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Foods That Curb Alcohol Cravings

Foods That Curb Alcohol Cravings Resurgence Behavioral Health

Alcohol Cravings While In Recovery

Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that has no cure. While you can recover and quit your problematic drinking, your brain’s functioning will always be hardwired as an alcoholic. The key to a successful life in recovery is learning how to effectively manage the two conflicting sides of your brain- the recovered brain and the alcoholic brain. In order to do this, you will need to learn more about what triggers your cravings and how best to curb those alcohol cravings and urges that can arise from time to time. 

During an alcohol rehab program, you will learn methods for emotional regulation and relapse prevention. These methods are often focused on your ability to self-identify your feelings at the moment and learn how to effectively process the emotions that will keep you on the right track towards sobriety. During these moments, it is important to recognize the behaviors you are exhibiting and if they are conducive to your recovery goals. While all of these tools are integral to your success in sobriety, there are natural forms of coping that will increase your chances and abilities to remain sober and curb cravings. 

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Can Food Help With Alcohol Cravings?

One aspect of healing and recovery that is often overlooked in your routine for recovery is focusing on a healthy, balanced diet that enhances your ability to remain in sobriety. Often, at the height of your addiction, one of the last things you would be concerned about is the food you are fuelling your body with. In fact, during most people’s alcohol addiction it is common to become malnourished due to a lack of diet that is packed full of essential nutrients and vitamins. What most people are unaware of is the power that your food selection can have on your addiction and the ability it has to reduce your cravings. To give yourself the optimal effects from food to aid in your recovery you should focus on consuming foods that aid in your digestion, provide a steady level of blood sugars throughout your day, and facilitate effective, normal brain chemistry. 

When you focus on eating foods that support a healthy digestive system, you are ensuring that your body has the ability to properly absorb any vitamins and nutrients that are entering its system. Having a consistent replenishment of these amino acids, vitamins, and minerals will decrease the chances of experiencing alcohol cravings. You will find that when your body has a consistent, normal blood sugar level, you will feel fewer hunger cravings which will also decrease your cravings for alcohol. Finally, when you provide your body with lean proteins often in your diet, you will be feeding into your brain’s neurotransmitters that are responsible for feeling good and trigger the sense of reward within the brain. This prevents you from looking elsewhere to produce these feel-good sensations. 

Best Foods For Reducing Alcohol Cravings

There are a number of foods that you can choose from that will aid in your body’s ability to manage and decrease alcohol cravings. The key is to create a healthy diet plan for yourself that consists of complex carbohydrates, lean protein options, foods rich in fiber, healthy fats, and a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. 

Before getting started on choosing the right food groups, it is always recommended to speak with your doctor who will ensure that your new diet will meet your medical needs while also giving you tips on incorporating healthy options to aid in alcohol cravings. 

Here are some food options to get you started on building a balanced diet for yourself to assist in your success in recovery. 

  • Raw spinach- spinach provides you with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that aid in your metabolic rate. Spinach contains an L-glutamine that breaks down into an amino acid that works to benefit anxiety and reduces alcohol cravings. 
  • 100 % whole grain bread- this complex carbohydrate works to metabolize at a slower rate which will help curb and reduce your alcohol cravings. Consuming whole grains will work to enrich your diet with proteins, fiber, and vitamins that all play a factor in lessening your cravings 
  • Salmon- This protein is packed full of nutrients and vitamin D which has been proven to increase mood functioning by decreasing depression and anxiety while stabilizing your mood. As salmon is packed full of omega 3’s, this will be a crucial component to curb those pesky alcohol cravings. 
  • Peanut butter- good source of dietary fiber, vitamin b and protein. Peanut butter also contains amino acids that are responsible for naturally increasing your dopamine levels which produce those feel-good feelings that you are looking for since quitting drinking. 
  • Bananas- bananas work to raise dopamine levels that have already been diminished through your alcohol addiction. The more potassium you consume regularly, the more you will begin to feel those euphoric, feel good emotions that dopamine typically produces. 
  • Walnuts- These are stacked full of omega-3’s and protein which have been proven to aid in depression and emotional regulation. As your emotions remain level, you will find that your cravings become reduced. 
  • Plain organic yogurt- often yogurt contains healthy probiotics that will promote healthy digestion. This is essential for you to be able to absorb the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals you need to remain sober. 
  • Fruits- Fruit contains natural sugars called fructose. When you are experiencing sweet cravings for alcohol, having fruit that consists of fructose will satisfy that sweet craving while keeping you away from alcohol. 
  • Dairy products- Consuming dairy products help to boost your vitamin B2 and vitamin A deficiencies. These vitamins are essential for healthy digestion and regular, healthy gut functioning. 
  • Cayenne pepper- Works well in curbing alcohol cravings as well as aiding in your detox process by decreasing some of your withdrawal symptoms including nausea or vomiting. 
  • Foods containing vitamin B- This includes lettuce, broccoli, and asparagus, Typically, during your alcohol addiction, you will become lacking in vitamin B. By increasing your vitamin B intake, you will improve your body’s functioning while curbing unwanted cravings. 

Staying Sober After Alcohol Rehab

Once you have completed the intensive emotional work in alcohol rehab, you leave the center ready to start your new life in sobriety. You feel prepared to handle any ups and downs that life throws your way and are ready to start anew. While your intentions are in the right spot and you have the desire to live a life of recovery, addictive thinking and behaviors have a way of sneaking up from time to time while you are in recovery. It is important to take what you have learned in alcohol rehab and incorporate that into your daily routines such as mindfulness and emotional regulation. While you have the skills to effectively deal with your emotions, there are other ways that you can make a complete change in each aspect of your life that will promote a healthy life in sobriety. 

Focusing on your physical well-being through proper diet and exercise will not only maintain your physical health but will support healthy emotional health too. Experts have found that a daily exercise routine has helped to not only gain physical strength but gives you an opportunity to free your mind from the daily stressors of life and learn to be in the moment. Getting outside in the fresh air, and getting your body moving will increase your mental functioning and processing while also promoting a natural flow of endorphins. 

When you begin to incorporate new food groups that assist in managing alcohol cravings, there are some tips to help optimize your meal times and absorption of vitamins and minerals. As you are eating, it is encouraged to practice mindful eating. Often, when eating, individuals will focus on just getting the job done and finishing their meal to be able to return to life’s demands. Engaging in mindful eating practices allows you to slow down as you eat and let your body slowly digest. This promotes healthy guts and digestion along with reducing cravings. Your eating pattern should be consistent each day and at least three times a day for meals. This allows your body an ample amount of nourishment throughout the day. Often, if you skip meals, your body will go into starvation mode and instead of absorbing the vitamins and minerals, it will turn into fat to protect the body. Proper hydration is essential for your body to function. Ensuring that you are having at least 8 glasses of water a day will support optimal brain and physical functioning. A lack of water intake can often lead to unwanted alcohol cravings so it is important to stay on top of your water consumption. 

Lastly, it is important to allow yourself snacks throughout the day. This doesn’t mean you turn to a bag of potato chips but rather choose a healthy option such as fruit or vegetables. Keeping a regular, scheduled intake of food going through your system will help to maintain your blood sugar levels and, ultimately, help you avoid unnecessary alcohol cravings. 

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