So your endless efforts to quit smoking are not working? How about trying some foods that might help you get rid of this deadly habit? We know it is not as easy as it sounds but there are some fruits and vegetables that might be of some help. The trick is to make the right choices of food when you finally plan to quit.
Each year one in every five deaths in the US is caused by smoking. Also, there are almost 8.6 million people who are suffering from some serious illnesses caused by smoking. It has been estimated by CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) that an adult male who smokes may lose 13.2 years of his life on average and a female smoker may lose 14.5 years.
There are about 4800 chemicals contained in a cigarette out of which 69 can cause cancer. Whereas, secondhand smoke comprises of 7000 chemicals out of which 70 are known as cancer-causing. So smoking is not only lethal for the smoker himself but also for the people being exposed to the secondhand smoke. Smoking causes lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, emphysema and also cause fertility problems.
A study conducted by Duke University claims that making the right choices of food may aid you in getting rid of this habit. The remedy lies in fresh fruits, vegetables, noncarbonated beverages and dairy products. It has been hypothesized that selecting these foods may alter the production of the saliva and also temporarily make changes to the taste buds, making cigarettes less palatable.
The University of Buffalo also conducted similar researches, that is fruits and vegetables can help quit smoking. Their studies revealed that people consuming fruits and vegetables were 3 times more likely to quit smoking than the smokers who didn’t eat much of the fruits and vegetables. Jeffrey Haibach, M.P.H, lead author of the study says, “Cravings for cigarettes and foods are closely linked and often confused with one another,” he adds that “By eating a diet with higher fiber content, you’ll feel fuller and avoid craving confusion.”
Joseph McClernon, Ph.D., director of the Tobacco Neuroscience Research Lab at Duke University also states that fruits and vegetables can worsen the taste of the cigarettes.
You might like: effects of smoking on female body
So here we are with the list of foods that can work for smoking quitters:
According to the research conducted at the Duke University, milk can help to reduce the craving for cigarettes. The researchers claim that milk leaves a strange aftertaste in the mouth of the smokers that make them repel from smoking. Also, the high contents of protein found in milk are beneficial in providing extra energy when you feel down because of the craving for nicotine. So whenever you feel the urge for cigarettes just take a sip of milk. Yogurt or a piece of cheese is equally good and can be consumed instead of milk to help you quit.
James A. Duke, Ph.D. Botanist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, in Maryland, says, “If cigarettes are cancer sticks, carrots are anticancer sticks”. His own routine was 3 packs of cigarettes per day. He claims that carrots played a vital role in helping him quit smoking. The component called carotenoids found in carrots not only helps you quit smoking but also saves you from cancer. Buy yourself a bunch of baby carrots and whenever you crave for a cigarette munch on these fresh raw carrots.
Researchers claim that sunflower seeds have the same effect on your mind as tobacco, i.e. they increase the production of adrenaline. Sunflower seeds not only have a calming effect on your mind but also contain essential B-complex vitamins that help in the nourishment of the nervous system. They are a good option for smoking quitters but overeating is not suggested as they contain high contents of fats. Choose the one with shells so that the consumption process can take time.
Recent studies have found that banana can help quit smoking. The most common problem faced by the smoking quitters is that they feel a lack of energy and stressed out. The friendly bananas, full of essential vitamins and minerals, can boost your energy and calm you down in stressful conditions caused by nicotine cravings. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, kill it by eating a banana.
Marjoram is an aromatic herb commonly found in the Mediterranean countries. Its tea can be very effective for those who want to quit smoking. It makes the throat dry as a result smoking becomes less pleasurable. All you need to do is, boil 1 teaspoon of marjoram tea in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Whenever you feel the craving you can consume this tea. This herb is easily available at all health food stores.
Cloves do not completely help you quit smoking but may help you limit a number of cigarettes you smoke. Whenever you smoke your first cigarette of the day, suck on a small clove, this will leave the taste of nicotine in your mouth for a long time and will reduce the urge for another cigarette.
All the above-mentioned foods can help you quit smoking but also keep in mind that there are some foods that can actually aggravate your craving for smoke. According to the research conducted at the Duke University, when you plan to quit smoking, avoid taking meat, alcoholic beverages, and coffee because these foods make cigarettes taste better.