No Smoking Day 2024: Best foods to eat if you are trying to quit smoking | Health - Hindustan Times
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No Smoking Day 2024: Best foods to eat if you are trying to quit smoking

By, New Delhi
Mar 13, 2024 10:30 AM IST

Want to quit smoking? Modifying your diet can help. Incorporate these amazing foods into your daily diet to support your journey towards a smoke-free life.

Trying to quit smoking is one of the most rewarding journeys you would ever undertake for transforming your health and mental well-being. Every day, hour and minute that you are not inhaling toxic chemicals and carcinogens, helps repair your cells and reverse many potential health conditions. Smoking kills millions across the world and as per WHO, India itself is home to 12 per cent of world's smokers. Good nutrition and a balanced diet can play a big role in supporting your tobacco-free routine by helping nourish your body and curb addiction. From fruits and vegetables to nuts and seeds, here's a list of foods that can help you quit smoking. (Also read | Beyond smoking: Understanding and treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Embarking on the journey to quit smoking is undoubtedly a commendable decision, and adopting a wholesome diet can significantly enhance your chances of success. (Freepik)
Embarking on the journey to quit smoking is undoubtedly a commendable decision, and adopting a wholesome diet can significantly enhance your chances of success. (Freepik)

"Embarking on the journey to quit smoking is undoubtedly a commendable decision, and adopting a wholesome diet can significantly enhance your chances of success. As you navigate through this challenging process, consider incorporating certain nutritionally rich foods into your daily regimen can support your journey toward a smoke-free life," says By Dr. Neeti Sharma, Sr. Consultant - Nutrition & Dietetics at Marengo Asia Hospitals, Sector 56, Gurugram.

BEST FOODS TO EAT FOR QUITTING SMOKING

1. Colourful fruits and vegetables: Load up on a variety of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These include berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and carrots. Antioxidants help combat the oxidative stress caused by smoking, promoting cellular repair.

2. Omega-3 fatty acids: Incorporate sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), flaxseeds, and walnuts. These healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties, which can aid in reducing inflammation associated with smoking.

3. Nuts and seeds: Snack on nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. These are rich in vitamin E and can contribute to skin health, which may be affected by smoking.

4. Wholegrains: Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats. They provide a sustained release of energy, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and manage cravings often associated with smoking cessation.

5. Lean Proteins: Include lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes. Protein aids in muscle repair and maintenance, which is crucial as your body undergoes positive changes during the quitting process.

6. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by consuming plenty of water and herbal teas. Proper hydration supports overall health and can help manage cravings by keeping you feeling full.

7. Dairy or fortified plant-based alternatives: Ensure an adequate intake of calcium through dairy or fortified plant-based options. Smoking can deplete calcium levels in the body, and maintaining bone health is crucial during the quitting process.

8. Green tea: Sip on green tea, known for its antioxidant properties. It can assist in detoxifying the body and has been associated with potential benefits for those seeking to quit smoking.

“When quitting smoking, it is essential to focus on foods that can help alleviate cravings and support your body's recovery. Opt for foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts, to combat oxidative stress caused by smoking. Incorporate foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, kiwi, and bell peppers, as they can aid in repairing damaged tissues. Consuming plenty of water and hydrating foods like cucumber and watermelon can help flush out toxins and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Choose healthy snacks like carrots, celery sticks, and unsalted nuts to keep your hands and mouth busy,” says Dietician Vedika Premani at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre.

“Additionally, foods high in fibre, such as whole grains and legumes rich in tryptophan have shown to reduce withdrawal symptoms. Diets rich in fibre can promote feelings of fullness and stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing the urge to smoke. A new study also showed the importance of foods rich in essential fatty acids such walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds playing a role in cessation of smoking,” adds Vedika.

Ultimately, focus on a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods to support your journey to a smoke-free life.

Dietician Vedika Premani at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre

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