Healthy Ways to Eliminate Withdrawal Cravings

It can be incredibly hard to quit alcohol, especially when the cravings kick in. Fortunately, you can use food to help eliminate these cravings and prevent yourself from going back to your old, unhealthy habits. Here are a few things you can eat to eliminate cravings while going through withdrawal.

Complex Carbohydrates

Lower glucose levels (blood sugar) can cause you to experience a craving for alcohol. However, if you try eating simple carbohydrates, such as processed foods, your blood sugar levels will rise quickly, but then cause your sugar levels to drop and induce cravings. Instead, you should focus on eating complex carbohydrates, such as cereals, legumes, and whole-grain bread that your body will digest slower and maintain your blood sugar levels at a steady level, reducing your cravings.

Fruits and Vegetables

It’s important to have a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, especially so if you’re trying to eliminate alcohol cravings. Plant-based foods are high in fiber, which helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, reducing your cravings as a result. More so, consuming nutrient-dense foods helps repair your liver and improve your immune system, both are negatively affected when you aggressively consume alcohol.

Dopamine-Enhancing Foods

Alcohol actively causes chemical imbalances in your brain, which affects neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Although alcohol can lead to an increase in dopamine production, chronic consumption can cause those levels to fall, leading to alcohol cravings. Private addiction treatment centers’ amenities often focus on promoting dopamine production outside of alcohol consumption, but eating the right food can also be helpful. To help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, you can eat dopamine-enhancing foods, such as sunflower seeds and bananas. Caffeine may offer short-term dopamine releases in your body, but it’s not recommended as a long-term solution.

L-Glutamine-Containing Foods

L-glutamine is a type of amino acid that helps your brain function, in addition to being one of the major fuels for your brain cells. This amino acid helps reduce anxiety and cravings while improving your sleep cycle. A study at the Breining Institute found that L-glutamine reduced cravings and the need for alcohol in alcoholics going through withdrawal. Great sources of L-glutamine foods include raw spinach and parsley since cooking destroys the amino acid. However, ask your physician before considering taking a glutamine supplement, because there may be harmful side effects depending on the state of your liver.


It’s not impossible to stop drinking, but you will have to face withdrawal in the meantime. Although there are plenty of foods that may tempt you to go back to alcohol, there is still plenty that can help you avoid drinking altogether. It’s up to you to take your health into your own hands, but if you are having trouble with limiting your alcohol consumption, formal addiction treatment is advised.

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