According to a study, if you want to quit smoking, consuming more vegetables and fruit could help you give up and stay free from tobacco for longer. The study found that smokers who eat a lot of vegetables and fruit are 3 times more likely to quit smoking.
1,000 smokers of 25 years and more were surveyed by means of telephone interviews. There was a follow up survey 14 months later, when the respondents were asked if they had abstained from using tobacco in the month previously.
The study found that the smokers who ate the most vegetables and fruits were 3 times more likely to be free from tobacco for a minimum of one month 14 months later compared to those who ate the lowest amount of vegetables and fruit. These results persisted even though adjustments were made to consider age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, health orientation and household income.
It was also found that cigarette smokers having higher vegetable and fruit intake smoked less cigarettes each day, waited longer before they smoked the 1st cigarette for the day and also scored less on a nicotine dependence test.
A number of explanations are possible, like less nicotine dependence for those who eat lots of vegetables and fruit or the fact that higher fiber intake from vegetables and fruit make people feel fuller.
It’s also possible that vegetables and fruit give people more of a feeling of fullness so they feel less of a need to smoke, as smokers often confuse hunger with an urge to smoke.
And compared with a number of foods that are known to complement the taste of tobacco, such as caffeinated beverages, meats and alcohol, vegetables and fruit don’t enhance the taste of tobacco and could actually worsen the taste of cigarettes.