Smoking is a rough habit that can cause some serious damage to your physical and mental health – unfortunately, it’s also highly addictive and hard to quit. The addictive properties come back to nicotine, the central ingredient/drug that’s primarily responsible for the rapid development of the tobacco industry.

But hey, if you want to cut the habit and throw those cigarettes away for good – you’re in luck. There are healthy ways to do it that don’t come with any adverse, unwanted side effects.

“Research is showing that if you simply eat more fruit and vegetables (which is easier with these tasty & healthy recipes), you may have an easier time staying tobacco-free for longer.  A study, which was published online by University of Buffalo public health researchers, authors from UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions surveyed 1,000 smokers aged 25 and older from across the nation. Fourteen months after the survey, the authors followed up with the respondents to see if they stayed tobacco-free during the previous month.

What they found was that those who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were 3 times more likely to abstain from tobacco for at least 30 days than those consuming small amounts of fruit and vegetables. Also, those consuming more fruit and vegetables smoked less often per day, waited longer before having their first daily cigarette, and scored better on a nicotine-dependent test.

So how could increased consumption of fruit and vegetables help people to quit smoking naturally?

  • Less nicotine dependence.
  • High fiber content makes people feel fuller – since smokers sometimes confuse hunger with smoking urges.
  • Unlike meats, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages, fruit and vegetables don’t enhance and may even worsen the taste of tobacco.
  • Engaging in a healthier lifestyle could consciously and subconsciously cause smokers to further shift out of an unhealthy lifestyle involving smoking.”

It’s important to keep in mind that while reducing your cigarette use can reduce your risk of lung cancer, it still does nothing when it comes to lowering your risk of heart attacks and throat conditions (e.g. bronchitis). The best solution is to quit and quit for good. So, do you need some help getting that nicotine out of your body so you can silence those cravings?

Believe it or not, these 5 foods can help you do it:

5 Foods to Eat When You’re Quitting Smoking

oranges

1. Oranges

These lovable citrus fruits are packed full of vitamin C, which increases your white blood cell count. This helps your body fight against the toxic substances that come from inhaling cigarette smoke and even increases your metabolism to flush the nicotine from your bloodstream.

Note: Oranges can also lower your stress levels, making it easier to manage your cravings after making the decision to quit. Find other foods that can decrease anxiety naturally.

2. Kiwi Fruit

Believe it or not, smoking actually lowers your counts of vitamins A, C, and E. Filling up on healthy fruits and vegetables (especially kiwi) can help replenish these vitamins and bring your body back to a nutritional balance.

3. Water

As one of the most underrated drinks in the world, water fights against the internal damage caused by nicotine (and it can even help manage withdrawal symptoms). Did you know that nicotine actually dehydrates you? By drinking 8-2 cups of water a day (minimum), you can help rehydrate your body and increase your metabolism to flush the drug out of your body.

4. Spinach

Research shows that smokers tend to have a lower supply of folic acid than non-smokers. This acid is needed for maintaining muscle, nerve, and brain health; thankfully, there’s a huge supply of it in spinach.

The benefits don’t end there either. Spinach is also packed full of vitamins and other important nutrients that you need to balance a strong overall health. Did you know that eating spinach can even make smoking taste bad? It’s a great vegetable to eat if your goal is to finally break the habit.

5. Carrots

Overall, carrots are a great choice for quitting smoking, but drinking the juice only adds to the effectiveness. A cup of carrot juice every day will fill you up with vitamins A, B, C, and K, which can help flush nicotine quantities out of your body.

Note: Keep in mind that nicotine has a damaging effect on the skin. Conversely, carrots are known to be amazing when it comes to maintaining skin health, so why not remedy the damage?

Again, smoking is not an easy habit to quit. For some people, it remains a problem to the point that it’s too late to make a change without suffering some serious consequences. If you need help, small changes like these are a great place to start. Find what works for you and keep at it.

This post was originally shared on Healthy Holistic Living.

Sources:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1017-folic%20acid.aspx?activeingredientid=1017&activeingredientname=folic%20acid
http://quitsmoking.about.com/od/cravingsandurges/ig/Nicotine-Withdrawal-Tips/Water-for-Nicotine-Withdrawal.htm
http://www.takepart.com/article/2012/06/19/trying-quit-smoking-pick-carrot
http://www.buffalo.edu/news/13487
http://naturalsociety.com/quit-smoking-naturally-fruit-vegetables/

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