This time of year many of us make positive lifestyle changes, quitting cigarettes being one of the top New Year’s resolutions. This is brilliant news with over 5,200 lives lost to tobacco related illness each year in Ireland. But right about now many people begin to find it hard and abandon their efforts. Many of the attractive effects of nicotine are due to its effect on adrenal hormones, blood sugar and brain chemistry. The good news is there are simple dietary changes that support the body and mind and reduce the unwanted cravings and side-effects. Here are six nutrition tips to help quit for good.
- Go stimulant-free: Eliminate stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolate and sugar.
- Eat small meals frequently: The constant supply of energy helps regulate blood sugar levels and mood.
- Choose slow-releasing carbohydrates: non-starchy vegetables such as kale, cucumber and broccoli and whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Avoid white breads, rice, pasta, and processed foods.
- Eat protein rich foods: This includes meats, eggs, wild-caught fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Choose local and organic where possible.
- Eat a nutrient rich diet: Cigarettes diminish nutrients we need to maintain positive brain chemistry and remove toxins. Increase the intake of dark leafy greens and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables which contain important phytonutrients. Variety and quality is important. Aim for 7-10 servings of vegetables and 2-3 fruits each day.
- Stay hydrated: Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day.
If you’d like more information on nutritional support for smoking cessation please contact Root Health Naturopathic Nutrition for an appointment.