Smoking is known to be the root cause of heart disease and cancer. But the The World Health Organization has cited a new reason for you to cross over to the healthy side. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which stems mainly from smoking, includes respiratory conditions like bronchitis and emphysema, and will soon be the world’s third most common cause of death. Quitting might be the only solution to COPD and research shows that a person’s diet can play a pivotal role in fighting the adverse effects of smoking.
So if you are a smoker and are looking to quit, kindly look beyond the nicotine patches, prescription drugs or hypnosis if you want to curtail your smoking habit. What if we told you that the secret to quitting the butt has been in your grocery store all along? You heard us right! Some studies have shown that certain foods can help alleviate the cravings for a smoke, or even make the taste of cigarettes repulsive even if you are the most avid smoker. And besides being convenient these foods are actually effective and inexpensive.
Milk: Research has shown that drinking milk prior to smoking makes cigarettes tastes unappealing. Most claimed their cigarettes had a bitter aftertaste when smoked after consuming milk or other dairy products like cheese,yogurt, and cream. So when your cigarettes taste disgusting, they will slowly start losing their appeal, even to those with full blown nicotine addictions.
Salted Snacks: Yes, too much of salt is not recommended by health experts but one can overlook the ill-effects of salt over the effect of tobacco consumption. So choose your poison carefully. Your weakness for potato chips, salted nuts, or popcorn with loads of salt and butter, can actually help you cut down on your cigarettes as salty snacks have shown to reduce nicotine and tobacco cravings. But if you have high-blood pressure and are planning to go on a sodium-rich diet, then we’d advise you to consult your doctor beforehand.
Vegetables: Load up on all the crunchy veggies such as celery, carrots, eggplant, squash, and cucumbers. Not only are these snacks better for your waistline but they also leave the same bitter aftertaste post-smoking. Additionally, since these vegetables take longer to chew, they will keep your mouth busy while you work through your tobacco cravings.
Foods rich in vitamin C: It is a known fact that smoking depletes the vitamin C content in the body. Research suggests that restoring vitamin C in the body may also help reduce cigarette cravings. While citrus fruits are the more commonly known vitamin-C rich foods ( oranges, grapefruits, and nectarines), there are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. Strawberries, broccoli, peppers, papaya, and kale all have more vitamin C than oranges.
Say No to these!
Consuming the right foods to cut down on your intake of tobacco is one thing, but it’s a good idea if you also avoid foods that are going to trigger tobacco cravings. However, these trigger foods may vary from person to person. But the well-known foods that make cigarettes taste better include tobacco include red meat, alcohol, and caffeine containing foods and beverages such as chocolate and coffee.
The Sugar Paradox
Consumption of sugar has shown conflicting results in studies where in many cases it acts like a smoking deterrent and in others it is a smoking trigger. People who consume glucose tablets, reported fewer cigarette cravings and others attributed giving into their sugar cravings which helped to prevent a smoking relapse. However, for many consumption of sugar-laden foods may have the opposite effect, causing more intense nicotine cravings.
So the final analysis on sugar is that it’s not good for you, whether you smoke or not. But if you do crave a sugary snack and feel that eating it would keep you from smoking, it would be smarter to choose the lesser of the two evils, at least for a while. Additionally, trying to give up sugar (which is also addictive) at the same time as giving up smoking may prove distracting or may just lead to more intense cravings for both. If you observe that you have a more intense sweet tooth while quitting, choose fruit whenever possible, since natural sugars are healthier than refined snacks. Fruit also has the added health boosts of fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients.