Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nutrition For Recovering Meth Addicts: Restoring Liver Function Part 2

Stimulant use, including use of crack, cocaine, and methamphetamine, can result in a significant decrease in appetite, weight loss, and eventual malnutrition as well as decreased liver function. When one is trying to recover from a meth addiction, nutrition for the recovering meth addict is of utmost importance.

Liver Detox Through Foods

The liver has 2 pathways for detoxifying. Which pathway that will be used depends on the person, their liver function, substance of choice (meth and others) and general health.

Foods that activate the Phase I pathway for detox are:
• Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
• High protein foods such as meat, fish and eggs.
• Oranges and tangerines (but not grapefruit)
• Caraway and dill seeds

Foods that activate the Phase II pathway for detox are:
• Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
• Asparagus, avocado, walnuts
• Fish oils
• Foods containing limonene - oranges, tangerines, caraway and dill seeds.

One of the most important detox pathways in Phase II uses the amino acid glutathione. Asparagus, watermelon, broccoli are good sources of glutathione while papayas and avocados are foods that help the body to produce glutathione. Other sources are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy, cress, mustard, horseradish, turnips, rutabagas (swede), kohlrabi, red beets.

Generally fresh fruits and vegetables contain from 25mg up to 750mg glutathione per pound so they are recommended in abundance for nutrition for recovering meth addicts.

The debate about eating meat to get the amino acids that are needed for other liver detoxification routes is active. Some authorities say that red meat is needed to detoxify chemicals but others say that the vegetarian diet with its complementary proteins such as rice with lentils or beans provide the same amino acids. There is not one diet that is right for everyone. Some people do indeed need meat and will not thrive on a vegetarian diet so talk to your doctor or dietician.

Meth addiction and abuse ravages the body and nutrition for recovery meth addicts can play a large role in the recovery process. In following parts of this series we will look at the foods, meal plans, snacks and more resources that aid in the nutrition for a recovering meth addict in more detail.

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