Smoking is the number one killer today. Heart diseases, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lung diseases and a number of other illnesses list smoking as a risk factor. Yet we see that it is on a rise. There are a number of people who are trying to quit but it is easier said than done. Taking professional help is actually a good idea because you then have a program to follow and a team to nudge you. In addition to this, there are some foods that may help you along this journey and keep you on track in the long run too.
Here are 8 foods that can help you quit smoking:
Milk has been recommended by a lot of doctors. The suggestion is that drinking some milk instead of smoking helps make cigarettes less palatable. So drink some milk next time you have a craving.
2. Fruits and Vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables also have a similar effect as milk. Also while eating a fruit you can utilise 5-10 minutes, at the end of which, the craving for a smoke would have been lost. They also add a lot of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that help detox from the smoke damage.
3. Popcorn and Fox Nuts:
Quitting smoking has a lot of people feeling hungrier. Both these food are low in calories and take a lot of time to chew. So keep some popcorn or fox nuts next to you and eat a cup full without the guilt of overeating.
4. Sweet Foods:
AHA has observed that people quitting often have a tendency to indulge in sweet foods to overcome cravings. Fresh fruits and especially frozen grapes are a good suggestion instead of desserts or chocolates.
Cinnamon is another flavour recommended by quitters. Chewing on a cinnamon stick can keep your mouth busy and away from the urge to smoke.
(Also Read: 5 Foods To Avoid Eating Before You Board A Flight)
As weight gain is a reality among people who are on their journey to quit, it is suggested that eating beans that are high in fibre and protein are good for the journey. They keep you full for longer and keep the hunger pangs under control. Beans are also a good source of fibre and plant sterols that have a positive effect on heart health.
7. Ginseng Tea:
Ginseng tea is associated with weakening of the effect of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and is released when smoking tobacco. So drinking this may help with removing the pleasure of smoking.
8. Sugar Free Gums:
Sugar free gums and mints are not the most favourite foods for me to suggest, but they do keep your mouth busy and have shown to help overcome the urge to smoke. So keep some handy.
While these can be your go-to foods, coffee, alcohol meat and spicy foods are linked with enhancing the flavour of cigarettes.
Caffeine tends to up the stimulating effects of cigarettes, which is why people often smoke in a coffee break. This then becomes trigger and makes quitting difficult. So break away from caffeine for a few months to not press the trigger button.
Alcohol is another trigger as alcohol and cigarette combo seems to reinforce each other. Again while quitting, stay away till the trigger disappears completely.
Exercising, hobbies, anything that takes you away from looking for a smoke will help. Take one step at a time and stay strong.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Rupali DattaRupali Datta is a Clinical Nutritionist and has worked in leading corporate hospitals. She has created and lead teams of professionals to deliver clinical solutions for patients across all medical specialties including critical care. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association and Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.