There is no magic bullet that will make quitting smoking a snap, but some people do find certain aids to be more effective than others. And it’s always a good idea to support your health and body through such a change, as a healthy body may make quitting easier. For those who would like to stop smoking by trying a more natural approach, here are some ideas that may help.
There are plenty of herbal options (and they’re legal!) to ease the nicotine habit. If you like, you can purchase an herbal blend specifically mixed for smokers who want to quit. These usually come in tea or tincture form. You can also make your own blend or use single remedies. Here are some herbs that may be effective.
- Valerian root is helpful for promoting deep sleep and easing nervousness. It is sometimes used as a sedative.
- Chamomile is a gentle, sleep-promoting herb that may help you relax without that cigarette fix (cigarettes do not actually relax the body – they have the opposite effect. But quitting can make people nervous and tense).
- Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) is said to relax muscles (hence the name), and this may prove helpful for tense and tight muscles.
- Oat straw is a humble but potentially effective help for the nervous system. It is also relatively high in magnesium, which may account for its ability to soothe nerves.
Some people worry that they will gain weight when they stop smoking. Focusing on healthy foods may help prevent this, and also help your body handle quitting better.
A recent study at Duke University found that certain foods and drinks – particularly meat, caffeine, and alcohol – make cigarettes actually taste better. This explains, in part, why coffee and cigarettes used to appear together in advertisements, and smoking almost always occurs in bars where alcoholic beverages are served. Avoiding these foods and drinks may make cigarettes less palatable.
Common caffeine-containing foods that you might avoid include:
- Coffee (why not replace it with a supportive herbal tea?)
- Strong black tea
On the other hand, low-fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables may make cigarettes taste nastier.
- Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
As your body undergoes nicotine withdrawal, boosting your system with vitamins and minerals is a good idea. Here are some to consider.
- Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and immune system enhancer, and some smokers may find withdrawal symptoms eased with an increased intake of this vitamin. You can take supplements, and you can also eat more foods containing vitamin C. Bell peppers, citrus fruits, and leafy green vegetables are some good sources. Eating these foods may also help by giving your hands and mouth something to do.
- Magnesium is a helpful mineral for your nervous and muscular systems. Black beans, almonds, broccoli and whole grains are good food sources. Supplements can also be helpful.
- Vitamin E is considered an antioxidant vitamin, and can be found in foods like eggs and nuts. Again, supplements are also available.