Nutrition and Recovery from Alcoholism

Contributed by: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, for Addiction Hope

Alcoholism is a devastating disease that destroys body and mind. Thankfully, sobriety and recovery from alcoholism allows the body the opportunity and chance to heal and be restored.

An important aspect of recovery from alcoholism not only involves abstaining from alcohol but integrating nutrition and wholesome foods.

Practicing abstinence is crucial for preventing continued damage to the body systems, but many of the nutrients that have been depleted due to alcohol must be replenished through healthy eating.

Robbing the Body of Nutrients

Overindulging in alcohol robs the body of much needed nutrition, including macronutrients (such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), and micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals).

Eating a diet that provides a variety of healthy food choices lays the building blocks of nourishment for our body and allows us to stay physically strong and well. Alcoholics often replace healthy food choices in their diet with alcoholic beverages.

Drinking alcohol can also interfere with the body’s natural craving and desire for nutritious foods. Alcoholics may also see a change in their natural body weight due to fluctuations with normal intake, which may also be influenced by alcohol in the body.

Keeping Nutrition Important

If you or a loved one is recovering from alcoholism, it is important to keep nutrition at the forefront of your recovery journey. Your treatment team can be an instrumental part in ensuring that your health and wellness is restored.

Often, a Registered Dietitian will be part of your care and can specifically help you with your diet. It may be confusing to learn exactly what a healthy diet entails, and having some professional guidance can take the guesswork out of this aspect of your recovery.

It is likely that an addiction to alcohol has put food on the backburner, and it is essential to relearn how to feed and nourish your body appropriately.

The Potential for Healing

The beauty about our health and body is that there is potential for restoration and healing. Learning gentle nutrition can help guide you to a place where your physical health is restored.

If you are in a place where you are still struggling with alcohol, be sure to reach out to someone for help today. Step by step, and one day at a time, you can be well again.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What aspects about recovering from Alcoholism may make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet? If you are in recovery from Alcoholism, how have you prioritized nutrition?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on February 27th, 2015
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