Detoxing from drug addiction can be very hard to do. There are withdrawal symptoms that are so debilitating that they cause many people to end up relapsing if they don’t see professional help to get through a difficult time.
Treatment can be a great option for those battling addiction, but there are some withdrawal symptoms that you may feel even with treatment. Fortunately, fueling your body with the right nutrients can make the symptoms far more manageable. There are a few of the foods you should and shouldn’t be eating if you want to make your detox as comfortable as possible.
Limit Carb Intake During Detox
For many addicts, carbohydrates were their best friends. It’s a common misconception that carbs are great to eat when you are high or drunk because they help with the absorption of the drug or alcohol. That isn’t the case though. Eating foods filled with unhealthy carbs can actually make your stomach cramp, cause nausea and make some of the detox symptoms you experience during detox even worse.
If you want to eat carbs, opt for complex carbohydrates. They take longer to digest and can leave you feeling fuller for longer periods of time so you aren’t constantly feeling hungry as you detox.
Eat More Nuts and Seeds
Walnuts, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts, and even sunflower seeds are all great to eat while you withdraw from a drug. Nuts and seeds are filled with magnesium. Magnesium is needed for digestion and it helps to relax your nervous system and your muscles.
As you detox, you may twitch because your body has been so used to being in a lethargic state. Eating foods rich in magnesium helps to ease the nervous system so that the twitch can be kept to a minimum so you can be more comfortable.
Drink Lots of Water
In order to detox as quickly as you possibly can, you need to drink plenty of water. Water is a natural way to flush toxins out of your system so that you can start feeling like yourself again. Don’t make the mistake of chugging large amounts of water in a very short period of time because you think that it will make you detox within a day or two. That’s not the way that detoxing works.
You could develop hyponatremia which occurs when your body has too much water in it at one time. It creates an electrolyte imbalance in your body that can leave you feeling far worse than you already feel and could even lead to death depending on how much water in drink in a very short period of time. You should drink an 8-ounce glass of water every hour to keep your body hydrated and to avoid the risk of hyponatremia.
Eat Lean Beef
Lean beef is filled with zinc. Zinc is essential to the body rebuilding itself. Having plenty of zinc in your diet can help wounds, cuts, and bruises to heal faster. Many people who are addicted to heroin or meth have open wounds on their face where they picked at areas when they were high.
Eating plenty of zinc can make these areas heal quickly and reduce the chances of you having long-term scarring in the future.
Limit Your Salt Intake
Salt is found in most of the processed foods that are on the market. You want to limit your salt intake because it can make you become dehydrated, bloated and can even cause headaches depending on how much of it you eat. There are salt alternatives that can be great to use during detox because they contain potassium though.
Potassium helps your cells move waste through your body quickly to help reduce the amount of time it takes you to detox. A salt alternative can get the taste of salt and the benefits associated with potassium at the same time.
Eat Fresh Parsley
Fresh parsley is packed with L-glutamine that can help to lower sugar cravings as you detox. If you did drugs and drank a lot at the same time, there is a good chance that you will have insane sugar cravings when you quit using. This is because the body becomes accustomed to the sweet tastes it got when you were using and wants more of them.
Eating raw parsley will diminish the cravings so that you don’t trade one addiction for another one. You can eat or drink fresh parsley. Many people add it to their salads or their smoothies for a pop of flavor and the L-glutamine benefits.
Avoid Eating Take-Out for a Few Days
Another common mistake that people make when they are detoxing is that they want to take the easy way out and get take-out meals. This is never a good idea because you don’t know what is going into the food. It could be packed with sugar, salt or carbohydrates that could actually make your detox period even worse. Prepare your own foods if you are trying to detox at home.
When you go to an inpatient treatment center to detox, you can use medication to minimize your withdrawal symptoms and not have to worry about what foods you eat. The center provides you with the foods that your body needs to make detoxing as easy as it can be. Detoxing isn’t easy to do. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, but it is well worth it in the long run if you consider that you’ll be able to become a productive member of society and get a second chance at life once you are clean and sober.
Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 602-346-9142.