(Picture used for representational purpose only)
(Picture used for representational purpose only)

Many a time smokers become too hard on themselves while in the process of quitting smoking. This results in slip as an excuse to start smoking again. In order to prevent that situation, one can have foods that help overcome the craving to smoke

Ask anyone who has ever tried to quit smoking and he or she will tell you that it is probably one of the hardest habits to let go of. Nicotine is an addictive substance and it requires a whole lot of will power, commitment, and determination to break the routine. However, did you know that certain foods and drinks could come in handy when trying to quit this habit?

There are umpteen references and guides on what to avoid to help you quit smoking. Most would tell you to stop caffeine, sugar, and alcohol while you try to quit smoking. It is said that these things add to the cravings and overpower your resolution to quit. 

Some healthy lifestyle changes can help you in the process and make it easier and tolerable. It is also equally important to stay away from craving triggers so as to ensure that your determination to quit bears fruit. Let us now look at some popular foods that can help you keep the craving for nicotine and smoking under control.

It is a good idea to drink lots of milk. Research suggests that while caffeine and alcohol enhance the flavour of cigarettes, milk makes it taste bitter. Ever heard of anyone smoke after a glass of milk? Drink a glass of milk every time you get a craving to smoke. Try it once and we assure you won’t be impressed by the combination either!

Dry Fruits
The smell of dry fruits helps in controlling your cravings for a smoke. Munching on dry fruits can help facilitate your withdrawal process. Additionally, it is healthy for you and will keep you busy till the craving subsides.

Fruits, especially those rich in Vitamin C, are good for you when you want to quit smoking. Fruits leave you feeling full due to their fibre content and thereby lessen your cravings. They also help replenish Vitamin C, which gets depleted from your system due to regular smoking. 

Cinnamon is a foolproof food for almost every organ. It is good for your blood, stomach, nerves, and brain. It minimises nervous tension and hence is good for smokers, who often face this as an aftermath quitting. Not only this, inhaling cinnamon on a daily basis helps in controlling your cigarette cravings and mimics a cigarette drag. 

This is a popular detoxifying agent and, when used continuously, helps in removing all the toxins from your body. It also helps in stabilising BP fluctuations, which are a common side effect of quitting the bud. 

Salty food
Food items with a high salt content like chips, pretzels, salted cheese, and nuts are said to help you in fending off your cravings. You can even try a pinch of table salt to help you control the urge to smoke. A word of caution here is to keep a check on how much of salt you consume, especially if you have fluctuating BP.

Natural smoothies and shakes
During your initial phase of quitting, your body may crave sugar. However, sugar can also trigger the urge to smoke. Drinking smoothies and shakes will help in curbing these sugar cravings and also keep you full. Adding milk in the shakes is also a good idea. 

Sugar free mints and gums
Chewing on these can help keep your mind away from cigarettes. Chewing on sugar-free mints and gums every time you feel the urge to smoke will ensure that your mouth gets tired by the frequent chewing and biting process. You won’t find smoking such a good idea when your mouth is already tired!

Fresh vegetables
Certain vegetables like zucchini, celery, carrot, cucumber, and carrot sticks tend to have the same effect that milk has on your cigarette cravings. It makes the bud taste bitter. Munching on them also keeps the mouth and mind engaged so that you don’t feel the urge to smoke.

Drinking water keeps the body well-hydrated and also fills us. This prevents the urge to smoke. Quitting smoking is a very big step for every addict and requires a lot of commitment and effort coupled with moral support from friends and family. These foods will help in the process to a great extent and make you achieve the commitment you have set for yourself. 

By: Ms.Lalitha Subramanyam Chief Nutritionist at Grow Fit