Opioid addiction can put lots of undue stress on your liver, and increase your risk for liver disease and liver failure. Part of heroin detox treatment involves flushing toxins from your liver so you can fully overcome physical dependence on heroin. As you go through heroin detox treatment, there are foods you can eat that complement the detox process and accelerate your body’s release of toxins that hurt the liver.
Here are seven liver-healthy foods to eat during heroin detox treatment that can improve your overall health and help you beat addiction.
1. Dark, Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard help break down and neutralize toxins from opioids that harm to the liver. Add more leafy greens to your salads, or blend into smoothies to make green, nutrient-dense shakes.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel have the ability to boost liver function and protect against insulin resistance and obesity. Ask your doctor or rehab staff about the possibility of adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, or about omega-3 supplements you can take to boost liver function and flush opioid toxins from your body.
Seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are high in selenium and other minerals that aid in liver detoxification. Add these seeds to smoothies, salads, and soups, or add to trail mix you can snack on throughout heroin detox and addiction treatment.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Healthy cooking oils such as extra virgin olive oil are high in essential fatty acids that improve hormone and cell function — reducing your risk for liver complications that occur on behalf of heroin addiction. Replace butter and unhealthy cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or walnut oil, and benefit from a higher intake of essential fatty acids.
Fruits in general are highly effective at boosting overall bodily function, but berries are especially high in phytonutrients that boost liver function and enhance the detox process. Eat more strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, and benefit from improved liver health while also lowering your risk for cancer.
6. Cruciferous Vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are high in glutathione — an amino acid and antioxidant that binds to toxins so they can be excreted as waste. The more cruciferous vegetables you eat, the faster you can remove heroin and other toxins from your body during detox treatment.
7. Water and Green Tea
Water is essential for hydrating your body and flushing out toxins and waste. Lower your intake of coffee, sugary drinks, and other beverages that cause dehydration, and stick to drinking water and green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants that naturally enhance the heroin detox process.
Avoid eating fried foods, sugary foods, and processed foods in general. Processed foods are often high in preservatives, additives, and other toxins that will only make your liver work harder. Since the liver is responsible for filtering toxins from substances you put in your body, adding more toxins to your body in the form of chemicals and man-made ingredients can prolong the heroin detox process, and worsen liver function.
Most heroin treatment centers offer nutritional counseling so you can improve your diet as needed to fully overcome physical dependency on drugs. A healthy diet can also help correct imbalances with your neurotransmitters and brain chemicals affected by opioid addiction.