Alcohol and substance abuse can have serious consequences, as addiction takes a major toll on a person’s health, both physically and mentally. Recovering from alcohol and substance abuse is a gradual process, and nutrition and diet play an important role in the process. Following a balanced diet helps maintain good health and also helps the body heal.
Nutrition to fight alcohol and substance abuse
Food plays a vital role in deciding how the brain functions, and it is essential to know about the various nutrients the body needs at the time of recovery. Here are a few diet tips to help manage alcohol and substance abuse:
- A diet rich in vitamin B complex
Excess alcohol consumption leads to the loss of essential vitamins and minerals from the body, and a deficiency of vitamin B complex is common in people battling an addiction. Following a diet rich in B complex vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc helps the body recover while fighting alcohol and substance abuse.
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is among the most important tips to help manage alcohol and substance abuse and the withdrawal symptoms associated with overcoming it. A balanced diet comprising carbohydrates, proteins, root vegetables, legumes, and whole grains balances the levels of serotonin, which is the relaxation hormone.
- Introduce meals gradually
While nutrition is key to fighting and managing alcohol abuse, it is also important to know that the body cannot process everything in one go. In the initial stages of detoxification, the digestive system is generally slow. So, it is advisable to start with small meals and gradually increase the portion sizes as one’s appetite improves.
- Increase dairy product consumption
Dairy products are rich in probiotics that help build one’s immunity. Increasing the consumption of dairy products like yogurt, milk, and tofu boosts immunity and provides the body with the required strength to overcome alcohol and substance addiction.
- Avoid caffeine and sugary substances
The list of the most effective diet tips to help manage alcohol and substance abuse is incomplete without mentioning the need to avoid sugary substances and caffeine. Although sugar and caffeine can improve mood temporarily, consuming these low-nutrient foods prevents one from eating healthy foods. Sugar and caffeine can decrease appetite and cause poor nutrient absorption.
- Eat sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in nutrition and can increase dopamine levels in the body. Dopamine levels generally reduce due to excessive drug and alcohol abuse, which can be treated with the intake of sunflower seeds.
- Opt for a high-fiber diet
Whole-grain foods are rich in fiber and take longer to digest, which reduces hunger and cravings for alcohol and substances one is addicted to.
Apart from these diet tips to help manage alcohol and substance abuse, increasing physical activity and water intake is helpful. Also, taking multivitamins and leading a stress-free life is important to cope with alcohol and substance abuse.