According to a new study, published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research and conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo, eating fruits and veggies may curb the urge to smoke, making it easier to kick the habit and keep it away.
The study, which is the first longitudinal study to analyze the link between smoking cessation and consumption of fruits and veggies, involved 1,000 smokers from around the U.S who were aged 25 and older. The researchers conducted a survey using an over-the-phone method, and did a follow-up interview with the volunteers 14 months after the original study to find out if the smokers had remained strong in their quest to quit smoking.
Gary A. Giovino, chair of the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior at the University of Buffalo commented:
"Other studies have taken a snapshot approach, asking smokers and nonsmokers about their diets. We knew from our previous work that people who were abstinent from cigaretts for less than six months consumed more fruits and vegetables than those who still smoked. What we didn't know was whether recent quitters increased their fruit and vegetable consumption or if smokers who ate more fruits and vegetables were more likely to quit."
The outcome of the study showed that the people who ate the most fruit and veggies had a 3-fold increased chance of not smoking, when questioned at follow up, than the people who ate the least amount of fruits and veggies. There were no altered results when factors, such as sex, education, income, race, or age were taken into account.
High and regular fruit and veggie consumption will help you give up smoking
Other results of the study showed that those who ate the most fruits and veggies:
- did not smoke their first cigarette until later in the day
- smoked fewer cigarettes throughout the day
- had lower scores on a nicotine dependence test
Jeffery P. Haibach, explains:
"We have may identified a new tool that can help people quit smoking. Granted, this is just an observational study, but improving one's diet may facilitate quitting.
It is also possible that fruits and vegetables give people more of a feeling of satiety or fullness so they feel less of a need to smoke since smokers sometimes confuse hunger with an urge to smoke."
The study also claims that fruits and veggies do not make the taste of tobacco better, unlike some foods, such as caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, and meat, which some smokers have said make cigarettes taste more appealing.
Haibach added: "It's possible that an improved diet could be an important item to add to the list of measures to help smokers quit. We certainly need to continue efforts to encourage people to wuit and help them succeed, including proven approaches like quitlines, policies such as tobacco-tax increases and smoke-free laws, and effective media campaigns."
Giovino conlcluded: "Nineteen percent of Americans still smoke cigaretts, but most of them want to quit."
The authors note that more research needs to be done in order to reveal if the outcome of this study will continue to prove true, and if so, what actually makes the fruits and veggies help the smokers quit.
Written By Christine Kearney