Battling Alcohol with Food: Can What You Eat Stop Alcohol Cravings?

We all know how certain foods make drinking alcohol a pleasurable experience. Often called “beer match” or food pairing, these are snacks and meals that go well together with alcoholic beverages. The science behind it is interesting as well. Some foods with similar key aromas such as roasted, cheesy, or citrus often become common pairs as food and beverage.

If some types of food enhance our alcohol drinking experiences, are there others that repel us from craving intoxicating beverages?


Foods That Curb Alcohol Cravings: Is There Such A Thing?

For many, drinking alcohol is harmless and considered a social undertaking. However, there are some who can’t help but go overboard, leading them to suffer from problematic drinking or even alcoholism.

Heavy drinking impacts your mental and physical health, and it causes other external problems such as relationship breakdowns, financial struggles, and trouble with law enforcement. If you are noticing signs of alcohol addiction in yourself or a loved one, you may also be looking for ways to curb alcohol cravings. 

Thankfully, there are certain foods that kill your desire for alcohol. Although not a panacea for alcoholism, these food groups are highly recommended by alcohol rehabilitation centers as a part of a healthy diet. Below are the top examples:

Lean meat

People often drink to relieve themselves of the stress they experience during the day. Others call it a “nightcap”, referring to the beverage they take before bedtime to promote good sleep. 

Even in small amounts, alcohol can turn addicting especially if someone has a history of substance abuse in the family. Thus, you want to avoid alcohol as a stress-reliever by boosting your energy within the day by eating lean meat.

Examples of lean meat include:

  • Chicken breast
  • Fish
  • Turkey

Consuming lean meat increases your daytime energy, helping you avoid the buildup of stress you feel as nighttime comes. To make lean meat tastier, you can try to marinate it in lemon, lime, or brine before cooking. You can also add interesting sauces and herb seasonings before grilling or pan-frying as well.

Nuts and other Nut Products

Another great alcohol craving-buster is nuts. Nuts are a source of plant protein as well as healthy fats. Similar to lean meat, the fat and protein contained in nuts are sources of energy which leads to less stress, which can be a trigger for alcohol abuse.

You can eat nuts as snacks, or place them in salads for a unique crunch. Nut butter is also healthy additions to oatmeal, smoothies, or as bread spreads.

Dairy Products

Dairy products such as low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and nonfat milk are wonderful sources of vitamins and minerals. When people crave alcohol, one of the most common culprits is vitamin deficiencies, particularly Vitamin A, C, B6, B2, iron, and calcium.

Having a regular intake of low-fat and high-protein dairy can ensure that you have sources of these vitamins. Vitamin or nutrient deficiency is potentially associated with cravings and addictions, within the biological standpoint. An example of this is a condition called Pica, wherein an individual craves non-food items such as raw starch, ice, or paint peelings. Pica is related to a zinc micronutrient deficiency.

Fresh Vegetables and Fruits

Alcohol contains sugar, which aside from ethanol makes the beverage addicting. Fruits, on the other hand, have a type of sugar called fructose, which helps curb sugar cravings in a natural way. 


You can pick fruits that are high in fructose content such as persimmon, pears, bananas, and mangoes. This can quickly dissipate the sugar cravings that are associated with alcohol drinking. Dark green leafy vegetables are also recommended to increase your B vitamins, which are often lacking in long-term alcohol abuse patients.

Whole Grains

Like vegetables and lean meat, whole grains are packed with B vitamins and protein. Aside from that, they are also great sources of fiber that aid in healthy digestion. There are studies that show how alcohol addiction is linked with colorectal cancer, as it damages the lining of your intestines. 

By consuming whole grains, you are supplying your body with the fiber and energy it needs to fight alcohol cravings while supporting intestinal health.

Using Nutrition to Battle Alcoholism

Just like how heavy drinking is a gradual progression towards alcoholism, there are also small steps you can take to reverse the addiction. Seeking professional help while caring for your body nutritionally will help fight the cravings for alcohol.

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

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