Vitamin deficiencies take their toll on the alcoholic's body and proper diet and supplementation are necessary. An alcoholic must first stop consuming alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol can create nutritional problems. Correcting the alcoholic's diet can lead to a sense of well-being and healing as physical, mental and emotional changes of alcohol recovery are taking place.
Most alcoholics start their road to recovery in poor health with malnutrition, several forms of indigestion or gastrointestinal problems, diarrhea, nausea, obesity and hypertension. Many of these issues can be resolved by not drinking and correcting poor eating habits.
A number of major illnesses are associated with the nutritional instability of alcoholics, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis, heart disease, diabetes, pancreatitis and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.
In regard to nutrition and diet, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome can be the most detrimental to the body. It is an avoidable and alcohol-related thiamin deficiency brought on by excessive alcohol consumption. The result is the body's inability to absorb nutrients, damaging the neurons in the brain.
It is easier to plan your diet if you know what vitamin values your foods contain. A nutritionist can assist you in setting up a diet and monitoring your progress. Although not a necessity, this support is often helpful in the beginning of treatment to refocus the alcoholic's attention from his drinking onto his physical health.
Individuals may supplement their diet with amino acids and B vitamins lost because of alcoholism.
Protein is important in alcoholic recovery. If tastefully tolerated, the vitamin A and thiamin benefit from a once-weekly serving of lamb or calf liver is recommended. Consume skinless poultry, lean beef and baked or grilled fish at a minimum of 4 oz. per day. Beans, lentils, soybeans and egg whites are also good sources of protein and may be substituted as vegetarian choices.
Eat 3 oz. weekly of fish containing fatty acids like sardines and salmon.
Increase your intake of vitamin C and antioxidants. Eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily
Good sources of thiamin are brown rice, oats, whole wheat pasta and whole grains. Whole grains also play a role in blood glucose management, which helps lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Pay attention to magnesium and zinc as they support healthy bone cells and the immune system. ?Beans, almonds, sesame seeds, wheat germ, dried figs, lemons and almonds can help increase magnesium. Zinc can be supplemented with brewer's yeast, pumpkin seed, eggs and very lean beef.
Limiting sugar and caffeine intake will not only ease withdrawal symptoms but can greatly lower alcohol cravings.