- No Smoking Day: Smokers are found to have low Vitamin C levels
- Drinking milk can repel the urge to smoke
- Drinking water helps in flushing out nicotine from the body
No Smoking Day is observed on the second Wednesday of March every year. No Smoking Day 2021 will be observed on March 10. Did you know that every single puff you take, you inhale 7,000 chemicals into your body? Smoking cigarettes is harmful and we have all read about it and also seen the pictures on the cigarette packets. One of the most searched topics at the time of pandemic is smoking and its impact on COVID-19. For many individuals, it begins with one commitment to quit while many individuals look for ways to fight their resistance to change mentally. While the evidence-based information on ways to quit smoking are limited, there are more people who are searching for ways to quit smoking.
If you are the one who is looking for some easy or quick fix and have the willpower to give up smoking, this is the article for you. This article will guide you through some of the most important nutrients which will help you at the time to reduce your cravings.
No Smoking Day: Following these tips below can make quititng smoking easier for you
1. Guava tea: Smoking just 1 cigarette a day reduces vitamin C in the body by 25mcg. Smokers have the least vitamin C than most people. We all need vitamin C to boost our immunity, we have definitely learnt this in the time of covid 19 pandemic, it also helps build collagen which is a necessity for our skin and hair. Vitamin C is also important for our metabolic function. Although levels of vitamin C are low in smokers, research shows that consuming vitamin C rich foods makes the overall process of quitting smoking easier. Vitamin C rich foods reduce cravings to smoke. Smoking changes taste buds and smell and when you consume foods like oranges, mandarin, amla, kiwi fruit, guava, lemon or lime , coriander, mint, it improves taste buds and reduces the urge to smoke. Consume a glass of fresh strawberry juice with some fresh mint leaves a day or just have 1 orange after each meal or whenever you have an urge to smoke. Guava is 2 times more rich in vitamin C than orange. Boil 1/2 kg guava leaves in 1.5 litre water and simmer till it is reduced by half , strain and sip through the day. Drinking this decoction will flush nicotine out of your body.
2. Milk: Consuming 2 cups of milk a day will keep that cigarette away. A study conducted by Duke University revealed that drinking a glass of milk before having the urge to smoke repelled them from smoking. It is believed that milk makes cigarettes less palatable. So, consume a cup of milk before when you have an urge to smoke. Combine apple with milk and make a milkshake or a lassi or add a pinch of saffron to milk to uplift your mood. Milk also has tryptophan, which helps in uplifting mood by increasing serotonin and saffron relieves anxiety.
3. Ayurvedic tea: This ayurvedic tea has immense health benefits with withdrawals from nicotine. To prepare this tea, mix equal parts of jatamansi, chamomile and brahmi. Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture in a cup of hot water and sip. Sip it slowly, to reduce cigarette cravings. Jatamamsi is believed to increase serotonin in the brain and is well known for its anti-stress benefits . Brahmi supports neural pathways and flush out the toxins from the body. Chamomile flowers or its dried petals reduce stress and assist in flushing out toxins as well. Combination of these 3 herbs will reduce your urge to smoke.
4. Rainbow diet: Plants contain phytonutrients like carotenoids, ellagic acid, resveratrol, flavonoids etc which helps in eliminating toxins from the body. Every natural color or plant pigment possesses health significance. The more the toxins get flushed out, the less your craving to smoke will be and your taste buds and smell will change within two weeks. I suggest adding colors of rainbow to the diet such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, broccoli, coriander, mints, moringa leaves, carrots, purple carrots, grapes, mango, watermelon, muskmelon, potato, sweet potato, mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbage and more. It can be in the form of fresh juices, cooked vegetables, soups or salad or in the raw form.
5. Water: Water is one of the most important nutrients. Our body is 70-75% made up of water with each and every cell carries water hence the importance of water intake or fluid intake to flush out the toxins should not be underestimated. Drinking water flushes out nicotine from the body. With nicotine withdrawal comes hunger, constipation, heartburn, cravings to smoke and many more. Water helps to flush out the toxins from the body and improve these symptoms. Trick to drinking water is to drink in sips. Drinking water in sips throughout the day makes one hydrated. If you dislike the taste of water, infuse it with mint leaves, coriander leaves or herbs of your choice. You can also drink liquids like milk, herbal infusions, plain water, lemon water to increase your fluid intake.
Having pineapple or some frozen grapes, plain popcorn, carrots, cucumber, celery while having an urge to smoke assists in reducing the urge to smoke. It is strongly recommended to avoid coffee and alcohol during the withdrawal as this may drive you to smoke. Exercise regularly as it will help to flush out the toxins from the body.
There is no official diet to quit smoking but these tips will assist you in your goals. Many people follow crash diets either in fear of gaining weight while quitting smoke. I suggest, work on one goal at a time and repeat till it becomes a habit and once it is accomplished, work on the other goal. Quitting smoking is a mind over matter and with your immense willpower you are sure to achieve this goal.
(Swati Bathwal, Dietitian and Public Health Nutritionist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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