Originally published October 8 2010
Aid Recovery from Alcohol Abuse with a Nourishing Diet
by Linda Carlson
(NaturalNews) Nearly everyone that abuses alcohol is malnourished. This leads to serious health risks. The good news is recovery and future health can be greatly enhanced with the right nutrition.
Nearly 14 million people in the United States abuse alcohol. That is 1 in every 13 adults. Cirrhosis of the liver resulting from alcohol abuse is among the 10 leading causes of death in the United States. Worldwide, 3.6% of cancer cases are alcohol related and that is a modest statistic.
95% of alcohol consumed must be metabolized in the liver. This process requires a lot of work and becomes a priority above other necessary functions.
Alcohol abuse can also lead to dehydration, anemia, osteoporosis, leaky gut syndrome, ulcers, pancreatitis, gallstones and cardiovascular disease. And it increases the risk of hypoglycemia, diabetes and neuropathy due to nerve damage.
Almost all alcoholic drinkers are malnourished and nutritional deficiency becomes serious. Alcohol robs the body of needed nutrients and interrupts vital functions. Many of the health problems that may occur are due to the depletion of needed minerals and vitamins. These may include calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and most of the B vitamins. With liver impairment absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K is also reduced. The body receives a lot of calories and little nutrition. Cells weaken from starvation and become prone to disease.
Alcohol is a simple sugar that is rapidly absorbed. It contains empty calories and coverts to fat. One beer has around the same instant caloric value of 10 teaspoons of white sugar.
It can be a dual addiction of both alcohol and sugar. It's the reason many newly recovering alcoholics find they have a craving for sweets. If sugar is avoided when drinking stops the cravings for the sugar will diminish in a few weeks and usually disappear altogether after several months. However, if sugar consumption continues, the fluctuating blood sugar levels can trigger cravings for alcohol.
Diet and supplement therapy can play a big role in physical recovery. The use of plenty of fluids, alkaline foods and additional vitamins and minerals eases the initial detox. Adding more vitamin C and a B complex along with some specific minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium can help to replenish the body of these depleted nutrients. The amino acid L-glutamine is also useful to reduce cravings.
The body will begin to eliminate the alcohol and other toxins and it will also begin breaking down some of the fat. Due to fluctuating blood sugar levels, some basic hypoglycemic protocols are suggested. This means avoiding sweets and refined foods. The more processed foods avoided the better.
The right foods can help to stabilize blood sugar and counter cravings. Protein and complex carbohydrates are needed. This would include a variety of vegetables and leafy greens with the addition of fruit, legumes, organic cheese, beans and whole grains such as brown rice, wild rice and quinoa. Some healthy fats to add (in modest amounts) can be olive oil, nuts, seeds, flaxseed and avocados. It's also important to get a lot of fluids. Drinking water throughout the day will help the process of moving alcohol and its by-products out of the body and aid in hydration.
A diet full of the nutrients can help to minimize some of the potential problems that can surface due to alcohol abuse. Following these suggestions can reduce cravings, aid in the physical recovery process and move you toward vibrant health.
About the authorLinda Carlson is a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Counselor with 21 years experience. Dragonfly Health at www.cree77.com
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