One reason that prevents many smokers from quitting smoking is weight gain, which is feared as a result of tobacco cessation. In fact, many people also gain weight after quitting smoking. That’s also why more and more people are using e-cigarettes like Kardinal Stick as an alternative to the traditional cigarette to help in the transition to nicotine independence.
Smoking is a great burden for our body because inhaled smoke contains over 7000 chemicals, which penetrate through the lungs into our bloodstream and from then on into all organ systems and cause inflammation. The risk of heart attack and stroke increases, and in the long run, cancer, and COPD (a chronic lung disease), can develop. Smoking causes our blood pressure and heart rate to rise, which consumes more energy. With one pack of cigarettes per day, this is even 300 kcal or 2 rolls more consumption.
During smoking, hormones are released in the brain (dopamine & serotonin), which reduce appetite and hunger. In addition, body fat distribution, intestinal flora, as well as smell and taste perception change. These changes often lead to weight loss and deficiency symptoms. If smoking is stopped, the metabolic processes return to normal and weight gain occurs, as less energy is consumed.
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Therefore, you should pay attention to enough vitamins and nutrients. First and foremost is vitamin C. The need is increased in smokers, as well as when quitting smoking, as it acts as an antioxidant (= cell protection). Vitamin C rich include peppers, rosehips, kiwi, and citrus fruits. Zinc is also attributed to a large role, as it is responsible for the immune defense. Both in active smokers and in quitting smoking, the need is increased and can be covered with a balanced diet including fish, meat, eggs, milk, and dairy products such as cheese. Fish provides us not only with zinc but also with essential omega-3 fatty acids.
These protect our vessels and are particularly contained in salmon, herring, or mackerel, but also in vegetable products such as rapeseed oil, linseed oil, camelina oil, hemp oil, and nuts. A common deficiency also exists in folic acid, which is most often found in green leaf salad and cabbage vegetables. Whole grains, soybeans, and oranges also contain a significant amount of folic acid.
Bitter substances can support the detoxification organs liver, kidney, and intestines. These are contained in rocket, celery, fennel, or spices such as turmeric and ginger, which also have an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate the immune system.
In order to counteract constipation (constipation) as a result of quitting smoking, the fiber content in the diet should be increased. Increasingly, one should therefore resort to fruits, vegetables or wholemeal bread and drink about two liters of water daily to stimulate intestinal activity. Exercise or abdominal massages also have a digestive effect.
Diet exerts a positive influence on smoking cessation. Therefore, the dietitians play a major role in the smoking cessation program of the Rehabilitation Clinic Enns and advise patients with regard to their eating habits.