This New Year, promise yourself to stop smoking, start living

Did you know that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for 10 years can reduce your bone density by 2%? Tobacco also speeds artery damage, promotes memory loss, causes Alzheimer’s disease, rapid skin ageing, anxiety, impotence, fatigue, headaches, hoarseness of voice, smoker’s cough, peptic ulcers, senility, cramps in the legs, stained teeth and nails, osteoporosis, and many more ailments.

The innocent smoker

Passive smoking is more dangerous than mainstream smoking. It increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer. It has also been found that non-smoking spouses of smokers have a shorter life expectancy, than non-smoking spouses of non-smokers.

Dietary guidelines

While you are reading this, make a firm decision to go cold turkey and quit smoking. Nicotine causes smokers to develop a poor appetite. In order to regain your health, it is important to replenish your diet with antioxidants such as beta-carotene, and vitamin C, A, and E with Selenium found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables, with high water content, should be selected to balance out the drying effects of smoking. Increasing the fibre content of your diet helps detoxify the system, since it soaks up the toxins and flushes them out of the body. Also, smoking has a laxative effect, and that’s why most people smoke in the mornings in order to pass stools.

Giving up smoking for such individuals may cause constipation. A high fibre diet, rich in wheat bran, whole pulses, jowar, bajra, fruits and vegetables, will provide them with the necessary bulk to pass regular motion. Also, most smokers tend to put on weight soon after they quit. This is because smoking reduces one’s appetite, and when they give it up, their appetite goes back to normal. Therefore, it is important to include some exercise in your routine. A detox diet, which is high in fibre, low-fat and alkaline in nature, along with an exercise schedule will help smokers maintain their weight after they quit.

Helpful tips

1 Drink plenty of fluids like fruit and vegetable juices, warm water throughout the day to cleanse the body and provide antioxidants

2 Munch on carrot sticks, cucumber strips, radish and plenty of raw vegetables as oral substitutes to deal with the psychological ties

3 Have a positive attitude towards health and life

4 Stay busy to keep your mind off smoking

5 Get another smoker to quit smoking, so that you can form a support group

6 Indulge in treatments such as a massage, sauna, steam, and teeth cleansing to remove cigarette stains

7 If you crave a smoke, take a brisk walk, drink tea, exercise or just practise relaxation techniques.

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