Want to resist withdrawal symptoms? Eat your fruits and vegetables!
Have you been trying so hard to quit smoking but couldn’t resist the urge? The next time you want to light up, grab an apple first or eat a serving or two of vegetable salad. Once you do, experience a decline in craving and less pleasure as you puff, a study suggests.
A group of researchers from the University of Buffalo looked into the effects of dietary changes in quitting smoking. They found that eating fruits and vegetables does not just help smokers alleviate the effects of smoking but also assists in helping people quit. The study involved 1,000 smokers ages 25 and above from US, Canada, and Britain. They investigated the lifestyle and smoking habits the participants. Here are their findings:
- People who eat fruits and vegetables are 3 times more likely to quit than those who don’t. They also remained tobacco-free for 30 days.
- The researchers said there are different reasons for this. Firs, fruits and vegetables don’t actually stimulate the desire to smoke. They suggest that these foods make the cigarette taste worse. On the other hand, meat, alcohol and coffee enhance the taste of tobacco, making smoking a pleasurable experience.
- They also believe that fruits and vegetables help aid smoking cessation by providing the smoker a sense of ‘fullness’. According to the researchers, smokers often confuse smoking urge with hunger. Fruits and vegetables are major sources of fiber which improves digestion and make a person fell full for a longer period of time
- Apple has also been found to help restore lung health. The study reveals that the fruit contains a special antioxidant called quercetin which promotes better respiratory health by protecting the lungs from developing various respiratory diseases such as asthma and wheezing. Quercetin is also found in onion.
- Aside from apples, the researchers also gave credits to tomatoes. They found that people who consume a tomato at least every other day are less likely to suffer from poor respiratory health.
Fruits and Vegetables to Curb Craving
According to the researchers, they still cannot figure out the exact reason behind this effect and that more studies are needed to support their findings. However, they see no reason not to try increasing one’s consumption of fruits and vegetables during the smoking cessation period. After all, there will be no negative effects. Also, they suggest that fruits and vegetables may be an effective tool to suppress craving to light up. The study was published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
So if you’re ready to quit smoking today, prepare yourself a tray of fruits and vegetables for munching. And the next time you feel like you want to smoke, gobble an apple, banana, orange, or any other fruit and vegetable. You’re not just setting yourself free from the withdrawal pangs but also helping your body recover from the damages and illnesses brought by smoking.