essential to replenish these depleted nutrients, as they play a vital role in aiding recovery. A well-balanced diet can help alleviate some of the severe withdrawal symptoms and pave the way for long-term recovery, helping the body regain its strength and balance. It is crucial to remember that while good nutrition can significantly help you improve your recovery, nutrition alone is not a substitute for professional help during recovery.

Effects of Alcohol Addiction on Nutrition

Chronic alcohol consumption takes a heavy toll on an individual’s nutritional health. It can result in deficiencies in vital vitamins such as A, B, C, D, and E. These deficiencies can manifest in various ways, from weakened immunity to permanent brain damage. 

Heavy alcohol use affects the body’s mineral balance, with calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc being notably compromised. The liver, our primary detox organ, is also adversely impacted by excessive alcohol intake, which can disrupt its functioning and impair blood sugar regulation.

Effects of Opioid Addiction on Nutrition

Opioids have the potential to lead to a myriad of nutritional challenges when they are misused. Chronic opioid use often results in digestive issues such as constipation. This, in turn, hampers nutrient absorption, leading to a decline in essential vitamins and minerals. 

Maintaining gut health is often paramount for those detoxing from opioids, as a healthy gut supports better absorption of nutrients and strengthens the body’s resilience against withdrawal symptoms. Probiotics, whether in pill form or in natural forms, such as non-alcoholic kombucha or sauerkraut, can be helpful in promoting good gut health.

Effects of Stimulant Addiction on Nutrition

Stimulants, including drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, can severely affect your nutritional health. One of the most noticeable effects is appetite suppression, which leads to significant weight loss and malnutrition. Chronic stimulant use also causes dehydration and disturbs the body’s electrolyte balance. Another side effect is poor oral health, which can result in dental issues and further hinder proper nutrition.

Foods To Avoid When Detoxing From Alcohol and Drugs

As you embark on your detox journey, it’s essential to avoid certain foods that can worsen withdrawal symptoms or slow down recovery:

  • Sugar – Can increase cravings and destabilize mood.
  • Caffeine – Might increase anxiety and disturb sleep patterns.
  • Processed foods – Often lack essential nutrients and can intensify cravings.

Eating processed or sugary foods is often a common temptation during detox due to the comfort they seem to bring. By avoiding unhealthy foods, however, you will be in a good position to optimize your health by using nutritious foods.

What to Eat While Detoxing

During detox, there are several nutritious food options that can support your body as it heals and restores itself. Here are some categories of foods that can aid in the process:

  • Water – Staying hydrated is crucial to help the body flush out toxins.
  • Green, leafy vegetables – Packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Whole grains – Provide sustained energy and improve digestion.
  • Fruit – Rich in antioxidants and essential vitamins.
  • Healthy fats – Sources like avocados and nuts help in brain function.
  • Protein – Aids in tissue repair and strength.

In addition to eating healthy foods, consider taking vitamin and probiotic supplements that can help further augment your nutrition.

Supervised Drug and Alcohol Detox in Atlanta, Georgia

If you or a loved one is considering substance detox, The Recovery Village Atlanta Drug and Alcohol Rehab is here for you. With a wide range of services tailored to individual needs, we offer both inpatient and outpatient programs.

The importance of medical supervision during detox cannot be stressed enough. Withdrawal symptoms can be challenging and, at times, life-threatening. By seeking help at a facility like The Recovery Village Atlanta Drug and Alcohol Rehab, you’re ensuring a safer and more comfortable detox experience, surrounded by professionals dedicated to your recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Sources

Berger, Fred K. “Substance use recovery and diet.” MedlinePlus. April 30, 2022. Accessed October 5, 2023.

Jeynes, Kendall D. & Gibson, E. Leigh. “The importance of nutrition in aiding recovery from substance use disorders: A review.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. October 1, 2017. Accessed October 5, 2023.

Kattimani, Shivanand & Bharadwaj, Balaji. “Clinical management of alcohol withdrawal: A systematic review.” Industrial Psychiatry Journal. December, 2013. Accessed October 5, 2023.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Detoxification and

Substance Abuse Treatment.” 2015. Accessed October 5, 2023.

MedlinePlus. “Drugs, Herbs and Supplements.” 2023. Accessed October 5, 2023.