A drug detox gets rid of the toxic substances that have accumulated in the body after addiction. During this process, it is extremely important that the nutrients lost are being replaced by eating highly nutritious foods. During this process and afterwards, a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, or a vegan diet should be followed.
Nutritional Deficiencies During Addiction
To get the best out of a vegan diet during a drug detox, a patient needs to know that there are specific nutrient deficiencies with each kind of addiction. For example, alcoholics are often deficient in the following:
- vitamin B1 or thiamine
- vitamin B2 or riboflavin
- vitamin B6 or pyridoxine
- vitamin C
- folic acid
Inhalant abuse can also mimic the same symptoms as alcoholics. Not having enough of these vitamins can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and Korsakoff’s syndrome.
Those who are addicted to opiates suffer from digestive problems like constipation. Therefore, a high fiber diet is important to reduce the withdrawal symptoms during a drug detox.
Other drugs such as methamphetamine and crack also have specific nutritional needs while detoxing. Because recovery patients are taking stimulants, they often are awake all hours of the night which results in a loss of nutrients. Balanced meals are recommended throughout the course of therapy to correct these nutrient deficiencies.
Starting A Healthy Diet During A Drug Detox
Knowing what to eat is only the first step. The most important thing to do is to start eating healthy foods as soon as you know what they are. This is the moment a patient is enrolled in a detox program. To prepare the body to shift to a healthy diet, good hydration is crucial. Aside from plain water, electrolyte-packed drinks like coconut water or juiced fruits and veggies are great hydrators.
For food, start eating light salads. This should consist of leafy greens that are packed with vitamins. Kale, lettuce, spinach and Collard greens are some of the healthiest greens. These can be served as the main ingredient. Make it delicious by adding some cherry tomatoes, herbs and spices to suit your taste.
Recovery patients should also load up with proteins from plant sources like lentils, soy, quinoa, and black beans. They are full of vitamin B6 and other amino acids that the body uses to repair cells.
Withdrawal symptoms are draining. It is a must to eat complex carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and beans to boost energy and also promote good digestion.
What About Supplements?
Dietary supplements are being recommended if it is a must as too much of a specific nutrient can also cause health problems. For example, having too much vitamin A can cause scar tissue buildup in the liver. No matter what the situation it is, it is necessary to seek professional help when you want to start a drug detox. So, you will be guided about what and how much you have to eat to achieve successful results.
Author bio: Vikram Tarugu is a passionate leader, CEO and founder of Detox of South Florida, Florida’s top alcohol detox and drug rehabilitation center. He is also a proud advocate of drug-free living. In his spare time, he loves writing about tips on how to manage day-to-day tasks without depending on different addictive drugs.
Dr. Tarugu is also a leading Gastroenterologist and hematologist. You can find him practicing at several hospitals in South Florida and at Gastro in Florida.