We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you and smoking is bad for you. But, what if the good could actually help you defeat the bad?
That’s right – a study published in the Nicotine and Tobacco Research journal last May suggests that consuming fruits and vegetables may help you put the cigarettes down.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo, looked at 1,000 smokers who were 25 years and older. Participants had to have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and smoke daily or at least some days.
Telephone surveys were conducted and researchers asked them 14 months after the start of the study if they had quit smoking during the previous month. What researchers found was that those who ate fruits and vegetables were three times more likely to have not smoked in the previous month. Even if the participants were still smoking, research showed that if they chowed down on produce, they were smoking fewer cigarettes and waiting longer to smoke the first cigarette of the day. They also scored lower on the nicotine-dependency test.
Gender, race, education, income, health – none of this seemed to matter, just the produce. If they ate produce, they smoked less or not at all.
But, why? The researchers think there are several possible answers. One is the high fiber that many fruits and vegetables contain. High fiber makes you feel full. How could this decrease smoking? Well, it is believed that some confuse hunger pains with the craving for a cigarette and if that’s the case, feeling fuller might decrease smoking.
Another reason is that unlike some other things – caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and meat – fruits and vegetables don’t enhance the taste of tobacco.
While researcher Jeffrey P. Haibach, a graduate research assistant, said, “”We may have identified a new tool that can help people quit smoking,” there has to be more research done into this matter.
Still, if you smoke, can you imagine how much happier your body would be if you stopped smoking AND increased your produce intake?