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Quitting Smoking: Foods to Eat and Avoid

Planning to kick the butt? Great news! But it’s not a road you walk alone. You will need all the help and cooperation of people around you to stick to your decision. In addition, you will need to prepare for withdrawal symptoms that are inevitable when nicotine levels in your body begin to drop.

You must expect weight gain:

You will feel jittery and sweaty. You’ll experience headaches and symptoms of common cold, like cough or a sore throat as your lungs start to clear. Your metabolic rate will slow down a little at first due to the absence of nicotine. You will gain a couple of kilograms. Once the body is deprived of oral satisfaction, you will find yourself starting to nibble on snacks, sweets, chips, etc, which will only add to the weight gain.

A few eating tips to help you along the detox process:

  1. Eat fruits and veggies rich in Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant, anti-ageing and skin repairing nutrient.
  2. Drink plenty of water.
  3. Drink milk as it calms and nourishes the body.
  4. Chew on sugar-free gum whenever the craving hits.
  5.  If you must nibble, choose healthy alternatives like carrot or celery sticks, zucchini, cucumber, etc.
  6. Drink green tea to stay hydrated and get a dose of antioxidants.
  7. Ginseng, if used under medical supervision, also helps.


Foods to steer clear of:

  1. Foods with preservatives.
  2. Packed or frozen foods: Such foods are high in transfats that are bad for the heart. They are worse than saturated fats because they boost your LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and decrease your HDL levels (good cholesterol). Such foods also have a high salt content.
  3. Avoid sugar and sweets.
  4. Avoid baked products or anything made of refined flour (maida). Refined flour can boost heart risks by up to 30%. Also, high fructose corn syrup used in baked goods upsets the metabolism, again raising the risks of heart disease.
  5. Try to stay away from alcohol and red meat.
  6. Avoid stimulants like tea and coffee.


Foods to stick with:

  1. Include foods rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A in your daily diet.
  2. Make liberal use of bell peppers, basil, celery in your cooking. All these ingredients contain high levels of antioxidants.
  3. Try to consume food in raw form as much as possible. Try to include salads, raw juices at least two times a day.
  4. Eat more oranges, lemons, pears, pineapples, banana, apples, melons, berries.
  5. Consume leafy green vegetables like methi (fenugreek), palak (spinach) and chowle bhaji.
  6.  Incorporate asparagus, figs, potato that are high in zinc.
  7. Eat more whole grain cereals like oats, lentils, brown rice, wheat and bran.


Mood elevator foods:

  1. Now that you know which foods to avoid, here are some foods that will greatly help you counteract nicotine withdrawal symptoms and also help repair the damage to your body caused by long-term smoking.
  2. Dark leafy vegetables: They are high in chlorophyll, which increases red blood cells, which in turn helps increase the oxygen supply to cells.
  3. Sea veggies like nori, kelp, etc. are high in trace minerals, which are essential for energy-producing reactions in your cells. These makes us feel more alert and focused.
  4. Brazil nuts are the richest known source of selenium. Selenium is a very good mood elevator.
  5. Complex carbohydrates are rich in tryptophan enzyme. Tryptophan enzyme, when it reaches the brain, is a mood enhancer.
  6. Vitamin B: Foods rich in Vitamin B help convert amino acids into neurotransmitters and help reduce stress.
  7. Chocolate: Chocolate contains PEA, which promotes a happy, elated feeling. It has magnesium, which reduces muscle tension and promotes relaxation.
  8. Raw chocolate: Raw chocolate also contains the substance anandamide that has the ability to alter dopamine levels in the brain. This causes a sense of peace and relaxation.

Do you have any more questions about how to quit smoking? Please leave a comment and I’d be happy to tell you more. 

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5 Lies Smokers Live With. Which One Are You Smokin’?
Got Smokers’ Denial? A Pinprick For Your Nicotine Bubble 

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