A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Smoking Dependency
I had a question the other day about smoking dependency.
Every time you smoke, you inhale more than 4,800 different chemicals (69 are carcinogens), including nicotine.
Nicotine is extremely addictive.
It’s a stimulant on your central nervous system.
When nicotine is ingested, adrenaline increases, raising your blood pressure and heart rate.
It also affects your overall metabolic rate, regulation of body temperature, the amount of tension in your muscles, and levels of certain hormones.
And tolerance to the effects of nicotine develops very quickly.
This means the dose you need rises almost immediately, encouraging you to increase the amount you smoke – which in turn increases the likelihood of addiction.
Once you’re addicted, your body depends on the presence of nicotine.
Then, if you refrain from smoking, withdrawal symptoms occur.
Once smoking becomes a habit, it’s difficult to break.
This is because smoking creates both physical and psychological dependency.
It may be easier to overcome the physical addiction than the psychological dependency.
Physical withdrawal, while unpleasant, lasts for a limited period of time, usually no more than a couple of weeks.
Long-term cravings are usually a psychological dependency, and need an ongoing effort to master.
Even though it can be difficult to stop smoking, people do it every day.
There’s certainly no shortage of reasons to quit.
There are 440,000 deaths due to cigarettes in the U.S. every year.
This is more than the number of deaths from alcohol, illegal drugs, traffic accidents, suicide, and homicide combined.
Tobacco smoking causes about 30% of all cancer deaths, 20% of fatal heart attacks, and 73% of deaths from lung disease.
It also accounts for about 90% of lung cancer cases.
Other health problems linked to smoking include angina, arteriosclerosis, cataracts, chronic bronchitis, circulatory problems, colorectal cancer, diarrhea, emphysema, heartburn, high blood pressure, impotence, peptic ulcers, respiratory ailments, urinary incontinence, and cancers of the mouth and throat.
Smoking increases your risk of catching colds and lengthens recovery time.
Over the long term, smoking dramatically reduces the flow of blood to your brain.
Smoking has a detrimental effect on nutrition as well.
Smokers break down vitamin C about twice as fast as nonsmokers.
This deprives your body of antioxidants, which speeds the aging process.
Finally, smoking is a social problem.
Secondhand smoke may be even more dangerous than the smoke the smoker breathes.
The good news is the addiction can be overcome, and health benefits begin almost immediately.
In just 24 hours after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse rate should return to normal, as should the levels of oxygen and carbon monoxide in your blood.
Within a week, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease, your senses of smell and taste improve, and breathing becomes easier.
The nutrients and dietary suggestions below are recommended to correct smoking-related deficiencies and damage while you work on kicking the habit, or if you can’t avoid being a passive smoker.
To deal with smoking dependency, it’s important to:
*Drink 6-8 glasses of purified water daily.
*Burdock root and red clover help to cleanse your bloodstream of toxins.
*Cayenne desensitizes respiratory tract cells to irritants from cigarette smoke.
*Catnip, hops, skullcap, and valerian root can be used to reduce nervousness and anxiety accompanying nicotine withdrawal.
*Dandelion root and milk thistle protect your liver against harmful toxins from cigarette smoke.
*Ginger causes perspiration, which helps your body shed some of the poisons ingested through smoking.
*Eat more asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potatoes, and turnips.
*Eat plenty of grains, nuts, seeds, and unpolished brown rice.
*Millet cereal is a good source of protein.
*Eat wheat, oat and bran.
*Eat yellow and deep-orange vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, squash, and yams.
*Apples, berries, Brazil nuts, cantaloupe, cherries, grapes, legumes (including chickpeas, lentils, and red beans), and plums are also helpful.
*Eat onions and garlic, or take garlic in supplement form.
*Drink fresh carrot juice daily as a preventive measure against lung cancer.
*Also drink fresh beet juice (made from both the roots and greens) and asparagus juice.
*All dark-colored juices are good, as are black currants.
*Also beneficial is apple juice, if it’s fresh.
*Drink fruit juices in the morning and vegetable juices in the afternoon.
*Cook all sprouts slightly except for alfalfa sprouts, which should be eaten raw.
*Don’t eat junk foods, processed refined foods, saturated fats, salt, sugar, or white flour.
*Instead of salt, use a kelp or potassium substitute.
*Use a small amount of blackstrap molasses or pure maple syrup as a natural sweetener in place of sugar.
*Use whole wheat or rye instead of white flour.
*Eliminate alcohol, coffee, and all teas except for herbal teas.
*Don’t eat any animal protein except for broiled fish (up to 3 servings per week).
*Never eat luncheon meat, hot dogs, or smoked or cured meats.
*Limit your consumption of dairy products to a little low-fat yogurt, kefir, or raw cheese on an occasional basis.
*Don’t eat any peanuts.
*Limit, but don’t eliminate altogether, your intake of soybean products.
*Keep in mind the acute craving for a cigarette usually lasts only 3-5 minutes. Focusing on this may make it easier to wait it out. Also remember it gets easier and easier as time goes by.
*When cravings strike, try taking a walk, doing some sit-ups, or engaging in any activity momentarily taking your mind off cigarettes.
*As much as possible, avoid stress.
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