Methadone as a Short-Term Detox Drug

10 Healthy Foods That Help With Opiate Withdrawal

Detoxing from opiates is a difficult process, and it can be very uncomfortable. It’s important to be as kind to your body as possible during withdrawal, and that includes nourishing your body with healthy foods.

Although detox is different for everyone, eating well can help you feel more comfortable and aid your body in bouncing back after drug use. You want to do everything possible to give yourself the best chance for a healthy recovery.

Eating some specific foods will give your body the vital nutrients it needs during the detox process. Here are 10 foods that help with opiate withdrawal.

Foods That Help With Opiate Withdrawal

If you have been engaging in opioid misuse and abuse for a while, your liver needs some TLC. Your liver is key in the withdrawal process.

It must process the remnants of any opiates in your body and flush them from your system. Eating certain foods can assist the liver in this process.

Drink Lots of Water

Water isn’t food, but it’s so important during opiate withdrawal. Hydration is critical for your recovery.

Drinking nine to 12 glasses a day helps your liver and kidneys get rid of toxins and will ease your discomfort. Some people will experience diarrhea, sweating, and vomiting during withdrawal.

This can result in dehydration and only make things worse. Proper hydration should be a top priority as you go through detox.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges help cleanse the liver to flush toxins from the body. These fruits have powerful cleansing potential, so it’s good to eat them in the morning and anytime throughout the day.

All fruit is healthy, and some other good fruits for detox include pears, raspberries, strawberries, figs, and bananas. These fruits are good sources of fiber, and sweetness which can help you stay away from sugary processed sweets.

Colorful Vegetables

People with drug addictions are often undernourished and vitamin deficient. Vegetables are full of vitamins essential for good health.

Any type of vegetable is good, but leafy greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale are great for your liver and contain lots of fiber. Some people recovering from an opiate addiction experience digestive problems, and high fiber vegetables are helpful in combating these issues.

Add Some Protein

Often, opiate users do not get enough protein in their diet. Protein is vital for good health and assists the body in repairing cells, tissue, and muscle.

Avoid fatty red meat, and, instead, opt for healthy proteins such as chicken, fish, eggs, and nuts. Protein powder and protein shakes are good choices if you are having trouble eating solid foods.

Whole Grains

Carbohydrates are necessary for energy and good health. Whole grains are full of fiber which can help with digestive issues during withdrawal.

Steer clear of refined foods like white bread and packaged snack foods. Better options include whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.

Drinking Tea

Drinking plenty of water is important during opiate withdrawal and recovery, and drinking certain teas is helpful as well. In addition to providing hydration, white and green tea enhance liver function.

This helps your liver as it works to rid your body of toxins. Ginger tea is helpful too.

It contains gingerol which stimulates sweating. Sweating helps you get rid of the toxins left in the body following opiate use.

Organic Food

Whenever possible, choose organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. If you are detoxing from opiates, your liver has the task of ridding your body of residual toxins.

If there are toxins in the food you eat, that’s just more work for your liver. Choosing clean, organic foods is better for your body anyway, and this is especially true if you are in recovery from addiction.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seed are easy to eat and digest. During detox, nuts and seeds can provide a healthy protein your body needs.

You can use them in recipes or add them to smoothies if you are having trouble eating solid foods. Some good choices include almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Natural peanut butter or almond butter is a great choice for an easy, healthy meal or snack.

Omega 3 Oils

Cook with healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil. These healthy oils help the body fight off toxins and lubricate intestinal walls.

Healthy fat is vital for proper brain function and a healthy liver. This is especially important for someone detoxing from opiates.

Foods rich in omega 3 can boost your energy level and improve the appearance of your hair, skin, and nails. Salmon, avocado, and peanut butter are good choices and are rich in healthy fat.


Adding garlic to recipes is beneficial for someone who is detoxing. Garlic helps filter out toxins in the body and stimulates liver function.

You can slice or grate garlic in a variety of dishes such as soups, pasta dishes, or pizza, or you can take a garlic capsule on a regular basis.

Foods to Avoid

What you don’t eat is as important as what you do eat. If you are detoxing from opiates, avoid eating foods high in saturated fat.

Snack foods and fast foods may seem an easy solution for a quick bite, but they are hard for your body to process. Processed foods are not good for your liver, so try to stick with natural foods as much as possible.

Nurture Yourself

Nutrition is critical for someone detoxing from opiates. Going through this process is never easy, but there are foods that help with opiate withdrawal.

Drink plenty of water and stock up on a few foods that you like and that are good for you too. This can help give your body the strength and endurance for detox and the road ahead.

It’s time to put your wellbeing first and look forward to a bright and healthy future.

For more helpful blogs and information about treatment for addiction, search our website or call (855) 976-2092.



[1] Medline Plus. (n.d.). Substance use recovery and diet: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from

[2] NIDA. (2018, December 13). Misuse of Prescription Drugs. Retrieved from on 2019, February 14

[3] Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018, January 10). What to do when it’s time to stop opioids. Retrieved February 14, 2019, from


About the author

Dr. Michael Carlton, MD.

Leading addictionologist, Michael Carlton, M.D. has over 25 years of experience as a medical practitioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and returned for his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and his Fellowship in Toxicology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

He has published articles in the fields of toxicology and biomedicine, crafted articles for WebMD, and lectured to his peers on medication-assisted treatment. Dr. Carlton was a medical director of Community Bridges and medically supervised the medical detoxification of over 30,000 chemically dependent patients annually.

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