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Quit Smoking: Veggies Can Help!

July 30th, 2012  |  The Blog

There are so many great reasons for you to quit smoking and to encourage your patients to quit smoking. Sometimes, being hospitalized is the push a patient needs to actually quit smoking.

Recent Research Results

Surprising results from a recent study shows that cigarette smokers who consume four or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day have a tremendous benefit. They are three times more likely to quit smoking and not return to the habit for longer periods of time than those who ate fewer than two servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Why is this, you ask? Here are a few of the theories attached to those who eat more fruits and vegetables:

Those who regularly eat a healthy diet are generally more health conscious so they are more open to smoking cessation.

  • They smoked fewer cigarettes a day.
  • They wait later in the day to have their first cigarette of the day.
  • Fruits and vegetables make the patient feel more satiated because of their high fiber content. This helps curb cravings, including tobacco.
  • Some research states that fruits and vegetables make cigarettes taste unpleasant.

The Plan

  1. Eat at least four servings of fruits and/or vegetables a day.
  2. Drink a glass of water when the urge for a cigarette occurs.
  3. Involve the primary care physician. It is within their realm of care to question every patient at every office visit about tobacco use, advise about smoking cessation, formulate a plan of care to assist the patient in this endeavor and provide appropriate follow-up care.
  4. Eat licorice for two reasons: It is a stress reducer and, since it is used in flavoring some cigarettes, it can help curb a patient’s craving to smoke. The advice is to stick to black licorice like Good & Plenty, not strawberry Twizzlers.

One aside of which to be aware is that milk makes cigarettes take on a strange flavor, due to the aftertaste. Help your patients along; encourage them to drink milk regularly. It does not matter whether it is skim or whole milk, with regard to smoking cessation.

While we discuss the benefits of eating at least four servings of fruits and vegetables to help with smoking cessation, it is important to note the things that make cigarettes taste better. These things should be avoided or, at least, limited:

  • Coffee
  • Meat
  • Alcohol and beer

Whatever the reason, whatever the cause of a patient’s difficulty in achieving a smoke-free life, encouraging them to increase their fruits and vegetables intake is a simple, doable, healthy and tasty alternative or adjunct to try.












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