Kicking the butt, naturally
Some common foods can help smokers in quitting the habit and in curbing the craving for smoking or tobacco

No one can make you smoke, or quit or decide whether you should quit. If you are reading this article with interest it's possible that a thought of 'wanting to quit ' has wormed into your mind and you want to see whether it's possible to quit !

It is not that you don't know about the harmful effects of tobacco but in order to strengthen your resolve to quit it is important to review its harmful effects once again.

Chewing strong mint-flavoured gum diverts the mind from smoking
Chewing strong mint-flavoured gum diverts the mind from smoking

Tobacco affects the heart, liver, lungs, increases the risk of clots in the blood therefore is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. It causes various cancers like cancer of the mouth, lungs, bladder, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach cancer and so on. Smoking or use of tobacco in other forms causes infertility in men and women both. Smoking by women, particularly, pregnant women, can result in low-birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome. Tobacco affects bones and can cause osteoporosis in those over 50 years of age. If you begin to smoke at an early age and smoke cigarettes with high tar content you stand at a higher risk of precipitating all the above mentioned diseases. Smoking narrows the blood vessels and causes vascular disease. The problems associated with tobacco consumption are endless.

When you plan to quit smokimg/tobacco, there are a number of withdrawal symptoms you may experience such as irritability, hostility, depression, difficulty in concentration, impatience, restlessness, increased appetite and decreased heart rate.

Because nicotine is a drug, you may need to go to your doctor to get help to quit smoking. Doctors can prescribe nicotine patches and nicotine gums to stop the cravings.

There are some home remedies which can be used in tandem with other methods to help overcome these cravings.

Smoking can cause various cancers like cancer of the mouth, lungs, bladder, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach cancer etc
Smoking can cause various cancers like cancer of the mouth, lungs, bladder, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach cancer etc.

Clove or clove oil

Clove oil may help reduce nicotine cravings when you are trying to quit smoking. Place a drop of clove oil on back of your tongue which will make you lose your desire to smoke immediately. This is one of the easiest ways to quit smoking.


Water helps to stop the cravings of nicotine quickly. Smoking cessation programs typically encourage drinking large amounts of water. It lessens the desire to smoke and helps the body forget the euphoria it experienced with nicotine. Drinking two-three glasses of water at the point of craving will help reduce tobacco cravings.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating nutritious food such as fruits seems to curb the craving for tobacco. It also keeps your body healthy by making it alkaline. Smoking makes your mind feel alert and people who give up smoking 'miss' this alert feeling. Eating raw fruits and vegetables instead of heavy greasy meals gives you the same feeling of alertness and as an added benefit you don't gain weight (as most smokers quit do. It is advisable to take a fruit during your snacking time as it is the most vulnerable time for tobacco craving.

Having carrot or other vegetable sticks will occupy your hands and mouth to eat instead of smoking a cigarette
Having carrot or other vegetable sticks will occupy your hands and mouth to eat instead of smoking a cigarette

Eat carrot sticks

These will provide nutrition as well as keep you occupied, away from tobacco products. Having carrot or other vegetable sticks will occupy your hands and mouth to eat instead of smoking a cigarette. Keep this platter handy whenever you have the cravings for tobacco.

Chewing gum

Chewing a strong mint-flavoured gum diverts the mind from smoking. It also helps to replace the oral fixation that occurs when a person smokes a cigarette. It helps in reducing the urge of smoking. Lollipops are another way for the person to hold something while eating hard candy, simulating the act of holding the cigarette.

Drinking water lessens the desire to smoke
Drinking water lessens the desire to smoke 

Chew on saunf

Fennel seeds or saunf can be a great substitute. Every time you get the desire to smoke, put a tea spoon of fennel seeds in your mouth and chew these slowly. It helps to control your desire to smoke - besides it is alkaline and therefore corrects the acidic pH created in your body by tobacco.

You'll need willpower to keep away from cigarettes or tobacco especially in the first few weeks of quitting. Also remember that the benefits of quitting are plenty which include a fresher and younger looking you (smoking accelerates wrinkle formation) free from disease and ill health.

Additional tips

Clove oil may help reduce nicotine cravings
Clove oil may help reduce nicotine cravings 

Exercise: Exercising on regular basis while quitting helps subside the craving both during and after exercise. Walking, jogging, heading to the gym or biking can also help curb your cravings.

* Reduce stress: Reduce the amount of stress you have in your life. Stress can have you searching for your cigarettes as a way to calm down. Work, family and relationship stress can make your cravings for cigarettes even worse. Learn new stress-reduction techniques like walking, meditation and deep-breathing exercises so you're less likely to turn to nicotine.

* Ask for support: Ask your friends and family to act as a support system for your efforts to quit. When you endure a moment of weakness, have a few phone numbers programmed into your phone that you can call for instant support. Ex-smokers can be particularly helpful by offering tips.

* Keep yourself busy: Some people may choose to wait out cravings. The average nicotine craving lasts for five minutes. Hobbies that keep one's hands busy such as gardening, putting together a puzzle or even playing fetch with the family, dog may help. Occupying the mind and body can stop someone from reaching for the next cigarette.

The writer is a nutritionist. She treats obesity and related health disorders online . She can be reached at [email protected] /

Health Capsules

An orange (juice) a day can keep cancer away 

Scientists say orange can prove crucial in the prevention of cancer. In an article in Nutrition and Cancer: An International Journal, a publication of Routledge, researchers reviewed available evidence that links orange juice with cancer chemoprevention, reports Science Daily. Despite its potential toxicity (if taken in excess), orange juice has many potential positive effects when it comes to cancer, particularly because it is high in anti-oxidants. Previous studies indicate that orange juice can reduce the risk of leukemia in children, as well as aid in chemoprevention against mammary, hepatic, and colon cancers. "Orange juice could contribute to chemoprevention at every stage of cancer initiation and progression," the researchers explained.

Fat near heart can predict kidney patients' deaths

Fat deposits around the heart which can be spotted through simple CT scans can help predict the risk of death in patients with chronic kidney disease. The study, published in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, was conducted by scientists from Canada, Venezuela, Italy and the US. Paolo Raggi, a researcher from the University of Alberta, Canada, said, "The greater the amount of fat around the heart, the greater the mortality rates were in patients." After examining CT scans of 109 American patients with chronic kidney disease from a randomised, clinical trial, the researchers found that for every 10 cubic cm increase in heart fat, the risk of death rose six per cent. The findings also showed that high levels of calcium or plaque in the arteries and high cholesterol levels were strong predictors of large volumes of heart fat. Previous research showed a link between this heart fat and plaque buildup in the heart arteries.

Red grapes, blueberries boost immunity

Red grapes and blueberries can enhance immunity. In an analysis of 446 compounds for their ability to boost the innate immune system, researchers at Oregon State University discovered two compounds, resveratrol in red grapes and pterostilbene in blueberries, called stilbenoids, worked in synergy with vitamin D and had a significant impact in raising the expression of the human cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, or CAMP gene, that is involved in immune function. The findings, made in lab cell cultures, do not prove that similar results may occur as a result of dietary intake, the scientists said, but add more interest to the potential of some foods to improve the immune response. Resveratrol has been the subject of dozens of studies for a range of possible benefits, from improving cardiovascular health to fighting cancer and reducing inflammation.

Doctors doing little to promote sunscreen use

Doctors rarely talk to patients about using sunscreen, even when patients have a history of skin cancer, according to surveys of US physicians over two decades. Despite professional guidelines encouraging doctors to educate their patients about sun protection, in more than 18 billion patient visits from 1989 to 2010, sunscreen was mentioned less than one perc ent of the time.

Social networks leaving gaps in health information

A senior research scientist has argued in his new book that using social media and peer-to-peer networks to spread information about health and science can reinforce disparities in learning and awareness. The book, Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health: Sharing Disparities, illustrates how systematic reliance on social networks and peer-to-peer networks to disseminate information could be a recipe for inequity. Brian Southwell, Ph.D., book's author, said that the book documents instances where efforts to disseminate science and health information through social networking or peer-to-peer networks fell short of desired outcomes. Agencies

Fruit juices, smoothies new health risk 

London: Researchers from the US have pointed out that fruit juices and smoothies are now a new risk to our health because of the amount of sugar the healthy drinks are believed to contain. Barry Popkin and George Bray pointed the finger at high fructose corn syrup in soft drinks in 2004, causing a huge headache for the big manufacturers, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Popkin, a distinguished professor at the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told the Guardian that smoothies and fruit juice are the new danger.

He added that it's kind of the next step in the evolution of the battle, and it's a really big part of it because in every country they've been replacing soft drinks with fruit juice and smoothies as the new healthy beverage. Researchers from the UK, USA and Singapore found that, in large-scale studies involving nurses, people who ate whole fruit, especially blueberries, grapes and apples, were less likely to get type 2 diabetes, which is obesity-related, but those who drank fruit juice were at increased risk. People who swapped their fruit juice for whole fruits three times a week cut their risk by 7 percent. The British Soft Drinks Association says that consumption of soft drinks containing added sugar has fallen by 9 percent over the last 10 years, while the incidence of obesity has risen by 15 percent. The study is published in the journal Pediatric Obesity. ANI