Author: Justin Mckibben
Detoxing after a prolonged period of substance abuse or addiction can be the hardest part of getting off drugs or alcohol. Most people want to find the easiest, quickest way to get through the process in a comfortable and healthy way. Some people assume the easiest way to cleanse their system is with a healthier diet, and so they ask- what food can detox my body from drugs?
While it is important to try and nourish your body as best you can, there may be some misgivings as to how this will help.
What Food Can Detox My Body from Drugs: Is food enough?
The first thing we need to emphasize is that a “food detox” alone is not a sufficient enough strategy to treat any real substance use disorder. Without medical detox to provide support for adverse health effects, or to monitor in the event of new complications, it can be dangerous.
In fact, there are many substances, including alcohol, that have incredibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Some are even potentially fatal. So to rely on a clean, strict diet as the only means of detoxing the body from the effects of drugs or alcohol is an unnecessary risk.
Without the therapeutic assistance and support of addiction specialists, it can be an incredibly stressful and overwhelming process. While some aspects of a healthier diet can help gradually clear the mental fog, that alone is still not enough to deal with co-occurring issues like:
- Behavioral disorders
- Mental health disorders
- Relapse prevention
We will talk about some foods that can help, but we also want to let it be known to anyone who may read this that a better diet isn’t going to solve the problem.
What Food Can Detox My Body From Drugs: Diet tips that may help detox
Detox is often a different experience depending on the individual. The kind of drugs you used and for how long will determine the kind of damage the body has to bounce back from. Food is not a complete plan for a safe detox and should always just be one aspect of a comprehensive recovery plan.
Still, we want to include a few kinds of food that can aid in the comfort level and progress of detoxing from drugs. Fruits and vegetables are huge and pretty much all are helpful, but here are a few examples.
Ok, so it may not be a “food” as much as a beverage, but it is essential to life in general. Experts do suggest that 9-12 glasses of water a day can help clear the kidneys and liver of built up toxins.
For an added bonus- include lemon. According to the World Health Organization, citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant de-limonene, a powerful compound in the peel that stimulates the enzymes in the liver to help flush toxins from the body.
Curcumin, a compound derived from the bright-orange spice Tumeric, works as a powerful anti-inflammatory in the liver. A study in the journal Gut states that enhancing you diet with curcumin could significantly reduce bile duct blockage and limit scarring (fibrosis) by interfering with the chemical reactions of the inflammatory process.
Some research trials have also suggested Tumeric can be used as an anti-depressant. A recent study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research with 60 volunteers diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD), such as manic depression, showed that patients found cucumin as effective as Prozac for managing depression.
While there are very few human studies, this research was the first clinical evidence to suggest Tumeric could be used in this capacity.
This green vegie (great with a side of steak) is not only credited as a hangover cure, but the amino acids and minerals in asparagus may also protect liver cells against toxins. This natural diuretic is said to also flush the excess toxins from your system.
Yes, even these roots are great detoxifying foods. Beets contain a type of antioxidant called betalains that help repair and regenerate cells in the liver. You may notice you keep seeing the liver as a repeat customer on the list. That is because the liver is the body’s primary detox organ, so any food like beets that provides it with extra support can help ease through cleansing the body.
Again, this one is all about fixing up the liver. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers found a clear connection between increased vitamin E intake and a decrease in liver cancer risk.
In a study the participants who consumed the most vitamin E in almonds, which came to about 15 almonds, displayed a 40% lower risk of liver cancer than those who consumed less.
While these can be substituted for almonds as a good source of fiber, they also provide a decent dose of magnesium. This mineral keeps blood pressure normal, maintains steady heart rhythm. Many drugs can do some serious wear and tear on the heart and blood pressure, so in the process of trying to regulate these while detoxing, sunflower seeds can do some good.
Since there are those who are opposed to any meat, we won’t pretend meat is the only source of protein. However, given the amount of stress the addicts body can experience, protein is big on helping repair tissues and cells while restoring organs. Go with fish and chicken, or go vegie with stuff like
- Rice and Beans
You can also look for more natural protein supplements.
Fish, nuts, avocados and certain oils contain fats that can help satiate the body. They’re also high in Omega 3. This fatty acid is believed to not only help avoid feelings of depression, but some also say it relieves the cravings associated with addiction.
Seaweed and Algae
Now you may be thinking- wait, these are food?
Yes, and they are a powerhouse supply of good stuff for a detoxing body. They are rich in a source of nutrients and antioxidants, including:
- Vitamin B, C and E
They fight inflammation and damage to tissues caused by free radicals. Seaweed and algae are also rich in:
- Protein and amino acids that help the body to fight infections
- Fiber that encourages the growth of good bacteria in the gut while maintaining bowel regularity and removes toxins and fats from the body
They also help detox our body by protecting the liver from toxic damage. Seaweed and algae are a good source of:
- Iodine, which is essential for metabolism
- Magnesium and potassium which protect blood vessels and fight the effect of stress
Nutrients in seaweed and algae also support the health of adrenal glands, which can suffer constant stress, resulting in chronic fatigue, mood changes and damaging the immune system. Seaweed and algae do a lot of amazing stuff for a detoxing body.
What Food Can Detox My Body From Drugs: The Best Way?
Again, there is a great deal of good a more balanced and healthy diet can do when recovering from substance abuse. The above list provides a few examples of some great additions to your diet while trying to build better physical health.
Yet, it is important to remind the reader that food in itself is not the best way to detox the body from drugs.
Drug addiction is a very complex disorder, and it impacts the individual in unique and devastating ways. While a strong diet may help with comfort through the detox period, the body and the mind will typically need much more support. A safe medical detox, complete with a clinical staff and therapeutic support, is best for building a foundation for holistic healing. Empowering the body by being nourished is a big bonus. A safe medical detox facility should provide a balanced and supported diet while helping the individual with any needed medications and other support.