Resisting alcohol is a daily challenge. But did you know your diet can play a significant role in curbing alcohol cravings? Here are 5 foods you need to know.
Going through recovery after drug or alcohol abuse can be challenging, especially when your body is trying to adapt to your new lifestyle.
But leading a sober, healthy, vice-free life doesn’t have to be hard. It all comes down to making the right decisions on a daily basis and resisting the urges and cravings.
When you go through alcohol withdrawals, your body and mind work together to adjust to the changes. It takes time and patience, but if you’re determined, you’re guaranteed to succeed.
Besides learning to take good care of yourself mentally, you should also pay attention to the physical component of being in recovery. After successfully going through alcohol rehab or dealing with alcohol addiction it is crucial to curb your alcohol cravings.
And this starts with eating healthy, nutritious and high-energy foods and getting a good exercise.
Some foods can even help your body resist an urge to drink. Keep reading to find out which 5 foods can help you reduce alcohol cravings effectively.
Which Foods Reduce Alcohol Cravings?
Alcohol cravings can appear due to several reasons. You may be triggered by associating alcohol to places, situations or people. The urge to drink may also come if you’re trying to cope with negative feelings.
But because alcohol is made up of sugars, your body may be craving carbs in an attempt to overcompensate.
Whatever the reason, you can battle your alcohol cravings with the foods you eat. We listed the top 5 foods for resisting the urge, as listed below.
1. Chicken and Fish
Protein is a source of long-lasting energy that can boost your mood and make you feel better in no time.
Choose foods rich in lean protein like chicken or turkey breast or fish like tuna, salmon or mackerel. On the plus side, these fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and polyunsaturated fats (that are good for you), all of which help your brain stay alert and function properly.
Eating healthy proteins can increase the quality of your sleep and your overall mood, so avoiding alcohol will become easier.
2. Nuts and Nut Butters
Nuts are small nutrient powerhouses and a healthy snack for a quick pick-me-up. But they can also help you reduce your alcohol cravings.
Nuts contain a high amount of healthy fat, but don’t let this stop you from enjoying a handful, because it’ll convert into quality energy.
Alternatively, you can buy or make various nut butters and use them as spreads for your breakfast or add them in smoothies for a nice nutritional boost.
Nuts are rich in many vitamins and minerals, specifically the B group of vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
3. Dairy Products
Another food type that can help you control or decrease alcohol cravings is dairy. If eaten in moderate amounts, it’ll provide you with high protein, vitamin D and minerals like potassium to keep you full.
However, when you consume dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt, make sure to choose low-fat to avoid unnecessary calories.
People going through alcohol rehab often experience a deficiency in certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. These include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), iron and calcium.
Dairy products can complement these deficiencies, especially Vitamin B2 and Vitamin A. They can also renew your gut lining, especially those containing probiotic bacteria cultures.
4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and veggies are a given in any diet, but including a few portions of your favorite fruits can reduce a craving quickly and effectively.
When you’re experiencing alcohol withdrawals, your brain lacks the ‘good mood’ hormone dopamine. Long-term alcohol use negatively affects this hormone and causes its normal levels to fall. So eating fruits that can raise dopamine levels is a must in your diet.
These include bananas, figs, strawberries, and oranges, but pretty much any fruit you like will do the job.
As an added benefit, fruits contain fructose, a natural sugar that gives your body energy and reduces the cravings for a quick sugar fix like alcohol.
On the other hand, vegetables like spinach, broccoli, lettuce and other green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin B, which you need to replenish after prolonged alcohol use.
5. Brown Rice, Whole Grain Bread and Pasta
You can curb your alcohol cravings by carefully selecting the carbs you eat. Because alcohol contains simple carbs that are quickly digested, your body starts to crave them.
But if you want to control your cravings, you should consume complex carbs that take more time to break down in your stomach. The energy you’ll receive from eating brown rice, whole grain bread or pasta will last longer and you’ll feel fuller.
This, in turn, will reduce your need for an alcoholic drink as a quick, but short-termed energy source.
Additionally, whole grain foods also contain a lot of fiber to keep your digestive system healthy. Alcohol can have detrimental effects on your stomach and intestines, so choosing quality carbs and fiber is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut flora.
During and after your alcohol rehab program, you’ll inevitably experience mood changes, accompanied by physical changes. Sometimes, these will go hand in hand, leading to alcohol cravings, especially in the early phases of recovery.
But you can decrease these cravings and fight the urges with healthy, well-chosen food items. After a long-term alcohol consumption, your body will experience vitamin, mineral and nutrient deficiency.
So in order to keep yourself healthy and happy, you’ll need to create a new lifestyle and eating habits to reset your metabolism and nervous system.
We at Muse Treatment and Recovery Center understand the struggles of addiction and want to help you overcome it. Our programs consist of several phases to help you approach recovery with a positive attitude.
We offer 24-hour in-patient care and you’ll be in the safe hands of our highly skilled medical staff. Your needs will be individually met to help you deal with substance or alcohol abuse and rehabilitation more easily. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can be a good resource for you to help deal with addiction recovery.
If you or a loved one is ready to start a recovery treatment or need more information about our programs, feel free to contact us.