Recovering from alcohol use disorder is an intense physical process. The challenges of detoxification, or detox, from alcohol are often greater than anticipated.
Making the commitment to stop consuming alcohol is a huge step towards recovery, and caring for your physical and mental health during this time might seem overwhelming. Nourishing your body by eating foods and herbs that promote optimal health can support the healing process, but it’s hard to know where to begin. For most people, the principles of nutrition are not an area of expertise.
In this article, we’re going to share the top six superfoods to add to your diet while detoxing from alcohol use disorder.
What are superfoods?
The word “superfood” was coined in the early 20th century. More recently, it’s become a marketing buzzword for nutritionally dense foods.
While there is no specific criteria necessary to label certain foods as superfoods, the Oxford Dictionary defines superfoods as “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being,” while Merriam-Webster defines superfood as “a super nutrient-dense food, loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and/or phytonutrients.”
Superfoods have a reputation for delivering exceptional health benefits and significantly optimizing overall health and well-being.
While you’re recovering from alcohol use disorder, in addition to experiencing withdrawals, your body is also going to be adjusting and recuperating on a cellular level.
These effects can take a toll on your body if it isn’t fueled and nourished properly during this time — that’s where the importance of superfoods come in.
Why superfoods are important during recovery
During your alcohol detox, you’ll experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms. The severity of symptoms as well as the length of time they last varies from individual to individual. However, everyone will experience some degree of symptoms.
Alcohol detox symptoms can include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Nausea or vomiting
- Delirium Tremens
Usually, these symptoms peak within two days of last use and last around 1-2 weeks. Alcohol is harmful to your entire body, but is especially damaging to your liver, heart and brain. Additionally, alcohol severely impairs your body’s ability to process nutrients and metabolize foods effectively. Your body is going to need help from you in order to recover not only from the substance abuse, but also from the challenges it will undergo during and after detox.
This initial phase of recovery is an aggressive one for a body that has become dependent on alcohol. Having been depleted by alcohol for so long, your body may be severely deficient in key nutrients.
Replenishing those lost vitamins and minerals is up to you. Providing your body with the nutrients it needs will not only assist with your overall recovery, but may also help ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
Top six superfoods to boost your recovery
Including detox-friendly superfoods in your new sober lifestyle is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself during and after recovery.
Here are the top six superfoods to add to your diet on your journey to healing and health.
It was the secret to Popeye’s strength for good reason. Spinach is a good source of iron as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals that strengthen the immune system, support your body’s healing processes, reduce inflammation, and promote heart health.
Like spinach, grapefruit strengthens your immune system, especially because of its high level of vitamin C. Grapefruit also contains zinc and multiple B vitamins, which, when paired with vitamin C, create a powerhouse of immune-boosting nutrients.
4. Wild-caught salmon
Salmon contains an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids as well as calcium and iron. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially beneficial for our bodies due to their promotion of heart health, cancer-fighting abilities, strengthening of bone density, and stabilizing as well as improving nervous system and cellular functions. Opt for wild-caught salmon over farm-raised salmon because of its higher mineral content.
Beets have long been hailed as a superfruit due to their anti-inflammatory and liver-boosting properties. Since alcohol is especially harmful to your liver, it’s important to give some extra special treatment to that organ.
2. Fresh raw garlic
Regularly eating a small amount of raw garlic may activate your liver enzymes, helping your overall detox run much more smoothly.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help to fight detox-induced inflammation, balance your blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and even fight cancer.
When you’re in the midst of pursuing significant life changes such as detox and recovery from alcohol use disorder, everyday tasks like grocery shopping and preparing nutritious meals might feel overwhelming. However, taking care of yourself both physically and mentally is a crucial part of your detox and recovery process.
Reach out for additional information
For more information on the best practices to adopt when detoxing from alcohol use disorder, call us today at 724-268-4858.