You may not believe it but it’s been established that certain foods and beverages can help you kick the smoking habit.
Smoking cessation is a change in routine which must be accompanied by several changes (including a change in diet) to prevent a relapse. A study, reported in the April 2007 issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, agrees with this assertion. It states matter-of-factly that certain foods boost the taste of cigarettes while other foods make cigarettes taste awful. Basically, this means, you’re less likely to desire a cigarette after consuming certain foods. While certain foods will entice you to smoke right after taking them.
The study, which involved 209 smokers, was conducted at Duke University to examine the taste – modifying effects of food and beverages on cigarette deliciousness. At the end of the day, the following conclusion was reached:
These 4 foods make cigarettes taste horrible:
* Non-carbonated beverages (like water and fruit juice)
* Fruits (like apples and bananas)
* Dairy Products (like milk and cheese)
* Vegetables (like carrots and celery sticks)
These three foods make the taste of cigarette enticing (avoid them!):
* Alcoholic beverages
Having mentioned these foods, I’d like to segment the foods that help smoking cessation in the following sub-sections:
Foods that Help to Overcome Cravings
* Eat Oats Regularly
Oats are popularly known for lessening nicotine cravings; so, incorporate it into your diet regularly. For maximum effect, take one tablespoon of ground oats (not to be mistaken for oatmeal) and add it to two cups of boiling water and leave it overnight. The next day, drink a portion of this blend few hours after each meal. Do not consume it after 8 p.m. It is one of the most effective quit smoking home remedies around.
And there is scientific proof from India’s medical system which has for many years been using oat bran and oatmeal to battle opium dependence. More recently, investigators in Glasgow, Scotland, found that smokers who devoured an extract of fresh oats were more prone to facing lessened cigarette cravings than smokers who had the placebo applied on them.
This discovery was substantiated by another research performed in Japan recently. In the Japanese study, investigators discovered that smokers who got a daily supplement of an oats herb extract reduced the number of cigarettes they puffed in one day by almost 50%.
* Consume Lots of Oranges
Cultivate the habit of consuming an orange each time a craving hits you. Having oranges easily accessible is one of the most effective ways to fend off cigarette urges. Cravings for nicotine normally last between three to five minutes. Consuming oranges can take your mind off the irritating need to light a cigarette. Whether taken raw or in juice form, oranges play a vital role in smoking cessation. Its’ smell can distract your senses from desiring a cigarette. When taken in a juice form, it also acts as a cleanser. Incorporate orange consumption into a broader plan to help you quit but please check for spoilage before using oranges.
And there is scientific proof for this. A research group in Britain conducted experiments with smokers and oranges. The results were outstanding. After 21 days, the smokers who consumed oranges smoked 79% less cigarettes than they normally would have and 20% dropped off cigarettes completely. This results sparks off one question: does eating citrus fruit have a kick similar to that of smoking? Alight House tries to answer the question.
Some ex-smokers have even asserted that a blend of orange juice (one glass) and cream of tartar (one half of a teaspoon) can quickly eliminate the nicotine out of your system, thereby diminishing your desire to smoke. They say the best time to drink the mixture is just before going to bed.
Aside oranges, fruits and vegetables have been proven to assist smoking cessation.
* Spinach, Brown Rice, Pastas, etc
In another study examining whether certain foods can battle cravings, David Daughton, Ph.D., a pulmonary specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, discovered that foods with high alkaline properties essentially kept nicotine circulating in the body, thereby maintaining a high level of the addictive stuff. This greatly reduced the need to consume any more. High alkaline foods include beet greens, dandelion greens, raisins, figs, spinach, millet, quinoa, whole-grain breads and pastas, brown rice, almonds and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, squash and corn.
The scent of tomato helps to reduce the appeal of cigarettes. Using tomato juice also gives you the same effect smoking gives but without the harmful elements. This may be due to the fact that tomato and tobacco plants belong to the same family (solanaceae family, commonly known as the nightshade family).
Tomato sauce is also an excellent source of lycopenes. Lycopenes are nutrients in the carotenoid family that purportedly prevent lung cancer. Lycopene’s cancer protection is in part due to its anti-oxidant properties. Lycopenes are plentiful in tomatoes that have been processed than in raw tomatoes. Tomato sauce, tomato juice, and ketchup are good sources. Try to incorporate more of these lycopene-rich foods into your meals.
Foods that Help to Clean the Lungs and Body after Quitting
Drinking lots of water is very helpful when you’re trying to quit cigarettes. Not only is it listed among the foods and drinks that make cigarettes taste awful, it is calming, curative and detoxifying. It can help you get over the urges and touchiness that come with smoking cessation. Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go, especially when you know you’ll be tempted to smoke.
Not only does water cleanse the inside of the body, it purifies the outside of the body too. Aside drinking, splattering your face with cold water, soaking in warm or hot showers, swimming in cold natural springs and drenching your feet in warm water are all known to be efficient stress and cravings busters. Water basically has the miraculous capacity to make us feel better, inside and out.
Including a selection of water therapies in your quit smoking plans will surely help!
* Fruits and Vegetable Juices
Just like water, fruits and vegetable juices can help cleanse the body after cessation. They eliminate the toxins occasioned by smoking from the body and lungs and keep the blood nicotine-free. This helps to get rid of cravings and prevent a relapse.
Foods that Repair the Damage Caused by Smoking (or Chewing Tobacco)
It’s amazing how the body recovers immediately after quit smoking. Even though the healing doesn’t manifest overnight (the smoking damage took years), maintaining a healthy and balanced diet provides your body the necessary minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals to fix the damage caused by smoking. Below are some foods that can help in this regard:
Bananas can be eaten raw to reduce and repair the damages caused by smoking cessation. They are one of the best fruits you can consume in the first few weeks of smoking cessation. This because they contain vitamin B6 alongside other nutrients like potassium, which assists the body recuperate from the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
They also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body to produce serotonin, a chemical in the brain responsible for perking up your mood and boosting your light-heartedness. Rich in vitamins B6, B12, potassium, and magnesium, bananas assist people trying to quit pull through the effects of cigarette withdrawal.
The B-vitamins are known to boost nerve function while potassium normalizes the heartbeat and regulates the body’s water balance. Experiencing high stress reduces our body’s potassium levels speedily; bananas assist to raise those levels back to normal.
In a 2007 study, UK researchers discovered that people who consume apple had better lung function than those who did not. After examining the fitness and nutritional records of 2,512 men, investigators found a strong link between improved lung function and the number of apples consumed per week.
Apples contain antioxidants that strengthen lung capacity and lower the incidence of coughing and breathlessness. They also help victims of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who have difficulty in breathing.
This is further proof that an apple a day, truly keeps the doctor away!
* Breads, Nuts, and Whole Grains
Another important substance is vitamin E, which is found in breads, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, mustard greens, tomatoes and almonds. Vitamin E has been found to help lessen the risk of smoking-related lung cancer.
* Fish, Liver and Mushrooms
Selenium aids the assimilation of vitamin E in the body. It also battles malignant diseases that may be occasioned by smoking. Selenium is found in fish, liver and mushrooms.
Find out more about lung healing after smoking.
Aside a balanced diet, exercise is also essential for permanent cessation. It reduces the anxiety and stress that nicotine withdrawal symptoms bring. It also produces the same exciting effect that nicotine elicits in the brain, thereby making the smoker happy and fulfilled when puffing a cigarette. Exercise also prevents quit smoking weight gain.
Above all, having an effective smoking cessation strategy can go a long way to help you quit smoking.