Friday, August 9, 2013

Meals That Reduce Urges When Giving up Smoking

Are you thinking about quitting smoking? Are you worried that you might substitute one oral fixation for another by eating too much and gaining too much weight? While it's true that many people do gain weight when they quit (perhaps because they can actually taste food again), it's also true some foods will be your allies in your quest to become nicotine free and might actually help you stick to your resolution by reducing your cravings.

Eat Your Oats

The Ayurvedic system of medicine has a long history of using oatmeal and oat bran to combat opium addiction in India. More recently, researchers in Glasgow, Scotland, discovered smokers who consumed an extract of fresh oats were more likely to experience diminished cravings for cigarettes than smokers who received a placebo.

This result was corroborated by another recent study conducted in Japan, where researchers found that smokers who received a daily supplement of an oats herb extract (brand name Neuravena) cut the number of cigarettes they smoked in one day by nearly half.

Increase Your Alkalinity

In another study investigating whether certain foods can combat cravings, a nicotine researcher at the University of Nebraska found that foods with high alkaline levels actually kept nicotine circulating in the body, which decreased the need to ingest any more. Foods that have high alkaline levels include raisins, figs, spinach, whole-grain breads and pastas, brown rice, almonds and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and squash.

Try an Alternative Treatment

Some former smokers have claimed that a combination of orange juice and cream of tartar can help flush the nicotine more quickly from your system, and thus diminish your cravings. Dissolve one half of a teaspoon of cream of tartar in a glass of orange juice and drink it before bed.

Others have found success by ingesting natural herbs such as St. John's Wort and wild oat--both have been found to soothe nervous dispositions and thus calm severe cravings.

Whatever You Eat, Eat Healthy

If you just must put something in your mouth, be sure it's a carrot. Or any fresh fruit or vegetable. (Chocolate candy bars will just make you crave more chocolate AND nicotine.) If you eat crunchy, fiber-dense foods, you'll distract yourself from your nicotine cravings for a little while, and you won't put on the pounds.

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