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Recovery from alcohol addiction generally follows the stages of abstinence, withdrawal, repair, and growth. Our brain is a remarkable organ that can change and adapt throughout our lives. This ability is called neuroplasticity, and it helps us learn new skills, heal from injuries, and deal with new situations. One of the most important factors that affects neuroplasticity is nutrition. There hasn’t been a lot of research on the role of nutritional therapy in recovery from substance use yet.

Many treatments for alcohol use disorder exist but are rarely prescribed

A healthy, balanced diet includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein like fish and poultry, whole grains, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy. Fish, nuts and vegetable oils can also support health by adding important fatty acids into the diet. In general, healthy and nutritious foods are the best to eat when you first stop drinking alcohol. If you’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms, maintaining a healthy alcohol recovery diet diet can help your body rehydrate, build back its strength, and restore the nutrients that may have become depleted due to alcohol use. Although eating these foods during detox won’t ensure smooth sailing, they will likely ease the discomfort and cravings that accompany the detox stage. However, in cases where withdrawal symptoms are overly uncomfortable or potentially dangerous, medical detox may be necessary.

  • Please seek professional care if you believe you may have a condition.
  • The most important part of nutrition for recovering alcoholics and addicts is to find the foods that work for you and the ways you like to eat them.
  • Complex carbs are also needed to make serotonin, which boosts mood and curbs cravings.
  • Because withdrawal can already induce depressed and sluggish feelings, it’s best to eat healthier foods that leave us feeling energized and nourished.
  • Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients, while the macronutrients you need are protein, fat, carbohydrates and water.

Catalytic activity assessment of nanozymes during in vitro simulation of the digestion process

best diet alcohol recovery

On average, these medications will cause people who drink heavily — meaning four or more drinks in a day for women, five or more for men — most days of the week to do so one or two days less per week. However, this average varies significantly between patients — some see a large effect, and some see no benefit. In addition to these treatment options, lifestyle changes and a strong support system are crucial.

  • For a healthy, balanced diet, experts advise 45% carbohydrates, 30% healthy fats and 25% protein.
  • It’s important to eat what you can, but don’t force it and make yourself sick.
  • Some of the key micronutrients for neuroplasticity are vitamin B complex, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, iron, and iodine.
  • Additionally, the adaptations that the brain develops disrupt crucial neuropathways, decreasing neurotransmitters and their ability to move normally through the brain.
  • A personalized plan can help make the most of nutritional therapy, so you may want to consider working with a dietitian.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Antioxidants can also change the expression of genes and proteins that are involved in synaptic plasticity (the ability of connections between neurons to change their strength and efficiency) . Some of the most powerful antioxidants for the brain are vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, and carotenoids. These can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs. 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.

  • Finally, recent research suggests that gabapentin may be more effective in people with a history of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Many families know the pain that comes with a loved one struggling through alcohol or drug dependency.
  • Blood samples were collected through cardiac puncture from anaesthetized mice 6 h after alcohol gavage.
  • These effects can help the body heal faster and promote better health in recovery.
  • While small amounts of sugar from fruit are fine, overindulging in sugary foods can contribute to withdrawal anxiety and cravings.

Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. People in recovery can experience a lot of shame simply for having become addicted in the first place. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it.

Preventive healthcare measures and treatment for AUD

A diet high in colorful fruits and veggies can flush alcohol from your body more quickly, and provide you with countless nutrients that can accelerate your recovery. Dark leafy green vegetables are high in folate, also known as vitamin B9. Alcohol use depletes the body’s levels of B9, but eating dark leafy greens helps prevent the onset of anemia, which is common in those who suffer alcohol use disorder.

This spice is high in fiber, protein, potassium, manganese, folate, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Buy fresh cayenne peppers whenever possible, since fresh, whole peppers are often more nutrient-dense than dried peppers or ground cayenne seasoning. Add cayenne peppers to soups, stews, and sauces, or sprinkle the seasoning over your favorite dishes. Prepare peas, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin in a steamer to retain the nutrients in these foods, or make vegetable chilis with a variety of beans. When consuming breads and pastas, stick to brands made with whole grains.

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can lead to severe deficiency in several vitamins and minerals. But it’s just one of a series of improvements toward rewiring your brain and improving your quality of life. For this reason, most addiction counselors warn against ever consuming food cooked in any kind of alcohol. I myself avoided such foods until I was about one year alcohol-free, at which point I had already begun to regard alcohol as a worthless toxin rather than a forbidden fruit.

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Fish contains many healthy nutrients, prime among them omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both are crucial for keeping you feeling healthy and helping you recover from damage and inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids specifically are among the best nutrients for fighting inflammation caused by alcohol. Look for meaty, fatty fish like salmon, which contain high levels of omega-3s and are also packed with a fair amount of protein.