Healthy ways to kick a habit

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It's not easy for smokers to wean themselves off cigarettes.

Herbalists say, however, that certain fruits and foods can help decrease the craving for tobacco. When smoking, a lot of Vitamin C is lost and the body must adapt to the change with some non-natural components of nicotine, they note. They advise that drinking orange juice or eating oranges, lemons, black grapes and pomegranate, which contain a lot of Vitamin C, can help kick the smoking habit faster.

Eating vegetables like celery, carrots, waky pumpkin, cauliflower, cucumber, and eggplant before smoking induce bitterness in the mouth that herbalists say will reduce the urge and, in the long run, the addiction to tobacco.

Not many people know that milk can help people stop smoking. According to research carried out at the Duke University in the US, drinking one glass of milk before smoking will make heavy smokers feel uncomfortable.

Consumption of salty food or salt directly (by licking a little) is yet another tool to use in the fight against cigarettes.

Bee's honey, which contains vitamins, enzyme, protein and amino acid, can be used to ward off the urge to smoke. Sharpen two white turnips, place them in a clean cloth bag to squeeze their water, and then mix the water with honey for a drink twice a day.

One can also try eating oat porridge twice a day to reduce the urge to smoke.

Herbalist Bang Cam also suggests a beverage with orange and carrots. The ingredients are two oranges, 100g of fresh carrot, one piece of lemon, 400ml warm water, one spoon of honey (diabetics should not use honey) and some crushed ice. Wash the oranges, peel, deseed and cut them into very small pieces. Wash, peel and cut carrot into small and thin pieces. Then put pieces of oranges and carrot in a blender together with lemon juice, warm water, ice cubes and honey to make the beverage. One glass of this drink a day will go some way towards reducing and, finally quitting the habit of smoking.

Orange contains pectin, calcium, phosphor, iron, vitamins B1, B2, and high Vitamin C. In traditional medicine, orange is used to adjust liver and gall system, and to assist digestion. To modern medicine, the orange's high Vitamin C and beta-carotene content helps soften and protect blood vessels, and decrease fat and cholesterol in the blood. Carrot helps improve the function of the digestive system, treat digestive disorders and chronic dysentery, cough, eye diseases and decrease blood sugar. The Vitamin A in carrots promotes growth, prevents respiratory system inflammation and infections, helps treat night-blindness and eye dryness (exophthalmia). Both Vitamin A and C are health promoters and even help prevent cancer.

A systematic approach to giving up smoking increases the chances of success. Begin on a day off that is focused on stress relief. On the first day, list your reasons to keep off tobacco and the impact on children. Declare your aim to your family, friends and colleagues and enlist their support. Stop buying cigarettes.

On the second day, think about cigarette replacements (toothpick after meal, melon seeds, chewing-gum or walking).

The third day is the time to share confidences or think of doing so with people you can talk to freely (lover, children, wife, colleagues). Also think about the money you have saved by not buying cigarettes.

On the fourth day, think of more ways to overcome the urge to smoke. You can drink a lot of water, practice deep breathing exercises, not tarry at the dining-table, go for long walks, eat melon seeds, learn poems and so on.

On the fifth day, buy the replacements for tobacco, like melon seeds, chewing-gum, and toothpicks. Throw away the matches, cigarette lighter and ash tray at home and office. Wash clothes to get rid of the tobacco smell. At night, smoke the last cigarette to say goodbye to the habit once and for all. Remind yourself of what you are capable of and that is the right thing to do.

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