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World No Tobacco Day: Foods That Can Help You Quit Smoking

Every year on 31 May World No Tobacco Day is celebrated. This year the World No Tobacco Day theme is 'Tobacco and lung health'. Around 5.4 million people die due to tobacco-related illnesses worldwide every year. In India, tobacco kills more than 1 million people every year.

The intake of tobacco in any form can cause various types of cancers like mouth, throat, lungs, breast, brain, gallbladder, oesophagus and kidney. Consumption of tobacco also leads to other health disorders like stroke, tooth and gum disease, blindness, obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.

The main chemical found in tobacco is nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that affects a person both physically and psychologically.

Here are some foods that can help you quit smoking.

1. Milk

Milk cuts down cigarette craving, according to a study published in the Journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. In the study, when researchers asked a group of 209 smokers which foods reduce the taste of cigarettes, the result was dairy products [1] . So, the next time you get a craving, drink a glass of milk.

2. Fruits and vegetables

According to a study published by the University at Buffalo, eating more fruits and vegetables can help you quit smoking. The researchers also found that smokers who consume more fruits and vegetables smoked fewer cigarettes a day [2] .

3. Beans

Beans are nutritious and full of fibre. According to a study published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine, people who ate more fibre-rich foods including beans helped in reducing the effects of nicotine [3] .

Once you quit smoking, you tend to gain weight. Eating fibrous foods can help you maintain a healthy weight too.

4. Popcorn

After you quit smoking, the urge to eat snacks arises mainly because you can no longer keep your hands and mouth occupied with a cigarette. According to the American Heart Association, having air-popped popcorn as a snack will fill up the void of smoking.

5. Cinnamon sticks

It is believed that sucking on cinnamon sticks can help you to quit smoking because it is a flavourful spice. Take a cinnamon stick in your hand and suck it to lower the urge of smoking.

6. Frozen grapes

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), craving for sweets after quitting smoking is natural and it can prevent you from reaching for a cigarette. The AHA recommends eating frozen grapes as their sweetness will help curb sugar cravings and they are healthy as well.

The American Heart Association advises to eat the following foods when quitting smoking:

  • Ready-to-eat snacks like whole grain muffin, whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal, low-fat yogurt, fruits like banana, peach, apple etc., and unsalted nuts.
  • Easy to make eats like air-popped popcorn, half a sandwich, vegetables like carrots, celery, cucumbers, etc, fruits such as watermelon or pineapple, fruit and yogurt smoothie.
  • Emergency foods (when the urge for a cigarette arises) such as sugar-free gum, sugar-free hard candy, vegetable sticks like cucumbers, carrots, celery, etc., and sugar-free breath mints.
  • Frozen treats (the strong desire to eat sweets after quitting smoking) like frozen grapes or frozen banana, sherbet without sugar, low-fat frozen yogurt, and low-calorie ice cream bars.

Few Tips To Incorporate When You Quit smoking

  • If you are hungry, have healthy snacks between meals.
  • Crunch on snacks or chew gum that can help ward off urges.
  • Always chew something in your mouth.
  • Control your weight.
  • Eat mindfully.
View Article References
  1. [1] McClernon, F. J., Westman, E. C., Rose, J. E., & Lutz, A. M. (2007). The effects of foods, beverages, and other factors on cigarette palatability.Nicotine & tobacco research,9(4), 505-510.
  2. [2] J. P. Haibach, G. G. Homish, G. A. Giovino. (2013).A Longitudinal Evaluation of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Cigarette Smoking.Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 15(2):355-363
  3. [3] Ma, Y., Olendzki, B. C., Wang, J., Persuitte, G. M., Li, W., Fang, H., ... & Schneider, K. L. (2015). Single-component versus multicomponent dietary goals for the metabolic syndrome: a randomized trial.Annals of internal medicine,162(4), 248-257.
Read more about: smoking foods tips tobacco
Story first published: Friday, May 31, 2019, 16:31 [IST]
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