FOOD THAT HELPS SMOKERS
HEALTHY FOOD FOR SMOKERS
Recommended diet for people who smoke
An antioxidant diet is the best way to balance the body health of a person who habitually smokes. Tobacco is one of the major toxins responsible for the production of free radicals that are responsible for many degenerative diseases, including cancer.
Similarly these radicals attack the body and are factors that help the appearance of premature aging. (See more information on antioxidants in the listing above)
It has been found that a proper diet, rich in natural food, especially fruits and vegetables can help improve the overall health of the smoker. On the other hand, this diet can help the smoker to quit smoking, because it strengthens the body and diminishes the negative withdrawal symptoms of leaving tobacco.
This diet should particularly contain a great amount of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as zinc and selenium.
GOOD FOODS FOR SMOKERS
- Vitamin C for smokers: An intake of foods rich in vitamin C helps replenish the deficiency of this vitamin that tobacco causes in the body. Among the main foods rich in this vitamin, we have peppers, one of the world's plants that has more quantity, after barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra L) or dog rose (Rosa canina). Also the citruses are very high in it (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.)
Other foods high in vitamin C are: cauliflower, radishes, brussels sprouts , spinach, bananas, apples, melons, watermelons, carrots, pineapples, pears, papayas, barley, garlic, berries, celery, peas, strawberries, grapes, figs, beans, cranberries, potatoes, avocados, soybeans, custard apples, mangoes, pomegranates, coconuts, etc.
- Vitamin A for smokers: It helps repair free radicals that smoking causes. It can be obtained through carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, found in many orange, red or yellow plant foods, especially purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.), spinach (Spinacia oleracea L); carrot (Daucus carota L), watercress (Nasturtium officinale R. BR), borage (Borago officinalis L.), basil (<em>Ocimum basilicum</em> L.), pumpkin (Curcubita pepo L.), tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum MILLER) coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale Weber)
Swiss chard, carrots, squash, peppers, watermelons, melons, sprouts, bananas, apples, plums, oranges, raspberries, currants, mangoes or beans also contain a lot of vitamin A.
Selenium for smokers: Necessary for the formation of glutathione, an antioxidant that may help against free radicals that tobacco causes, and it is also useful in preventing heart disease to which smokers are likely to suffer. Foods rich in selenium include: oats and whole grainrice.
BAD FOODS FOR SMOKERS
- High- fat foods for smokers: Nutrition of smokers should include small amounts of high- fat foods, such as fatty meats, butter, margarine, whole milk or dairy products.
Precooked and packaged foods usually contain lots of fat, so they are not recommended.
It is important for fats not to be fried or reheated. Very roasted, grilled or broiled food, generates a series of toxins that could be added to those produces by tobacco.
- Simple carbohydrates: Simple carbohydrates should be diminished in the smoker diet and specially in those trying to quit smoking. There is a tendency to gain weight in people leaving the tobacco habit, so a diet rich in simple carbohydrates could favor it.
Within simple carbohydrates we would have foods such as sugar,, bakery products, products made with refined flour, sweets, ice cream, etc.
Replace this type of carbohydrates for complex carbohydrates. Within this group there are the whole vegetal foods, such as whole grain cereals (rice, wheat, oats, maize, etc) and their derivatives (whole grain bread, oatmeal, cornmeal, etc); and vegetables (chards, lettuce, spinach, watercresses, etc) and the legumes (lentils, soybean, string beans,chick-peas, etc)
Other advice to take into account in the smoker diet
- To speed up your metabolism and " burn" your food intake better, eat five times a day. Do not eat too much in each meal.
- Make regular exercise according to your possibilities.
- Some herbal remedies can help you to quit smoking
More information on How to give up smoking in the listing above.
This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.