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A lot of people who smoke or have recently stopped smoking wonder whether a certain diet can compensate for the damage that their body suffered due to smoking. People who smoke also wonder what foods to eat and what foods to eat once they have stopped doing so, in order not to gain weight. Various dietitians and nutritional consultants agree upon these most common questions.

Can a diet compensate for smoking?

People need to know that there is no diet plan in the world that can neutralize the health damage that a person suffered due to smoking. For instance, a person who smokes 20 cigarettes per day has twice as more chance to end up with a heart attack and five times more of suffering from a stroke than a person who does not smoke. Lung cancer is also a strong possibility for smokers.

What should people eat if they smoke?

Daily nutrition is important for everyone and especially for people who smoke. Extra nutrients are essential because the cardiovascular and respiratory functions require them. Even though a healthy diet cannot prevent certain health conditions from occurring, it can delay their development.

Increased need for antioxidants

A person who smokes has more free radicals in his or her system. These free radicals are known as the cancer-causing agents. This is why antioxidants are important because they neutralize them. Vitamins C and E are the best known antioxidants. A person who smokes should increase the intake of antioxidants. There are ways he or she can do that. For instance, it would be good to intake 3 or five servings per day of deep green, dark red, orange or yellow vegetables. Red, yellow, green and orange fruits should be consumed as well. People should switch from coffee to green tea.

People should also make sure to increase the intake of vitamin C and the best sources of this vitamin are papaya, mango, oranges, strawberries, lemon, grapefruit, red peppers, broccoli, green peppers, kale and tomatoes.

An increased intake of carotenoids is advisable as well. Carrots, pumpkin, sweet corn, sweet potato, melon, oranges, mango and cherries are known to contain a lot of carotenoids.

Garlic and onions are excellent foods for smokers because they are known to contain a lot of antioxidants. Their anti-tumor properties are also well known of.

More dietary tips

People who smoke need to reduce the intake of fat. Oily fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed at least twice per week. Consuming healthy carbohydrates is important as well. A person should also limit the intake of sodium.

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