Hitting a bar after long hours of work seems tempting to most of the people but for someone trying to quit alcohol, this might be very challenging. Accompanying friends to the bar when one is trying to stay sober may result in acute withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Controlling the urge necessitates not only a strong will-power but also adopting life practices that are beneficial in the long run.
Keeping oneself engaged in meaningful pursuits, indulging in a hobby or joining a support group, practicing group therapies etc. are some of the ways by which one can improve during the recovery period. Along with these, food also plays a major role in helping a person keep his or her cravings under check and continue on the path to sobriety.
Listed below are some of the healthy food options to boost recovery:
Complex carbohydrates: Low blood glucose levels can induce intense craving for alcohol. Those habitual of drinking excessively often drift towards processed foods, which spike sugar levels in the bloodstream and then bring the levels down when their effect weans off. These steep changes make the blood sugar levels unsteady, leading to binge eating of calorie-dense foods with high glycemic index. Conversely, if one starts eating fiber-rich wholesome foods such as whole-wheat bread, oats, brown rice, fresh fruits and nuts, the body takes longer time to metabolize them and the blood sugar levels remain steady.
Dopamine-producing foods: When one starts drinking, dopamine (happy neurotransmitter) is released in the brain encouraging a person to drink more. But with time, alcohol deteriorates this chemical and users end up drinking even more to produce the same effects. This can be managed by consuming banana and sunflower seeds as both enhance dopamine production. Banana also increases the level of mood-elevating hormone serotonin, helpful in preventing anxiety and depression.
Vitamin B-producing foods: Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, peas, and fruits like oranges and lemons must be consumed regularly to up the levels of vitamin B in the body. The vitamin is beneficial during the withdrawal phase as it helps in fighting fatigue by increasing the production of RBC’s (red blood cells) in the brain and heart, and helps to metabolize nutrients. With good digestion, the body is more alert.
L-glutamine containing foods: L-glutamine is an amino acid essential for brain functioning. Along with glucose, it is the main source of energy for the brain cells. It also helps in reducing anxiety, improving sleep cycle and decreasing cravings for sugar and alcohol. It is important to note that L-glutamine has no positive effect in cooked foods and therefore, should be consumed in raw form. Fresh parsley and spinach are good sources to help control metabolism.
Road to recovery
Sometimes, despite best intentions, one may not be able to remain watchful of one’s actions and might relapse. Quitting addiction to a substance through only self-help tips is not an easy task. They cannot replace the efficacy of conventional treatment and should be used as additional tools. One must seek professional help to gain sobriety.
If you know someone who is addicted to alcohol and is looking for reputed alcohol addiction treatment centers in the U.S., contact the Alcohol Addiction Get Help Helpline for timely assistance and guidance. Call at our 24/7 helpline (866) 281-3014 or chat online with one of our experts to know more.