When you're trying to overcome a drug addiction, one of the first hurdles that you will need to get past is getting through the detoxification process. Your body can become physically dependent on the substance you're addicted to, so getting through detox is more than just a matter of mental willpower – you may experience unpleasant or even painful physical symptoms. And you're limited in what you can do to cope with those physical symptoms – for obvious reasons, most painkillers are out of the question. However, your diet can help you get through the detoxification process. Take a look at some of the things that you should eat when going through drug detox.
Your liver is one of the hardest working organs you have during the detoxification period. The liver's function is to clean toxins out of your body, so it has a big job when you're trying to get a drug out of your body. Therefore, you should choose foods that support the liver and help it function more efficiently.
Beets, leafy green vegetables, and green tea are all known to help protect the liver and improve its ability to function. Garlic activates certain liver enzymes that help flush out toxic material. Avocados contain an antioxidant known as glutathione, which helps the liver filter materials that are harmful to your body.
The importance of drinking enough water during detox can't be overstated. Water helps to flush the toxins out of your body faster, which speeds up the detoxification process and can lessen withdrawal symptoms, or at least get you past them sooner. On the other hand, if you're dehydrated, detox will take longer, and you'll have to contend with the symptoms of dehydration as well as withdrawal symptoms.
Many addictions can actually cause dehydration. For example, alcohol is a diuretic, so abusing alcohol can lead to losing too much fluid too quickly. You may need to drink more than the recommended gallon of water a day for men or three quarts of water a day for women if you're already dehydrated. Try putting lemon or a splash of fruit juice in your water if you dislike plain water, and avoid dehydrating substances like caffeine.
Substance abuse causes damage to your body. Even if you feel OK, aside from the withdrawal symptoms, there's a good chance that drug use has damaged cells and tissues in your body. Your body needs healthy proteins to repair these cells and tissues.
Choose eggs, nuts, and lean meats like chicken or fish. Avoid fatty foods or foods that are highly processed – those are harder for your body to digest and process, and your body is already working hard to detoxify itself. Choose lean, fresh protein whenever you can.
Choose an inpatient rehab with a nutritionist on staff, or if you're detoxing as an outpatient, talk to your doctor or recovery specialist about a diet plan. Making dietary changes is one of the big things that you can do to help yourself through this period and start getting healthy again.