Using the Power of Food to Quit Tobacco Use
Tobacco use has led to millions of premature deaths. That’s millions of brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles and children that were taken from their families entirely too young. All due to the decision to pick up a cigarette. Sure you may have been pounded with countless “Don’t Smoke” ads throughout your life, so we’re not here to preach to you. But instead we are providing this information for people that have decided they don’t want to be another statistic, but instead want to live a healthy and active life. Although quitting cigarettes is easier said than done. We have some tips that will greatly increase your odds of finally being tobacco free so your body can begin repairing some of the damage from years of smoking almost immediately!
These tips don’t include smoking cessation devices or patches that have been written about a million times over. Instead, we will provide foods and liquids that you can eat and incorporate into your regular diet that help you stay on track of smoking cessation starting today! Many of them you already eat/drink and may be surprised to learn of their additional benefits.
Beneficial foods that help guide you on a successful smoking cessation path include:
- Fresh Tasty Fruits: Eat lots of fruits, specifically ones that are high in vitamin C. Your body is deprived of its vitamin C supply with each cigarette, resulting in a vitamin C deficiency that is filled with nicotine. Give you immune system and help yourself lean off the dependence of cigarettes by eating vitamin C packed fruits like oranges, pomegranates and lemons. Apples, bananas and peaches have also been shown to reduce a nicotine craving.
- Indulge in Some Vegetables: Certain vegetables will actually induce a foul taste in your mouth if you immediately smoke a cigarette after eating them. These vegetables include carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber and eggplant. At the beginning of your smoking cessation you may go through intense cravings. When this occurs eat some of the vegetables listed and if you do smoke a cigarette you won’t be able to finish it due to its foul and bitter taste. Over time your brain will link the foul taste to cigarettes to effectively reduce the occurrence of cravings.
- Oats and More Oats: Incorporate some ground oats into your daily diet to lessen the occurrence of cravings and their severity. Don’t mistake this for oatmeal, as we are referring to ground oats. Try boiling some ground oats in hot water and let them soak overnight. Then once you eat the next day drink some of the oat and water blend when a craving begins to kick in. For best results we recommend not consuming this after 8 p.m.
- Salty Snacks: When you feel a craving coming on grab a small bag of chips or your favorite brand of unbuttered popcorn, the saltiness of the chips or popcorn will kill your desire to smoke. Snacking is also beneficial because during cravings it keeps both your mouth and hands occupied that resemble the act of smoking.
- Dairy Products: Cheese and non-fat yogurt are two more food items you can eat to better your chances of quitting. Cheese and yogurt will actually induce a fowl taste in your mouth the instant you take a drag, resulting in you throwing it out. Your brain will then start linking smoking to that foul taste, reducing your urge to light up.
- Sweets Don’t Always Have to Be Bad for You: Have a little bit of sweet tooth? Why not cure that and your smoking dependence by eating healthy snacks with a touch of sweetness! Sweet and delectable snacks include frozen bananas or grapes, frozen 100% juice bars, sherbet, low-calorie ice cream bars and non-fat frozen yogurt.
Drink some of these tasty liquids to propel yourself into smoking cessation:
- Milk: Got milk? Milk is one of the most essential liquids you can consume for basic bone health. But did you know it can actually leave you feeling sour about cigarettes? What I mean by this is if you have a craving pour yourself a nice tall glass of milk. If you do fall into the urge to smoke, the milk on your taste buds mixed with the toxins in a cigarette will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. One tip you can do to prevent yourself from smoking is to actually dip the ends of the cigarettes in milk and allow them to dry. This way if you ever do pick up a cigarette your taste buds will be overwhelmed with an awful taste that will force you to extinguish it.
- Orange Juice: As orange juice is derived from oranges, you can also drink a cup of fresh orange juice to minimize cravings and revamp your body’s vitamin C levels. Its scent alone can distract your mind from wanting a cigarette. Cravings typically last 3-5 minutes, so in the event of one pour yourself a nice cup of OJ and sip the cravings away.
- Good Ol’ H2O: Water is necessary for all of human life. So why not take something that is necessary and use it to also lean yourself off of cigarette addiction? In the event of an urge, try drinking a glass of water to sooth the craving.
- Ginseng: Often found in green tea, ginseng is an herb that helps aid people in weight loss which has been well known. But ginseng can also be used to prevent a nicotine induced release of dopamine. Causing the fatigue and anxiety related to smoking cessation to be alleviated. Ginseng should only be used up to 3 times a week.
Foods/Liquids to avoid that will Actually Increase Your Nicotine Cravings:
- Beware of Veggies that Increase Cravings: We may have blown your mind about veggies you can eat to quit smoking, but did you know there are vegetables that can actually increase a nicotine craving? Naturally sweet veggies such as peas and corn can heighten your nicotine craving due to their levels of glucose. The sweetness of the glucose increases cravings by stimulating the areas of your brain that are in charge of feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
- Alcoholic Beverages: Though it may be hard to have a celebratory drink with friends or co-workers after a long week at the office. But at the beginning of your smoking cessation, you should avoid alcohol in all. Why you ask? Because alcohol is a depressant and indirect stimulant and can actually make the taste of a cigarette sound enticing and not that bad due to the increased levels of dopamine (a chemical released into the brains “reward center” during pleasurable activities). Plus, your mind automatically links drinking to smoking a cigarette so break that vicious cycle and don’t set yourself up for failure all for a few drinks. Carbonated beverages, such as beer, are also known to increase bloating, leading to less room for your lungs.
- Caffeine: Depending on how much of a morning person you are, caffeine may be more difficult to cut out than other food items or liquids. If caffeine is a smoking trigger for you then you should be sure to avoid it when quitting. For example, if every morning you woke up had a cup of coffee followed by a cigarette. Then you should avoid coffee and enjoy a cup of tea instead. Try cutting out caffeine a little before you quit smoking, this way you aren’t extremely tired the first few days of being a nonsmoker. Plus you wouldn’t want to put yourself in a position to have withdrawal symptoms from two different substances.
- Red Meat: Eating red meat can actually increase your craving for nicotine, if you talk to smokers they will tell you that red meat enhances the flavor of a cigarette. So save yourself from heightened cravings and choose chicken, fish or pork instead.
We’ve provided you with foods and liquids you can drink to help aid you through your path to quitting smoking, while also demonstrating types of foods that should be avoided to reduce an influx of cravings. Now we will give you exact smoothie recipes you can use to aid you on your smoking cessation journey that you can start making today!
Cure Your Nicotine Craving with a Fresh Smoothie
Green Smoothie Detox Recipe:
This recipe makes 3 servings each at 100 calories, and only takes 5 minutes to make!
- 4 Leaves of Kale (1-2 Cups Chopped)
- 1 Small Apple
- 1 Small Pear
- 1 Tbsp. of Almond Butter (All Natural)
- 4oz of Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Water (Add Until the Drink is Smooth)
- Ice is Optional
- Toss all the ingredients in your blender and mix until there is a smooth consistency and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers so you have a delicious smoothie ready to drink tomorrow or later on in the day.
Orange and Banana Green Smoothie
A perfect personal size smoothie that is loaded with vitamin C, potassium and a handful of antioxidants. Quickly whip this delectable smoothie up in as little as 5 minutes.
- 1 Whole Banana
- ¼ Cup of Orange Juice (Boosts Depleted Vitamin C Levels)
- ¼ Cup of Almond Milk (Rice or Soy Milk may be Substituted)
- Plain Probiotic Yogurt or Kefir
- 1 Handful of Kale
- 1 Handful of Collard Greens
- 1 Handful of Spinach
- 4-5 Blueberries or Frozen Grapes
- 2 Strawberries
- A Pinch of Ginger
- Toss all the ingredients in a blender and blend until the consistency is to your satisfaction.
Do you have some food items that you found to help you quit smoking or reduce nicotine cravings? Or do you have some additional tasty smoothie recipes up your sleeve? Leave a comment below with the recipe or food items you found most beneficial on your path to quitting cigarettes to help other people struggling to quit! You can also share your tips on our Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag: #1stclassnosmoking.
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