One of the most difficult things for a person in recovery to deal with is detoxing. During the detox process, a person will experience severe withdrawal symptoms which may cause them to fall back into addiction through relapse.
For people that are going through a rough recovery in Arizona, it’s advised that they seek out professional help. However, this doesn’t mean that a person won’t feel withdrawal symptoms during treatment, they’ll just be better equipped to handle them. One way for an addict to fight against any sort of withdrawal symptoms is through a healthy diet while in detox. Getting good nutrition and having a healthy diet can help a person manage the uncomfortable symptoms a bit easier. A balanced detox diet can offer significant help for these recovering addicts, but they need to be careful of foods that might work against their recovery. Let’s discuss what you should and shouldn’t eat during the detox.
We can all agree that we love carbs! Carbs are the main source of fuel in our body and brain. However, when you use carbs to absorb the drugs and alcohol in your system, they’re being used in an unhealthy way. If a recovering addict continually ate carbs this way, they can start to feel sluggish and even nausea. This can cause withdrawal symptoms to worsen and increase the chances of someone falling back into relapse.
Rather than eating carbs in mass quantities, eat more natural carbs and only in small portions. These types of carbs will leave you feeling full and take longer to digest, helping a person avoid any sort of overeating.
During the detoxification process, your nervous system is going to experience discomfort and overactive nerves. Why? Because your body has been used to a state of lethargy and is now more active than ever. So how can you calm your nervous system down? Easy, magnesium! Magnesium helps aid digestion and relax muscles and nerves. So what’s the best way to get a healthy dose of magnesium? By eating seeds and nuts!
Walnuts, peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. are not only great snacks but great for your detoxification! Snacks like these help ease the nerves and keep a former addict comfortable.
One of the healthiest habits anyone, including people in recovery, can pick up is drinking more water. Water is one thing that can easily help a person during their detox; it flushes out all the bad stuff! Think of water as a cleansing river flowing through your body, washing away all the toxins that have stayed inside. However, this is not a short process. By no means should you drink mass quantities in a short amount of time to get it over with quicker, that’s not how it works. If you drink too much water in short amounts of time, that can lead to some other health issues. Be patient and start making it a habit to drink a good amount of water every day. We recommend you drink at least an 8-ounce glass of water every hour. This can help flush out bad toxins, suppress appetites, and keep you hydrated.
Another essential element of a good detox diet and even more essential for the health of your body needs to heal is zinc. One of the best ways to get a healthy dose of zinc is through lean beef. The zinc found in beef can help your body bounce back from any physical ailments it may be trying to heal. If a person coming into recovery had a heroin or meth addiction, chances are they have some open wounds, cuts, scrapes, or bruises on their body that can cause some discomfort. Eating a healthy amount of beef with some meals can help these wounds heal faster.
Salt is a hard thing to avoid. It can be found in pretty much any processed food and in most other foods. Though salt is not necessarily bad for you, it can be unhealthy in large amounts. In larger quantities, it can cause a person to feel dehydrated, bloated, and lethargic. It can even cause headaches from the dehydration, which is something addicts already have to deal with through detox.
One benefit of salt consumption is the amount of potassium you get from it. This vitamin can move toxins out of your body quickly, kind of like water does. People will say you need potassium from salt, but there are alternatives to get a healthy dose of potassium.
One thing we often see former addicts struggling with is their sugar intake. If someone had a severe drug or alcohol dependency, chances are they may have developed some other unhealthy food addiction (in this case sugar). When someone is drunk or high, they tend to get what they call “the munchies”. Essentially, your body craves what it normally shouldn’t have (cupcakes, candy, milkshakes, etc.). Not only does a person in recovery have to deal with substance withdrawal, but they’ll have to deal with sugar withdrawal too.
One of the best ways to suppress the craving for sugar is by eating fresh parsley. Fresh parsley is packed with L-glutamine that can help to lower sugar cravings as you detox. Add some into a salad, smoothie, or burrito bowl to get rid of that awful sugar craving.
We can’t stress this enough, avoid take-out food! It’s easy to grab a quick meal at McDonald’s or Chick-fil-a, but it’s not going to benefit you in the detox process. These foods are packed with salt, sugar, carbs, and other things you need to avoid during detox. It may be easier to get take-out, but prepare your own meals! They may not be as exciting as a burrito from Chipotle, but they’ll benefit your recovery much more. Be cautious of Diabetes as well, as making poor eating choices relate to high diabetes especially in those getting sober.
If you do decide to do a detox treatment at an inpatient treatment center, you may not need to worry about preparing your own meals. Places like these will make food for you, food that is healthy and beneficial for your detox diet.