Given that more than 40 million people over the age of 11 in the United States have a substance use disorder in any given year, it makes sense that a lot of research has gone into the issue.
An area that garners a good deal of attention is how to ease the initial detoxification so that people can break the dependence to get on the road to recovery. While researchers have made great headway with medication-assisted treatments for detox, which we offer here at Northshore Health, our team believes in a holistic approach.
The medications we provide to help you surmount the detox hurdle are incredibly effective, but you can also do your part through some simple dietary changes, five of which we review here.
1. Hydrate, and then hydrate some more
Think of your detox as flushing toxic substances out of your system. And the best way to do that is to drink water, and lots of it. At a minimum, men should get 13 cups daily and women should drink nine cups.
2. Eat more regularly
The odds are good that while you were using or drinking, you had no real schedule for eating. As you detox, it’s a good idea to get back to a healthy schedule again, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These needn’t be large, sit-down meals, but you should get into the habit of mindfully eating at certain times of the day.
If your stomach feels a little woozy during your detox, still try to keep a schedule and eat lighter meals.
3. Eat plenty of fiber
While you detox and clean out your system of drugs or alcohol, it might be a good idea to also clean out your digestive tract. Fiber is a great way to do this as it bulks up your stool and helps keep things moving normally. This can also help to offset any diarrhea or constipation issues during your detox.
You can take a fiber supplement or eat foods that are rich in fiber, including apples, celery, popcorn, beans, avocados, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
4. Get your B vitamins
Alcoholism is a primary driver of vitamin B deficiencies, so we urge you to make B vitamins a part of your detox if you're trying to kick alcohol. This includes B1, B6, and folate.
A deficiency in these vitamins (especially B1) from prolonged alcohol use can contribute to anemia and brain damage and lead to what we call, “wet brain.”
So, a great way to rebuild your neurological health is to add B vitamins to your detox. We suggest taking supplements to raise your levels of B vitamins, at first. You can also find B vitamins in a variety foods, such as salmon, beef, eggs, and whole grains.
5. Additional Supplements
In addition to B Vitamins, we also recommend adding:
- A multivitamin taken daily
- Vitamin D3 2000 IU daily
- Vitamin C 1000 mg a day
- Fish oil 2000 mg 2-3 times daily
6. Up your protein intake
Protein is critical for good health as it helps with the growth and maintenance of cells in your body. When you’re detoxing, you need to regain your strength as quickly as possible so that you’re in good shape for your recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to add some healthy protein to your diet, which can be found in:
- Dairy products
- Grass-fed beef
You can also make yourself protein shakes from powders that you can find in most grocery stores or pharmacies.
By improving your diet, you can provide your body with the tools it needs to better weather detox and early recovery.
For more dietary tips that can help with your detox, we’re here to help. To get started, please contact our office in Bothell, Washington, to set up an appointment.