A healthy and nutritious diet plays a pivotal role in speeding up recovery among patients trying to quit drinking and achieve sobriety. Since excessive drinking decreases the ability of absorption of nutrients and impairs most of the essential body functions, it is more than essential to maintain a healthy diet during recovery.
People who consume alcohol in excess are usually malnourished. It is astounding to learn that only fat contains more calories per gram than alcohol. As a result, people grappling with the challenges of drinking usually experience a sense of fullness, irrespective of the fact they have eaten very little or nothing at all. These “empty calories” lead to poor eating habits and malnutrition. Moreover, drinking leads to storage of dangerous toxins that leads to a host of health problems.
Since people who indulge in drinking tend to neglect their diet, they experience gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhea, constipation, an inability to digest foods properly and a poor appetite. As a result, someone recovering from alcohol addiction needs a special diet, including foods that are rich in nutrients and essential supplements, to rebuild damaged tissues, organs and functioning of the various systems, such as the nervous and gastrointestinal systems. A nutritional diet rich in protein and carbohydrate substantially impacts the recovery process as bad nutrition increases cravings for other substances, such as drugs and alcohol.
Consume nutritious food to avoid deficiency of key neurotransmitters
The deficiency of nutrients, such as amino acids, folic acid and the other B-complex vitamins, has an extremely negative impact on the health of a person. One of the primary reasons behind the increased behavioral problems among the users is the fact that alcohol prevents the body from properly processing two important amino acids that include tyrosine and tryptophan.
They are responsible for the production of the neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which are essential for emotional stability, mental clarity and well-being. The decreased levels of these neurotransmitters cause dramatic mood swings and negative behavior patterns. In order to enhance alertness and clarity, one is recommended to consume protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, seafood and tofu, that are the source of tyrosine.
Tryptophan plays a crucial role in the production of serotonin, which is essential for alleviating stress by triggering a calming effect and proper sleep. Some of the richest sources of tryptophan include bananas, milk and sunflower seeds, as well as turkey meat.
Ingredients of a nutritious diet for promoting recovery
The composition of the recovery-friendly diet should consist of protein (–25 percent), carbohydrate (45 percent), fat (30 percent) and total calories (2,000 approximately). Since alcohol depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals, one’s diet should be supplemented with multivitamin/mineral and vitamin B that could prove to be immensely beneficial to the recovery process. Several of the nutritional studies have recommended that recovery patients should eat on “cruise control” throughout the day, which includes small, frequent mini-meals to maintain energy levels and prevent drastic changes in mood. It is essential to integrate the concept of smart snacking that comprises three snacks and three meals per day in one’s daily diet.
Rather than going for processed food and drinks rich caffeine, one is recommended to consume decaffeinated coffee, herbal teas, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc. Due to difficulties in digestion, one should limit the amount of red meat and give preference to fibrous foods. During the initial stages of recovery, sugar and caffeine should be avoided as far as possible to dissuade mood swings. One should be aware about the hidden sugars in cocoa, condiments and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as of the presence of caffeine in prescribed medications.
Path to an alcohol-free life
The essence of recovery is in changing negative behaviors into positive ones. By learning to make healthy food choices, one can pace up his or her recovery process. Good nutrition, relaxation and exercise all play a vital role in achieving a healthy lifestyle and sobriety. If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to alcohol, contact the Florida Alcohol Addiction Helpline to find the details about the alcohol dependence treatment in Florida. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-220-5381 or chat online with our treatment advisers to know about the state-of-the-art alcohol rehab centers in Florida.