Smoking cessation is a truly difficult task. The pull of nicotine can be epically strong. A new health breakthrough has found a very interesting — and healthful — method for helping kick the habit. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Doing so many not only help you quit, but also help with permanently quitting. It is the first big study on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking cessation.
Researchers surveyed 1,000 smokers and followed up 14 months later to see if they had abstained from tobacco use. They found that smokers who consumed the most fruit and vegetables were three times more likely to be tobacco-free for at least 30 days at the follow-up than those eating the least amount. So, not only is fresh produce a key aspect of nutrition and a hallmark of preventing disease, but it is also an anti-tobacco lifestyle change.
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What’s more is that smokers eating lots of produce tended to smoke fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first cigarette of the day, and were less dependent on nicotine. The researchers believe that fruit and veggies are a new tool that could help you quit smoking.
It is possible that produce makes people less dependent on nicotine. It is possible that the fiber inside makes people feel fuller, and less interested in a cigarette. Hunger is often linked to a craving for a smoke. Also, fruit and veggies do not enhance the taste of tobacco, like some foods do. In fact, they may worsen the taste.
For the 19% of Americans who still smoke, most want to quit. Time to head to the produce aisle; it is possible that an improved diet could be an important factor in quitting. More research is needed to determine if these findings can be replicated and, if they can, to identify the mechanisms that explain how fruit and vegetable consumption may help smokers quit. There’s also a need for research on other dietary components and smoking cessation.
There is a flurry of tips out there on how to quit. You must, at least for a while, extricate yourself from all places and situations that create the urge to smoke. A good idea is to obsess over something else to divert your attention, with the best obsession being exercise.