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Nutrition Tips for Smokers

nutrition for smokers

Do smokers generally eat a cancer-fighting diet?

BMC Public Health research journal reports that smokers have less healthy diets than do former or non-smokers. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables may not only help to stave off nicotine cravings, they offer restorative and healing properties to every cell in your body! In fact, people who quit smoking report an increase in taste and smell acuity (so foods smell and taste better!).

Can ginseng help?

American ginseng has been touted as a therapy for nicotine addiction because it may lessen the appeal of smoking by working on changing the dopamine activity in the brain. The caution is using American ginseng, however is that it may interact with estrogen-dependent cancers. Alcohol extraction methods really bring out the estrogenic properties, so that method of preparing should be avoided if you decide to take a ginseng supplement. (Integr Can Therapies, 2006)

If you stop smoking will you really gain weight?

Yale University looked at caloric intake of smokers and found they consumed about 200 calories more per day than non-smokers or former smokers, even though they ate smaller amounts of food. The food they chose, however, contained more sugar and fat! So, researchers suggest that better nutrition for smokers can help you weigh less because they eat fewer calorie-dense foods. There are no excuses for thinking you’ll put on the pounds if you stop smoking. (BMC Public Health, 2018)

Have you thought about your triggers?

Everyone lives with triggers – actions we take that cause another action to happen. For smokers, that is often drinking coffee or wine and having a smoke. It will take time, but you will want to switch up triggers. When you have a glass of wine, choose hummus and veggies to keep your hands and mouth occupied. Eat regular meals and snacks and avoid skipping meals or you’ll feel deprived and end up grabbing for something you don’t want to put into your mouth! Try going out for a walk to replace watching television. This new trigger helps your overall health too.

Take one day at a time and be compassionate to yourself. It takes time to create lasting change. Good luck!