As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), eight million people die due to tobacco every year worldwide. Quitting smoking is a difficult thing to do, but it is a vital step in taking charge of your health and lowering your risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Cleaning up an unhealthy diet may look like an impossible task to take on while you’re also giving up cigarettes, but since smoking, food cravings, and concurrent habits are fairly common, taking a little bit of time to focus on the foods you eat may be a good idea.
“Making some changes in the foods you eat will help make the process a lot easier,” assures nutritionist, wellness coach and certified diabetes educator Avni Kaul. According to her, consuming fruits and vegetables can be very beneficial to someone wanting to reduce their dependency on tobacco.
“Cigarettes obstruct the absorption of essential nutrients, such as calcium, vitamins C and D. For instance, smoking just one cigarette drains the body of 25 mg of vitamin C. Including more fruits and vegetables in your diet will replenish these nutrients and will help reduce the craving to smoke,” she says.
And apparently, once you start to stop smoking, food starts to taste better and flavours are more noticeable, so you will also enjoy what you eat more as well. “Some of the vegetables that will help you quit smoking are raw broccoli, sliced peppers and raw carrots. You can also try fruits such as oranges, kiwis, pears, and apples, suggests Avni.
Another extremely useful way to deal with a cigarette addiction is to lower the appeal of smoking. And Avni says she has found that sipping on Ginseng tea has helped many a chain-smoker quit. “Ginseng is therapeutic for nicotine addiction because it weakens the effect of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is linked with pleasure and is released when smoking tobacco. Drinking ginseng tea can make smoking seem less enjoyable,” she explains.
And if you can’t access or afford something as exotic as ginseng, just drinking good ol’ milk can help you too. Says Avni, “It has been seen that drinking milk made cigarettes taste worse. Most smokers say that it gives their cigarettes a bitter aftertaste. When facing nicotine cravings, consuming milk and other dairy products that make cigarettes taste bad will help deter you from smoking.”