Nutrition and Smoking: Foods to Help You Quit!

Posted November 26, 2015 by CGrimard

 

If you have been trying to quit or cut back on smoking but struggling with cravings, here are some foods that can help you kick those cravings!

 

It’s important to be aware that certain foods can actually increase the desire to smoke. You may want to limit or avoid your consumption of these foods, or just be aware that you may experience cravings after consuming these foods and plan ahead to manage those cravings. They include:

  • Coffee
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Red meat

 

There are a number of foods out there that help to curb the desire to smoke by making cigarettes taste bad. If you want to deter yourself from lighting up, trying eating some of these foods before you have a cigarette:

  • Non-carbonated beverages such as water and fruit juices, especially orange juice.
  • Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Dairy Products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
  • Vegetables such as carrots, celery, etc.

 

Here is a list of foods that can help to manage those cravings, as well as contribute to an overall healthy diet:

 

Oats:

  • Studies have shown oats help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and reduces stress and anxiety related to cravings
  • Contains soluble fiber: Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), prevents heart disease, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
  • Boosts immune system function
  • Reduces risk of asthma  
  • Helps to control blood sugar levels
  • Increase healthy bacteria in the colon

 

Oranges:

  • Especially good if you are trying to quit ‘cold turkey’: acidity of oranges will help to quickly clear the body of nicotine

Oranges Contain:

  • Fiber; reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and certain cancers
  • Potassium; regulates the body’s heartbeat, blood pressure, and water balance
  • Vitamin C; helps the body form and maintain tissues and bones, including blood vessels, and skin, vitamin C is also an antioxidant

 

Foods containing high alkaline properties:

  • High alkaline foods will slow the detoxification of nicotine from the body thereby reducing the desire to smoke and help manage cravings
  • Include: Spinach, brown rice, pastas, beet greens, quinoa, whole-grain breads, almonds, millet, figs, raisins, dandelion greens, starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, squash, etc.

 

Tomatoes:

  • Tomatoes contain trace amounts of nicotine (as do other nightshade veggies such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and tobacco)
  • This can help by supplying the body with nicotine without smoking, but it can also contribute to cravings for those who are trying to give up ‘cold turkey’

 

Water: 

  • Helps to flush out toxins from the body including nicotine, which helps to quickly reduce cravings
  • Sipping water can distract the mind from the craving to smoke

 

Finally, here is a list of foods that can help you repair your body from the harmful effects of smoking. Even if you are not planning on quitting, these foods can benefit your overall health and help to alleviate the effects of smoking on the body.

 

Bananas:

  • Anti-nauseate 

 

Bananas Contain:

  •  An average sized banana contains 2.5-3 grams of fiber, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and certain cancers
  • Vitamin B6 and B12; B-vitamins can boost the body’s nerve function
  • Potassium, which helps to regulate the body’s heartbeat and water balance.
  • Magnesium, which help to regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, among other important functions.
  • Tryptophan, which helps the body to produce serotonin

Apples:

  • Strengthens lung capacity and reduces risks of lung cancer
  • Shown to help alleviate symptoms of COPD

 

Apples Contain:

  •  An average size apple contains roughly 4.5 grams of fiber which reduces the risk of CVD and cancers 
  • Vitamin C; helps the body form and maintain tissues and bones, including blood vessels, and skin, vitamin C is also an antioxidant

 

Foods containing vitamin E:

  •  Includes: Breads, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, tomatoes, mustard greens, almonds
  • Vitamin E lowers risk of lung cancer

 

Foods containing Selenium:

  • Includes: Fish, Liver, and Mushrooms 
  • Helps in the absorption of Vitamin E in the body 
  • Reduces and regulates inflammation
  • Selenium boosts and supports the immune system                

 

Recipe:

 

Peanut Butter and Banana Apple Overnight Oats (makes two 250ml servings)

This breakfast might help to lessen cravings first thing in the morning.

  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • 1 apple (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (if allergic, sub almond butter or Wowbutter)
  •  ½ cup of milk (or other milk if lactose-intolerant; almond, soy, etc.) 
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ cup of rolled oats

 

Place banana, apple, butter, milk, and cinnamon in a blender, or mix together in a large bowl. Pour mixture over the oats and make sure everything is well coated. Place in sealable vessels and leave in the fridge overnight. Enjoy the next morning either cold or hot, and feel free to add anything you desire such as honey or fresh berries.

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