Alcoholism is the only known disease to affect each and every system and cell within the body. From the cardiovascular and digestive systems to a variety of organs including the liver and brain, no area is left untouched. Because alcohol does not expel toxins while robbing cells of nutrition, alcoholics are often malnourished. Proper diet is essential to the recovery process by way of repairing the damage done to the body through excess abuse. When combined with routine exercise, healthy eating habits can do wonders to ensure a safe, comfortable and happy transition into sobriety.
- Choose foods high in healthy carbohydrates and proteins to help reduce those pesky cravings.
- Include daily multivitamin supplements that include folic acid and B-vitamins, while avoiding food and beverage items that include sugar and caffeine during the initial recovery period.
- Seek out foods that contain tyrosine, tryptophan and amino acids. These items will work to aid a positive emotional state and promote alertness. Good examples include tofu, seafood, poultry, meat, milk, bananas, sunflower seeds and turkey.
Remember the old food pyramid from grade school? It still applies!
Base your meal choices around these six pyramid groups for adequate nutrition:
1 – Fruits – Apples, grapes, berries, pears, melons, oranges, grapefruit and avocados.
2 – Vegetables – Broccoli, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes, asparagus, carrots, beans, spinach, lettuce.
3 – Oils and fats – Corn, safflower, canola and olive oil. Olives, peanuts and almonds are also wonderful options. Opt for a margarine or mayonnaise without trans fat.
4 – Healthy whole grains – Bulgur, tortillas, brown rice, cereals, whole grain breads and oatmeal.
5 – Meat, poultry and fish – Add fish such as albacore tuna, mackerel, herring and salmon to your diet whenever possible. Eat chicken and turkey without the skin.
6 – Dairy products – Switch to low fat or skim milk, nonfat cottage cheese, and fat free yogurt. Swap your cheddar and Swiss cheeses for mozzarella.
When the cravings hit, it’s best to be prepared. Stock up on air popped popcorn without the butter, pretzels, fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt. Chop up a few raw vegetables and dip them in a low-fat dressing or salsa. The better you eat, the better you’ll feel. When it comes to recovery, you need all the help you can get!
If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Above it All is the place to call! Pick up the phone today and let our team of addiction and recovery specialists help you back on track towards the healthy, happy and productive lifestyle you’ve been missing.