Alcohol dependence and addiction can cause serious damage to the body. So can a sudden cessation of alcohol once a dependence has developed. A cold-turkey withdrawal can even be fatal. A monitored, medical detox of alcohol is strongly recommended, but a proper diet may help.
Part of the damage caused by alcohol abuse is that a person with alcoholism often has a poor diet and poor nutrition. High alcohol consumption also can overwhelm the liver’s detoxifying function. Some (though not all) doctors and nutritionists believe that consuming certain types of food can help you detox from alcohol.
Virtually everybody agrees a healthy, balanced diet can aid in recovery from addiction, particularly fresh vegetables, and fruits. Even if you weren’t living on junk or fast food, alcohol can make it more difficult to digest food or absorb good fat,
Even if there are natural ways to detoxify from alcohol, that doesn’t mean you can drink with impunity then detox later. Drinking too much alcohol can result in various diseases, conditions, and increase the likelihood of accidental death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that excessive alcohol use ended the lives of 88,000 people each year from 2006 until 2010. Meanwhile, the years of potential life lost was pegged at 2.5 million during the same period. The economic cost to the nation of excessive consumption of alcohol was $249 billion in 2010, an estimated $2.05 per drink
Here are some foods that may help you detox naturally from alcohol (and certainly can’t hurt):
- Fruits and vegetables. The health benefits of fruits and vegetables often ascribed to moderate wine consumption are even greater for whole and unfermented green and growing foodstuffs, according to one study. They also contain sugar to satisfy your sweet tooth but do not have the same sugar content as other sweet foods that may be unhealthy.
- Vitamin C. Aside from being refreshing, fruits high in C—lemons, limes—can also be a drinker’s best ally when trying to detoxify. Vegans have been loyal to grapefruit because it is rich both in both vitamin C and other antioxidants—two of the known highly effective cleansers of one’s liver—and naringenin, which helps the liver burn fat, rather than storing it. Grapefruit can have a negative interaction with some medications, however, so check with your physician.
- Almonds. When you drink alcohol, it is better for your BAC to eat something rich in protein first, such as almonds. It will help you sober up more quickly, too. Almonds also are rich in vitamin E, which the Journal of the National Cancer Institute links with fighting liver cancer and possibly other liver diseases. It is worth noting that at least two million individuals in the United States suffer from alcoholic liver disease, which vitamin E also shows promise for fighting.
- Green Tea. If you think that this is only used for weight loss, you are wrong. Green tea can be an everyday drink, too, in eliminating fat in your liver. It has catechins which are responsible for getting rid of the dreaded oily substance in your liver. It has antioxidants that aid in recovery from intoxication. No wonder why vegans love to sip green tea. Moderation is important, however. Too much can actually cause liver damage.
- Garlic. This is usually one of the major ingredients to make your food more delicious and tasty, but it also can help keep your liver healthy. This wonder bulb helps produce enzymes responsible in flushing out toxins from your liver. Let it sit for a while before using to maximize its health benefits.
- Broccoli. When undergoing alcohol detox, you can count on broccoli as a reliable partner. This vegan food is loaded with vitamins B and C that are essential in producing glucosinolate that helps in the production of liver enzymes. These substances which are produced by living organisms are essential in protecting the liver.
- Turmeric. This yellow spice that comes from Asia and makes several dishes more delectable can also help in detoxifying your body from alcohol. It also may remove carcinogens from your system when you add it to your favorite healthy snack or tea.
- Cayenne Pepper. Many articles have cited this spicy powder as something effective for weight loss. Aside from this benefit, cayenne powder can also aid you in your detox from alcohol. In his 2006 book Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Dr. Elson Haas shared that it can help in suppressing someone’s craving for alcohol. Likewise, it can prevent certain symptoms from alcohol withdrawal such as pain and nausea. Even if you are not a vegan, you can benefit from using cayenne pepper.
- Lemon Juice. Aside from getting your daily dose of vitamin C from lemon juice, you can also enjoy other benefits from utilizing lemon juice. As part of your vegan food diet for alcohol detox, this can help in the prevention, and even treatment, of alcohol-related liver injury. According to a study, lemon juice is packed with antioxidants.
The need for alcohol use disorder treatment is great. Alcohol kills more people than opioids, guns, and automobile accidents. Based on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), more than a quarter—26.9 percent—of individuals aged 18 years old and older reported that they participated in binge drinking—the consumption of four (men) to five (women) drinks in a two-hour period—in the past month.
While there are undeniable benefits to a vegan detox diet, it will only treat the symptoms and possibly reverse the damage caused by an alcohol use disorder. By itself, it won’t treat the underlying causes or stop an individual’s alcohol abuse.
If you think that you or a loved one need professional help to arrest an alcohol dependency, seek treatment for alcoholism with a reputable, evidence-based alcohol addiction rehabilitation facility that you can count on. You may ask for their expert advice and seek their guidance while you or a loved one is moving towards recovery.
To ensure that the desire to be sober again is achieved, get much-needed assistance from a professional.