What to Eat During Alcohol Recovery

Inflammation primarily occurs when your body attempts to defend itself from diseases, but alcohol use can also be a source of inflammation. The more alcohol you consume, the more regularly your body is in a state of inflammation, which can cause issues with the liver, brain, intestines, and more. Inflammation can be especially impactful in the intestines, as the harmful components of how to avoid another alcohol relapse alcohol can leak from the organ, which becomes weaker as drinking continues. Worse, the immune system will eventually struggle to fight off the resulting infections. Dr. Pickrell is a board-certified psychiatrist with interests in addiction and psychiatry. His understanding of addiction as the overlapping symptoms of biopsychosocial development is the foundation to his care model.

Glutamine is also good for supporting proper gut health, so get plenty of meats, cheese like ricotta or cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, and cruciferous veggies like spinach and cabbage. 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. When you drink alcohol, it releases a burst of dopamine, serotonin, and other “feel good” chemicals in your brain.

Alcoholism is considered incurable, but that does not mean that people who have it cannot quit drinking. Following the initial treatment phase, alcoholics are encouraged to continue their participation in therapy and support groups. This helps them manage their urges to drink, as well as any problems that trigger the urges. Recovery from alcohol addiction is continuous and so it’s important to attend alcohol the cycle of alcohol addiction national institute recovery groups such as AA in order to always hold yourself accountable. The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper offers comprehensive addiction treatment for drug and alcohol addictions and co-occurring mental health conditions. While you can get the nutrients you need from eating a healthy, balanced diet, it can be helpful to give your body an extra boost during detox by supplementing with vitamins.

  1. The United States Department of Agriculture states that fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, dietary fiber, folic acid and potassium.
  2. If you find yourself craving sugar during the withdrawal phase, it’s best to seek out healthy, natural alternatives like fruit.
  3. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.
  4. Around 95% of serotonin6 is produced in the gut, but production is irregular during alcohol withdrawal.
  5. The development of a nutritional plan for those in recovery involves planning out meals and determining an appropriate meal schedule that meshes with other activities in the treatment plan.

However, there are some basic guidelines that everyone who quits drinking can follow to maximize their sense of well-being. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest 11.5 to 15.5 cups of water per day for adults. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about using nutrition to your benefit as you heal from addiction. The abstinence stage typically begins right after you stop drinking. “Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treat[…]improvement protocol.” 2015. All of these symptoms can worsen if you are not getting enough water.

How Substance Abuse Disrupts Nutrition

Consider fruit if you have a craving for something sweet during detox. B-complex vitamins, particularly B12, contribute to a healthy metabolism. Your doctor may administer B12 shots or have you take B-complex supplements by mouth during your first few months of recovery. When you drink, the alcohol suppresses your brain’s production of a chemical called antidiuretic hormone, or ADH. ADH’s main effect is preventing you from losing too much water and urinating too much. When you drink alcohol, the brain makes less of this hormone, causing you to urinate more frequently and become dehydrated.

Whole Grains

The combination of cravings and withdrawal often leads chronic alcoholics to drink at inappropriate times and places, such as first thing in the morning or before work. Bananas are also a well known rich source of potassium, along with high levels of vitamins B6 and C. It is often the case that those who abuse drugs and alcohol are deficient in their magnesium and potassium levels. These minerals are known as electrolytes which help regulate your heartbeat and blood pressure, and keep your nerves and muscles healthy.

Alcohol Recovery Diet Tips And Food Substitutions

Your liver is your in-built filter which protects you from harmful and poisonous substances. Our bodies metabolize foods in a complex chemical system, certain elements are essential in order to keep this system fully operational. The amino acid, tyrosine, is fundamental for cells to create proteins which in turn is essential for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Additionally, detox causes stress on the body, which increases fluid loss. Staying hydrated is important for optimizing your overall health and increasing your body’s ability to undergo the stress of alcohol detox.

How Nutrients Affect the Body

As you’ve likely heard, heavy alcohol consumption can be damaging to your brain. And since your brain needs certain fatty acids to function optimally, eating enough good fats is key in a healthy diet for alcoholics. Detox can be an uncomfortable process for individuals experiencing alcohol addiction. In addition to addressing a person’s drinking habits, thoughts, and behaviors, professionals promote exercise, proper nutrition, and healthy relationships.

What Does Alcohol Do to the Body?

Foods that are rich in nutrients help your mental health, easing feelings like sadness and worry that often come with recovery. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar steady, which gives you more energy and mood balance, which are important for facing the difficulties of recovery. The body converts alcohol, like other refined grains, directly to sugar, causing a spike in blood sugar levels and a commensurate insulin response to bring those levels back down. Following detox, a recovering alcoholic may find that he craves sweets and starchy foods more than he did before. This is the body’s response to its perceived insufficient blood sugar in the absence of alcohol. A struggle with alcohol use impacts many aspects of a person’s life, including diet and nutrition.

Our mood, mental-clairy, alertness and overall feeling of mental stability and emotional well-being are affected by these neurotransmitters. When levels are disrupted by drug and alcohol abuse, this has a great impact on a person’s mood and behavioral patterns. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which directly influence withdrawal symptoms. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna have a special type of omega-3 fat called DHA, which plays a major role3 in brain signaling. Plant-based proteins like edamame and lentils have the added benefit of fiber, B vitamins and minerals.


While eating the right foods can make a difference, there are also other diet-related tips that people should consider during alcohol detox. Complex carbs like whole grains and potatoes help prevent swings in blood sugar that can trigger cravings. Complex carbs are also needed to make serotonin, which boosts mood and curbs cravings.

During detoxification, or the immediate period following alcohol withdrawal, a doctor should monitor these levels and decide if supplementation is necessary to preserve healthy bodily function. He will also screen for protein, iron and electrolytes to determine what, if any, lasting damage has been done to the liver. Adopting a balanced diet can assist the body in healing and how to help a high-functioning alcoholic how to identify the warning signs recovering from the damage inflicted by long-term alcohol abuse. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to stay on the path toward recovery, especially when substances like alcohol have been an integral part of your daily routine. Use these tips, along with a consultation with your personal healthcare provider or dietician for more personalized guidance on this matter.

However, in cases where withdrawal symptoms are overly uncomfortable or potentially dangerous, medical detox may be necessary. These programs are offered at professional alcohol rehab facilities like The Recovery Village, and they help make withdrawal a safer and more comfortable process. Contact us today to learn more about detox and treatment programs that can help you overcome withdrawal and begin a healthier, alcohol-free future. Nutrient-rich liquids like soups, stews, and smoothies make up a crucial part of the recovery process. The best time to eat these is in the morning because they will help clean your system out while you sleep at night.

This entry was posted in Sober living. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.