Nutrition and Wellness Tips to Help You Stop Smoking
Manage Your Weight through Smart Food Choices:
Many people fear weight gain when they think about no longer smoking. Stopping smoking may cause some weight gain, but most people gain less than 10 pounds, and some people don’t gain any weight at all.
To help control your weight, try these tips:
• Control your eating by spacing meals three to four hours apart and include carbohydrates (starches like breads, potatoes and pasta) and protein (meat, cheese or eggs) with each meal.
• If you are hungry between meals or have the urge to smoke, try munching on lower calorie snacks such as raw vegetables, fresh fruit or sugarless gum as healthy substitutes to smoking.
• Be aware that the chemicals in cigarettes reduce appetite, and when you stop smoking you may crave high calorie, sweet foods. If you have the urge to smoke after a meal or crave something sweet, try eating a fruit cup, a scoop of frozen yogurt or a slice of angel food cake to finish your meal and satisfy your craving.
The chemicals in cigarettes stimulate your digestive system. When you quit smoking, you may become constipated. Try to drink a few extra cups of water each day and eat high- fiber foods like bran cereal and fresh fruit to prevent constipation. Regular exercise, like walking, can help prevent constipation.
Exercise for Better Health and Success:
Exercise can help manage weight and also serve as a replacement for your smoking addiction. Exercise is a proven way to help you quit for good. Exercise improves overall physical fitness, muscle tone and mood. One study showed that exercise can boost your confidence and help you stay smoke-free.
• Try to exercise for 30 minutes, five times or more each week. Walking is always a good form of exercise for most people.
• When you're at home and have the urge to light up, try moving around or lifting some light weights for a few minutes instead.
• Take up a hobby that requires you to use your hands such as knitting, learning to play a musical instrument, rock climbing, painting or scrapbooking.
At Tulsa CARES, we believe good nutrition is important for a healthy immune system and a happier life. If you would like more information on healthy eating or would like to meet with the dietitian free of charge, you can call to make an appointment or ask for more information at 834-4194, extension 22.
Super-Foods for Current and Ex-Smokers
Smokers who eat spicy foods are less likely to have breathing problems than smokers who do not eat spicy foods.
One study found that broccoli protected current and ex-smokers against lung cancer. To get maximum benefits, eat broccoli or another green vegetable like kale, collard greens, bok choy or Brussels sprouts every day.
Good source of beta carotene. Studies show that people who eat the least amounts of carrots and other beta carotene rich foods are more likely to develop lung caner. Eating beta carotene-rich foods, like carrots, apricots and dark-green leafy vegetables is beneficial; however do not use beta carotene supplements as this may increase lung cancer risk.
Kale and Spinach
Dark green leafy vegetables have the ability to stop or slow down the development of lung cancer, to a mild degree in smokers and to a larger degree in ex-smokers.
Yellow Squash, Pumpkins, Sweet Potatoes
Eating an extra ½ cup of yellow squash or pumpkin a day may lower the risk of lung cancer by ½ in smokers.
FACT: Your body “uses up” vitamin C to clear out toxic particles from smoking. Smokers need about one-and-a-half times the amount of vitamin C as nonsmokers. New research shows that people who are around people who smoke also need more vitamin C. If you’re a female smoker, be sure to get at least 95 milligrams of vitamin C a day and if you’re a male smoker be sure to get at least 110 milligrams a day.
*Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables. In addition to oranges, bell peppers, broccoli, mangos, melons and papaya are good sources.