Most of the time when people think of “drug detox”, they immediately think of getting clean to remove the toxic substance from the body. However, an essential part of the detox process is actually feeding your body to replace the lost nutrients and minerals. A healthy body makes it much easier to avoid a relapse, especially if you are undergoing alcohol, opiate (heroin and morphine), or stimulant withdrawals.
The Types Nutritional Deficiencies
There are three different types of nutritional deficiencies for the three withdrawals mentioned above:
The vitamin deficiencies from alcohol addiction are vitamin B6, vitamin B1, and folic acid. Lacking these nutrients can lead to many serious problems, such as anemia (decreased amounts of red blood cells) or a neurological disorder called Korsakoff’s syndrome.
Individuals who use these drugs, such as heroin and morphine, will experience constipation and problems with their digestive system. During detox, focus on a diet consisting of high-fiber, including leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and pasta.
Stimulants (such as crack and methamphetamines) will often cause the users to stay awake for days on end, causing multiple deficiencies in different areas. To get back on track, consuming balanced meals that include protein and high sources of omega-3 will help (Fish, canola oil, flaxseed, eggs, and dairy products).
What You Should Be Eating
Drink water!! Your body needs hydration to function well. Drink enough water to quench your thirst, but also overcome withdrawal problems. This is extremely important for heroin and opiate withdrawals.
Vegetables like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and other greens provide important nutrients. All of these nutrients, such as vitamin B6, folic acid, and beta-carotene, are often found to be deficient in alcoholics.
Our body uses amino acids from protein found in both animal and plant sources to repair cells. Animal-based protein, such as tuna, turkey, and chicken, are great sources of vitamin B6. Red meat, pork, and poultry provide iron, while fish provides great sources of omega-3 and calcium.
Plant-based proteins like lentils, tofu, black beans, and quinoa are also very helpful.
Bright Fruits and Veggies
Load up on Vitamin C with foods like papayas, bell peppers, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, and tomatoes!
Your body needs complex carbs. These carbs can range from rice, beans, bread, to potatoes. They contain fiber to help with digestion, and will boost your energy.
When is it Time to get Professional Help?
If you, or someone you know, are detoxing on your own, have at least a family member or friend help you. However, some substances, such as alcohol and opiates, can cause sever withdrawals. If you have been abusing substance for a while and currently going through withdrawals from heroin, methamphetamines, or crack, consider professional detox help. Let Dr. Ben Evans help alleviate your symptoms. Don’t wait a minute longer and come see us!