4 foods and drinks that could help smokers quit
Certain foods and drinks can be a potential benefit—or burden—when trying to quit smoking.
If you are looking to kick the habit, or know someone who is, here are four foods and drinks that could help smokers quit and stay tobacco-free.
1. Fruits and vegetables
Cigarettes block the absorption of important nutrients, such as calcium and vitamins C and D. For example, smoking just one cigarette drains the body of 25 mg of vitamin C. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet will restore these nutrients and, as some research suggests, may help with reducing cravings to smoke.
Bonus: Once you begin to stop smoking, food starts to taste better and flavors are more noticeable, so you may also enjoy these foods more.
2. Ginseng Tea
Some research suggests that ginseng could be therapeutic for nicotine addiction because it may weaken the effect of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and is released when smoking tobacco. Drinking ginseng tea could reduce the appeal of smoking and make it less enjoyable.
3. Milk and dairy
Smokers have reported that drinking milk made cigarettes taste worse; most smokers said that it gave their cigarettes a bitter aftertaste. When facing a craving, consuming milk and other dairy products that make cigarettes taste bad might help deter smokers from cigarettes.
4. Sugar-free gum and mints
Chewing gum and mints can keep your mouth busy when you have an urge to smoke. Plus, both gum and mints last a long time—typically longer than it does to smoke a cigarette.
Knowing what to avoid consuming when trying to quit smoking will help, too. Foods and drinks that have been shown to enhance the taste of cigarettes and trigger a craving to smoke include alcohol, caffeine, meat and sugary or spicy foods.
While eating and drinking the right things can make the struggle to quit a little easier, programs like BecomeAnEX.org, a digital quit-smoking program by Truth Initiative®, can improve chances of success and quitting for good.