There are several ways to stay off cigarettes, in some healthy and creative ways. Maybe you’ve started to get more physically active or have begun to think about eating better. In any case, you need to have a strong will to quit smoking. Staying smoke-free is a really tough thing to do; just quitting the habit is a good achievement.
Balancing quitting smoking with getting more physically active and making healthier eating choices can be a challenge. Few people tend to go around the same process repeatedly, for example quitting smoking, gaining weight, going back to smoking to lose weight, then quitting again. The best way to get off this is to make quitting smoking your number one priority and to work on managing your weight only to the extent that it does not jeopardize your quitting smoking.
Like quitting smoking and becoming more physically active, your eating habits are an important part of your health. Healthy eating can reduce your risk for heart disease by helping you control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and your weight. The vitamins and minerals in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can help improve your health, and studies show that; most smokers don’t get enough of these nutrients.
Healthy eating can also reduce your chances of getting other illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea (when breathing is interrupted during sleep) and osteoarthritis (wearing away of the joints). By eating healthy foods each time you would usually smoke a cigarette, you’ll be able to get the nutrients you need and keep away from smoking.
Scientific research shows that you can stimulate your immune system with diet. White blood cells are the first line of defense against infections. Scientific studies have shown that certain foods and nutrients can help increase concentrations of these white blood cells and their potency. Following are some foods that have this beneficial effect on the immune system:
Foods & Nutrients That Stimulate the Immune System
- Citrus fruits
- Tomatoes and tomato products (like tomato sauce and tomato paste)
- Beta-carotene: spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and pumpkin
- Vitamin C: citrus fruits and their juices, strawberries, kiwi fruit, potatoes, tomatoes
- Vitamin E: plant oils (canola and olive oil, for example)
- Zinc: oysters, crab, turkey, pumpkin, and squash seeds
Remember, the best way to get the nutrients you need is from foods. Daily multi-vitamins are also fine to take. However, high doses of some nutrients (zinc, for example) can actually suppress your own immune system. Before taking individual supplements of vitamins, minerals, or herbs, talk to your doctor or to a registered dietitian for some more personal advice.
At this point, you still may be reeling some of the more negative sensations associated with quitting, such as cravings for sweet, crunchy, or salty foods, stress, lack of energy, boredom, and frustration. Some of these negative feelings can lead you to eat poorly. In fact, after quitting smoking, many people gain weight because of poor eating choices, because extra snacking can become a way of coping with cravings or stress. Plus, without the bad taste of cigarettes in your mouth, food may taste and smell better, which could lead to extra helpings. Now, we’ll give you tips for combating these cravings and coping with boredom, stress, and frustration by learning how to snack well and eat in moderation. In the meantime while trying to overcome the craving, get on to e cigarette to reduce the sensation and helps to overcome the urges.
Remember, making small habit changes can yield big rewards later. The healthy eating choices you make right now, even the smallest ones, can really add up. Plus, you’ll probably find that within a couple of weeks, the cravings will fade away and you will have already started to develop eating habits that can keep you healthy for the rest of your life. If you reach for healthy foods during a craving, before long, you’ll crave healthy foods rather than cigarettes.