If you are one of those asking if fruits and vegetables can help you quit smoking, I want to say yes and this is based on results of a recent study. The study indicates that an all-round-vegetable diet works efficiently than the patch when it comes to dropping off cigarettes.
The study, conducted by researchers of the University of Buffallo, United States, examined a thousand smokers between the ages: 25 and above, to evaluate the relationship between fruit and vegetables consumption and signs of overall well-being.
The researchers got smokers around the country, using random-digit dialing telephone interviews. They followed up with the smokers fourteen months later, asking them if they had refrained from nicotine use during the preceding month.
At the end of the day, the researchers discovered that smokers who consumed the most fruits and vegetables were three times more liable to quit cigarettes for at least 30 days at the follow-up than those who consumed the lowest amount of fruits and vegetables. They were followed up 14 months later and it was the same result.
What this means is: smokers who consume a lot of fruits and vegetables have less nicotine dependence, smoke fewer cigarettes per day and wait longer to have their first cigarette of the day. We can also say that higher fiber consumption, from fruits and vegetables, makes people feel fuller or satisfied so that they don’t feel the need to smoke, since smokers often confuse hunger with cravings to smoke.
The results of the research were published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
This research and previous studies have revealed that fruits and vegetables worsen the taste of cigarettes. A 2007 study reported in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, investigated smokers on their food choices in connection with their smoking routine and found that dairy products like milk and cheese, fruits and vegetables made cigarettes taste unpleasant, while alcohol and red meat made them taste excellent.
A new study in the same journal examined fruit and vegetables consumption in connection with smoking cessation and discovered that eating healthy produce aided quitting smoking and staying smoke-free afterwards.
The import of this is simple: reach for some cheese, apples or sweet potatoes anytime you’re itching for a smoke. Avoid meat and alcohol. The former will strengthen your stop smoking resolve while the latter will hurt your chances of living a long, healthy and smoke-free life.
People, the world over, make use of addictive substances more during times of physical and emotional stress. Fruits and vegetables are popularly known to be excellent sources of essential vitamins and nutrients. Many possess anti-inflammatory qualities, and diet has been increasingly connected to mood and one’s sense of well-being. So if you’re trying to quit, adding plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet might help.
And unlike some foods, which are known to enhance the taste of tobacco, such as meats, caffeinated beverages and alcohol, fruits and vegetables do not enhance the taste of tobacco.
Benefits of Fruits and Vegetable Consumption for Smoking Cessation
* They serve as a replacement strategy for smokers who always feel like holding something, the same way they used to hold cigarette sticks. Each time you feel like holding a cigarette stick, quickly pop a carrot into your hand. It helps.
* Crunchy fruits and vegetables also help smokers fight the craving to smoke. They make smokers ‘busy and full’ and feeling less in need of a smoke, so, focus on fuel that provides some exercise for your jaw muscles such as carrots, celery, apples, red pepper sticks, plain popcorn and nuts.
* Fruits and vegetables also help in cleansing the body of nicotine toxins after smoking cessation. In an earlier post, I talked about natural ways to cleanse your body from cigarette toxins. Cranberry Juice is particularly useful for getting nicotine out of your blood stream the first 72 hours after smoking cessation. You can read more about how to withdraw from nicotine using Cranberry Juice here.
* Fruits and vegetables that have a high concentration of antioxidants defend the body from lung cancer and respiratory illnesses. This is of immense benefit to smokers and former smokers. Anti-oxidants are nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, which help to neutralise a bi-product of metabolism called free radicals. Free radicals can damage the lining of our arteries and increase our risk of developing heart disease, stroke and cancer.
* Fruits and Vegetables with Vitamin C help your body heal the damages done by years of smoking or tobacco use. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron. Choose strawberries, melons, oranges, pawpaw, tomatoes, peppers, greens and cabbage for Vitamin C. Dark green vegetables contain folic acid, Vitamin A, and iron. All these are essential after smoking cessation.
Fruits and Vegetable Consumption Tips
* Start this healthy habit before smoking cessation and maintain it afterwards. It’s a healthy change that will benefit you now and in the future.
* If you’re thinking of giving up smoking, eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day is a good way to start.
* Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables that you can eat without discomfort. This may change over time. Try small amounts to see how you feel before increasing quantities.
* Eat several small meals and snacks (fruits and vegetables, of course) over the day, instead of 1 or 2 larger meals.
A word of caution: Thoroughly wash (under a running tap) and peel all fruits and vegetables in order to get rid of any excess pesticides from the outside of the fruit or vegetable.
Some people talk of using frozen or tinned fruits but I insist you use the natural ones because they’ll give you all the essential nutrients and vitamins without alteration. Processed fruits may not give you all the helpful nutrients.