Los Angeles, California -
Los Angeles, CA – Anyone who’s given up drinking knows that craving for alcohol can last a long time. For most recovering alcoholics, the desire for a drink continues long after they’ve started working on sobriety. Some cravings are emotional, and some are tied to a habitual routine, like having a cocktail before dinner every night or a beer while watching a ball game. The good news is that some cravings are purely physical and can be diminished by a healthy diet. Alcohol is made up of sugars, so the body may be craving carbohydrates to overcompensate. Following a healthy balanced diet helps keep energy levels and mood stable throughout the day.
Muse Treatment, an addiction center in Los Angeles, recently published the following top foods for fighting alcohol cravings in sobriety: high protein foods, healthy fats, dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains. Let’s break it down.
Protein provides energy that can boost mood and improve sleep. Good sources include lean foods like chicken or turkey breast; good fish choices include tuna, salmon, or mackerel. These fish types also contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and polyunsaturated fats, all of which aid brain function – that’s why fish is often called “brain food.”
All fat is not bad fat. Nuts and nut butters are healthy sources of fat, and when consumed in moderation, they can stabilize energy and help fight cravings. Another benefit is that they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. Just be sure to eat them in moderation because their high calorie count can add pounds.
Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. They’re also helpful in replenishing nutrients that drugs and alcohol robbed.. People starting alcohol rehab often are deficient in some vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as vitamins B6, A, and C, along with iron and calcium. Dairy products offer all of these.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: These can replace the brain chemical dopamine, the “good mood” hormone often depleted by long-term alcohol use. Fruits and vegetables that can increase dopamine include bananas, figs, strawberries, and oranges. Actually, just about any fruit will do the job. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce also contain lots of vitamin B, which needs to be replenished after prolonged alcohol use. Fruits contain the natural sugar fructose, which provides energy and reduces cravings for a quick sugar fix like alcohol.
Whole-Grain Bread and Pasta: When it comes to good nutrition, whole grains are everyone’s friend -- not just those in recovery. They supply complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest than simple carbs (from candy, cookies, and, yes, alcohol). This means physical hunger and cravings take longer to appear. Cravings for more simple carbs begin as soon as they’ve been absorbed by the body. Whole-grain foods also contain a lot of fiber to keep the digestive system healthy and feeling full.
Because of all these health benefits, eating right is an important part of the treatment program at Muse where chef-prepared meals are served three times a day. Good nutrition creates a strong body, and a strong body is better able to withstand cravings for alcohol and other destructive substances. Muse also believes that people enhance their self-esteem when they treat themselves well by feeding themselves well. In addition, following a regular schedule of eating healthy meals is part of the process of creating healthy habits that will serve people in recovery for a lifetime.
Muse Treatment offers a comprehensive treatment of alcohol dependence or other substance use disorders. For help or more information, call (800) 426-1818.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]