Alcohol cravings can be hard to deal with when you’re trying to quit drinking. You may have withdrawal symptoms that you think can be eased with a drink, but you can’t get caught up in that cycle or you’ll never break the habit.
Studies have shown that cravings can be caused by physiological responses to triggers. These cues may be internal or external, and are generally caused by a reminder of the pleasant feelings you associate with drinking. It can include a good experience you had while you were drinking, or it could be something as simple as the smell of alcohol. Understanding your triggers can help you avoid them and deal with them when they arise.
A surprising way to deal with cravings is through food. Having a healthy diet is important for someone in recovery because having the right amount of nutrients regulates blood sugar and can help chemicals in the brain function more effectively so that they can promote a feeling of well-being. Good nutrition also helps with digestion and sleep, which can lead to feeling better overall. No one likes to be tired and have stomach issues!
Here are some foods that experts have found help reduce alcohol cravings.
Complex Carbs - Alcohol is converted into sugar, so you may feel a craving for sugar when you stop drinking. Instead of eating candy or other processed foods with simple sugars, reach for healthy carbs like grain bread, cereals and whole wheat pastas and rice.
Complex carbohydrates reduce sugar cravings because they are broken down into sugar that is absorbed more slowly, leaving you feeling full and satisfied longer. Simple sugars found in candy and soda can give you a temporary fix, often known as a “sugar rush,” but afterwards you feel a crash when your blood sugar levels drop.
Fruits and Veggies - Plant based foods have a lot of fiber, which aids in digestion and helps those nutrients get to the right places. Not to mention they’re also good for your immune system and liver, which are two things that feel the effects of alcohol the most.
Leafy raw vegetables such as spinach contain L-glutamine, which is known to reduce anxiety levels. Bananas are a good fruit choice because they are full of vitamin B, which helps reduce cravings and gives you energy. Vitamin B has been known to lower the chances of depression and anxiety associated with alcohol withdrawal because it can increase serotonin levels.
Proteins - Make sure you’re getting enough protein from lean meats like chicken or fish such as salmon. You can also get protein from dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and milk. Protein helps mood, sleep and digestion. Dairy products also contain probiotics that help with digestion, and they contain vitamin D, which is another vitamin that can help with depression and mood.
Nuts - Raw nuts or nut butters are a good source of fiber, vitamin B and protein. They also contain dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter associated with mood. Alcohol can give you a spike in dopamine but chronic drinking can cause it to drop, making your cravings worse and increases the amount of alcohol you need in order to get the same effects. Nuts, along with bananas, can help raise dopamine levels.
Affordable Raleigh Alcohol Rehab Center | Legacy Freedom
Is your drug or alcohol use becoming a problem? If you’re ready to seek help, call Legacy Freedom. We can help you get the support you need. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse. We offer customized treatment plans that meet your recovery needs. The programs for drug rehab that benefit you may not work for someone else. Our treatment options include alternative therapies that other places don’t offer. You won’t find a more comprehensive Raleigh alcohol rehab center. Call us today to learn more.