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10 Foods and Drinks That Can Help You Quit Smoking

10 Foods and Drinks That Can Help You Quit Smoking


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Ask anyone who’s quit smoking (or who has attempted to quit smoking), and he or she will tell you that it’s one of the hardest habits to break. But did you know that, for various reasons, certain foods and drinks could seriously come in handy when you’re trying to quit cold turkey?

10 Foods and Drinks That Can Help You Quit Smoking (Slideshow)

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re trying to give up cancer sticks is that you really shouldn’t go on a diet. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods could cause you to lose focus and fall right off the wagon. Instead, eat what you want, but keep in mind that certain foods and drinks are more likely to send you reaching for a cigarette. Glucose, for example, stimulates the areas of the brain that are responsible for pleasure, which can increase your cravings. So try to stay away from foods that contain a lot of sugar.

It’s important to avoid triggers, so consumption of alcohol should also be kept to a minimum while you’re trying to quit. Even a trip to a bar, or other places that you usually associate with smoking (at least in distant memory, when you could actually smoke in bars), can set off cravings.

When you’re trying to quit smoking, food serves a couple important functions. One, it gives you something to do with your mouth instead of smoking, and, two, there are actually some foods that have been proven to make cigarettes taste terrible (we’ll get to that). Alcohol, caffeine (especially coffee), and red meat actually make cigarettes taste better, so you might want to cut back on those as well.

Quitting smoking requires a whole lot of will power, commitment, and determination. There are dozens of methods for quitting, from going cold turkey to gradually reducing your intake, from nicotine patches and gum to hypnosis and prescription medicines. But one of the most important and valuable tools at your disposal is something you already consume every day: food. So read on to learn about ten foods and drinks that can help you quit smoking for good.

Ginseng


Studies have shown that ginseng prevents the “pleasure” neurotransmitter dopamine from being released when you have a cigarette. When taken weekly, it can cut back on the level of enjoyment you get from cigarettes.

Milk


According to a Duke University study, smokers who drank a glass of milk prior to smoking thought that the cigarette tasted terrible, with a bitter aftertaste. So drink some milk every time you have a craving (or dip your cigarettes in milk and let them dry), and before you know it the thought of cigarettes will disgust you.


10 Healing Foods That Fight Pain Naturally

Chronic pain affects 116 million American adults. That's more than a third of the US population. And while pain pills reduce suffering, they can be addictive and produce side effects. Worse, they often fail to eliminate the true cause of the pain.

"No matter how well you prescribe medication, chronic sufferers don't get complete relief," says James N. Dillard, MD, author of The Chronic Pain Solution. "It's an enormous problem, and the medical community is doing a bad job solving it." But there is an alternative, and it's right in your kitchen. Certain foods ease aches by fighting inflammation, blocking pain signals, and even healing underlying disease.

"Almost always, if we find pharmaceuticals doing the trick, we'll find a plant doing the same trick&mdashand doing it more safely," says botanist James A. Duke, PhD, author of The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods. But before you can reap these rewards, you have to quit the junk food that riles up your body's pain system. The typical Western-style diet is heavy on foods that promote inflammation, including highly processed foods and refined carbs. No fruit, vegetable, or herb by itself can alleviate your pain if you don't change the pattern of your diet to reduce processed food and increase whole foods.

This may not be easy, says Peter Abaci, MD, medical director of the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center in Los Gatos, CA. "But if you stay committed to a good nutrition plan, you may be able to say good-bye to pain." Click through these 10 pain-fighting foods.

Find more all-natural healing foods in Foods That Fight Pain by Dr. Neal Barnard. Pick up your copy today!


Best: Milk

If you feel a craving coming on, reach for a glass of milk instead of a cigarette. In a study published in 2007 in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, researchers asked a group of 209 smokers which foods interact with the taste of cigarettes to make them more or less palatable. At the top of the list: dairy products. (This only applies to nonmenthol cigarettes menthol can mask lots of flavors.) It makes sense, since after all, milk hardly pairs with cigarettes.


Healthy Diet For Lungs: 10 Foods That Can Help You Breathe Better

Highlights

Needless to say, our lungs play a vital role in helping our body function well. However, consequently our lungs have to suck in not just air but some harmful elements like air pollutants and smoking along with it. These pollutants happen to increase the risk of respiratory health problems like asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia among others. A good way to keep your lungs healthy is by engaging in regular exercises and eating a healthy diet. A healthy diet helps you go a long way and keeps you off any ailment. In India, with the increase in air pollution and population that smokes, respiratory illnesses are on an all-time high. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 235 million people suffer from asthma, which is an under-diagnosed and under-treated condition. So, if you wish to boost your lung health, make sure you incorporate some healthy foods that will help keep your lungs active and working.

Here Are 10 Foods That Can Help You Breath Better:

Researchers have linked good lung function with high intakes of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, all of which are present in apples. Apples come packed with antioxidants that help keep your lungs healthy.

Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a handful of them can help fight asthma and other respiratory conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be anti-inflammatory nutrients with protective effects in inflammatory ailments.

Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Photo: iStock

Acai and blueberry are two of the most effective berries that help keep your lungs healthy. They are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which help fight cell damaging free radicals.

Broccoli is high in vitamin C content, carotenoids, folate and phytochemicals that fight damaging elements in the lungs. Broccoli is said to have an active constituent called L-sulforaphane, which tricks the cells to switch on the anti-inflammatory genes that further avoids respiratory conditions.

5. Cayenne Pepper

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps stimulate secretions and protects mucus membranes from upper and lower respiratory tract. It is best to drink cayenne pepper tea that is also a great source of beta-carotene, which has great effects on reducing the many symptoms of asthma.

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps stimulate secretions and protects mucus​. Photo: iStock

Ginger is not only anti-inflammatory but also helps detoxifying and promotes the elimination of pollutants from the lungs. Ginger helps in relieving congestion, unclogging air-passages and improving circulation to the lungs, further boosting lung health.

7. Flaxseeds

According to a study published in the Journal BMC Cancer, a diet of flaxseeds given to mice not only protects lung tissues before exposure to radiation, but can also significantly reduce the damage after exposure occurs.

Garlic comprises flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione, which helps enhance the elimination of toxins and carcinogens, further helping your lungs to function better.

Garlic comprises flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione. Photo: iStock

What's better and more effective than water? Water is the best way to detoxify your body processes. Moreover, dry lungs are prone to irritation and increased inflammation therefore, you must drink six to eight glasses of water to keep yourself well-hydrated.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to the curcumin compound present in it. This compound helps relieve inflammation of the airways and tightness of chest associated with asthma.

Make sure you are adding these foods to your diet every day to ensure healthy and happy lungs!


3. Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy

After potentially years of smoking, some quitters miss the comfort of a cigarette in their hands or between their teeth. So, look for ways to keep your hands and mouth busy.

To keep your mouth engaged, you can chew sugarless gum, suck on sugarless hard candies, or eat cloves, sunflower seeds, licorice sticks, carrots and celery sticks.

To keep your hands active, instead of grabbing a pack, hold a pen between your fingers, play with a rubber or squeeze ball, knit, do a crossword, solve a puzzle, play an online game or read a book.

When you’re out, carry a drink in the hand that would usually hold your cigarette, or drink from a straw to keep your mouth busy.


Turmeric

The compound in the spice that gives curry its bright orange-yellow color can affect several processes in your body, including inflammation. Studies of people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis who took supplements of curcumin found they could walk better and without the side effects of taking drugs. Black pepper can help your body absorb it, so try a blend of the spices, steeped with ginger and honey into a tea.


5. Green Oats

Green oats, also known as avena sativa or wild oats, is an effective herbal treatment to help you quit smoking. A 1971 study found that green oats can reduce the desire for nicotine and ease withdrawal symptoms. It can also help promote detoxification of nicotine during the withdrawal process.

Plus, green oats have a sedative effect as well as a tonic effect on the nervous system, which can be highly beneficial for those who are struggling to quit.

Green oat capsules are readily available in the market. You can safely take about 300 mg of green oats daily, but it is highly recommended to consult a doctor for the correct dosage for you.


10 Foods That Can Help Reduce Your Craving To Smoke

There are many foods and remedies to reduce the craving of smoking, which is not difficult. Following a simple, healthy diet that includes such foods and remedies can help to a great extent in reducing cravings to smoke.

Here are some of the most effective foods to reduce your cravings to smoke.

Apple

Apples are one of the best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke. They not only good for heart and blood but they also help to improve lung health. According to the American researchers people apples boost lung functioning in the body keeping it active and healthy. Apples have the antioxidants that significantly improve functions associated with lungs and reduce the negative effects of smoking on it. You can munch on some apples if you get the urge to smoke.

Orange

Other best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke are oranges. This citric orange colored fruits is a great food option to overcome the cravings for smoking. Try to make a habit of consuming at least one orange when the smoking urge hits you. The cravings to smoke usually last for three-five minutes and oranges significantly distract your mind by its citric taste by changing the mood of your taste buds. You can also have orange juice to ward off the urge and one of the best benefits of having oranges is it acts as a cleansing agent for your lungs.

Tomato

Full of vitamin C and antioxidants, tomatoes help blatantly to reduce the desire of puffing a cigarette. The smell of this amazing red vegetable gives your cravings the same effect as the cigarette but of course without any harmful upshots because you never know that both tobacco and tomato belong to the same family (solanacea).

Tomatoes contain lycopene which are the essential nutrients that help in preventing lung cancer, because the lycopene acts as antioxidants that positively fight against cancer developing cells. Try to add more tomatoes, tomato ketchup, tomato puree or tomato juice in your diet as foods to reduce your cravings to smoke.

Banana

Another food that helps in restoring the damages caused by continuous smoking and best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke. Bananas are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that fix the damages caused by nicotine residue in the lungs. 2-3 bananas adding in your diet can be very helpful. Potassium present in bananas assists to overcome the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Bananas are also rich in a compound called tryptophans, an amino acid agent that helps your body to produce serotonin chemical responsible for making you feel revived.

Carrot

Carrots can amazingly supersede your smoking addiction as eating carrot can be a dangerous addiction too. But the good news is the carotenoids and beta-carotene present in carrots can help evidently to reduce the urge of smoking. The benefits of carrots are numerous and if consumed in the required amount, there will have no side effects of it on your body.

Fishes are the good source of omega 3 fatty acids especially seafoods such as eel, mackerel, halibut, cod, catfish. Omega 3 fatty acids can significantly reduce the negative effects of smoking or tobacco effects on your lungs. Omega 3 fatty acids are known as good or healthy fats that improve arterial stiffness and minimize the damages caused by smoking. Hence, these are one of the most effective best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke.

Celery

Consuming celery sticks can be the best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke, by keeping your mouth distracted. According to the Smokefree.gov research, smokers who want to quit smoking should go for low calories snacks to avoid smoking. 12 inches of a celery stick contains 10 calories which means it is not only calorie free to help you to reduce your extra pounds but also minimize the sudden irritating urge of smoking or puffing a cigarette.

Water.

Non-carbonated beverages or drinks can amazingly help you to get rid of your cravings to smoke. Non-carbonated drinks such as coconut water, water, juice, butter milk etc. can definitely help you in controlling your nicotine withdrawal irritations. And studies according to the researchers recent studies water quickly helps in fighting the smoking cravings by deleting the euphoria related to smoking.

Healthy and beneficial snacks like nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, healthy vegetable chips are loaded with several essential nutrients as well as antioxidants and healthy fats that boost the lungs health by improving the functioning of it. Some antioxidants present in pumpkin seeds also help to cleanse the lungs by eliminating the residues of smoking. And, snacks are the best way to keep your mouth busy and mind distracted to reduce your cravings to smoke.

One of the other best foods to reduce your cravings to smoke include oats. Well, not only shedding extra pounds, controlling cholesterol levels, improving heart health and controlling blood pressure, oats are also beneficial in minimizing nicotine cravings caused due to prolonged smoking addiction. Studies have also shown that the smokers who consumed fresh oats extract were the ones who felt less cravings to smoke.


Shutterstock

Whether you roast broccoli as a dinner side, dip it into hummus, or simply munch on it raw, these mini trees have some seriously restorative powers. In fact, a study published in Mutagenesis found that participants who ate about 8.8 ounces of steamed broccoli daily for ten days experienced increased protection against DNA damage, especially in those exposed to free radicals, such as from smoking.


Dark chocolate is a classic favorite but large-scale random control studies have not been done to recommend dark chocolate candy in any quantity to ease inflammation. If you enjoy dark chocolate, look at least 70% or higher cocoa content (the higher the cocoa content, the lower the amount of sugar in the chocolate).

“Just keep portions small to limit the saturated fat and calories,” says Dunn. “For example, a half-ounce of dark chocolate daily goes a long way for intense flavor and chocolate enjoyment.”

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