Resisting the habit of alcohol is quite a challenge. More significantly, the cravings are hard to deal with, especially experiencing withdrawal symptoms, unpleasant feelings like that of depression and anxiety. Saying all these, learning to take care of yourself mentally and pay attention to physical components are the key components to success. And all this starts with eating healthy, high-energy and nutritious foods along with getting good exercise.
Alcohol cravings comes due to several factors, you can effectively battle the urge and control alcohol consumption with foods that you eat. Some foods that can help the body to reduce the urge and cravings effectively are as mentioned here below:
• Vegetables and Fruits
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a part of every diet, but just by adding a few portions helps in reducing the cravings quickly and effectively. When without alcohol for some time, the brain lacks ‘good mood’ hormone dopamine. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables helps the brain to activate these hormone as alcohol causes its natural levels to fall. Also, these plant based foods are rich in fibre that helps in maintaining a stable blood sugar level and thereby helping to reduce alcohol cravings.
In addition to all these fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and essential nutrients that boosts the immune system and protects the liver from damages that might have been caused due to excessive alcohol consumption. As an extra benefit, fruits contains natural fructose that provides the body with energy and reduces sugar cravings like that in alcohol.
Recommended fruits : figs, strawberries, oranges and bananas.
Recommended vegetables : broccoli, spinach, lettuce and other leafy greens.
• Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are small, but powerhouses of nutrients and are very effective for reducing alcohol cravings. They have high amounts of healthy fats that are converted into quality energy in the body. As an alternative nut butters and spreads can be used during meals and also can be consumed as smoothies for some great nutritional boosts.
Additionally nuts are packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. Especially B vitamins, vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, iron, manganese, magnesium and calcium that are very essential in replacing alcohol damages with recovery and wellness.
• Dairy and Dairy Products
Dairy is another food group that is very effective in controlling alcohol cravings. When consumed in moderate amounts, it enriches you with proteins, vitamin D and several minerals like calcium and potassium to keep you full and satisfied. While selecting to opt for dairy products like cheese, butter, milk and yoghurt make sure you get low-fat options to avoid the extra calories.
People addicted to alcohol often experience deficiencies in minerals, vitamins and essential nutrients, which includes vitamin A, C, B6 (pyridoxine), B2 (riboflavin), calcium and iron. Dairy and dairy products have the capacities to replace all these deficiencies, especially the vitamins. It even renews your gut linings that get damage due to heavy alcohol abuses.
• Whole Grains and Pasta
By carefully selecting to eat carbohydrates you can curb considerably your alcohol consumption and it all because, alcohol contains simple carbs that the body finds easy to digest and starts craving for it. It is just the opposite in order to control cravings of alcohol. You need to consume complex carbohydrates that needs more time to be broken down in the stomach. All the energy that you will get from wholes grains and pastas will last longer and you will feel much better and controlled and in turn will reduce the need for an alcoholic drink to provide short term energy.
In addition to all these, whole grains also contains lots of fibre to keep out digestive system healthy. Alcohol can cause immense damage to the stomach and intestines, hence choosing quality carbs and fibres will ensure maintaining them. The body’s blood sugar levels remains steady and controls cravings.
• Fish and Chicken
Fish and chicken are a great source of protein that helps in providing lasting energy, keeps good mood and makes you feel better. Sources of lean protein like chicken, turkey and fish are the ones that you need to choose. On the plus side, fish contains omega 3 fatty acids polyunsaturated fats and vitamin D, all of which makes the brain stay alert, function optimally and reduce alcohol cravings.
Avoiding alcohol become easier as healthy protein increases the quality of sleep and boosts your overall mood.
Once you decide to leave alcohol and stop drinking, you will experience a lot of physical and mental changes, leading to immense cravings at the beginning. The foods suggested above will certainly help you decrease the cravings. In order to keep and stay healthy and a alcohol free life, you need to take the effort to create a new lifestyle for yourself and practice good eating habits to get your metabolism and nervous system back in track.
The article is authored by Dietitian Sheela Seharawat. She is one of the youngest successful entrepreneurs of India and founder & chief mentor of Diet Clinic Health Care Pvt Ltd http://www.dietclinic.co.in.