I quit smoking today

4 May 2023

Une femme allume une cigarette

Nicotine is the most addictive of all legal and illegal drugs. It stimulates the production of dopamine (pleasure perception) with each puff. A person who smokes 20 cigarettes a day sends about 200 dopamine calls to the brain, creating addiction.

According to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), less than 5% of people who try to quit smoking on their own succeed for up to a year.

Eating to reduce addiction

When you decide to stop smoking, it is important to change some habits, particularly eating habits. Indeed, a suitable diet will help to manage the effects of withdrawal: less stress, less desire to snack and of course weight control.

As explained above, when nicotine reaches the brain, it stimulates the production of a neurotransmitter, dopamine, which triggers the reward system.

Fortunately, the body can be helped to produce them through diet.

In the morning: A fat, high-protein breakfast! Dairy products (preferably goat’s and sheep’s milk), eggs (ORGANIC!), oilseeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, muesli…

Lunch: On the menu, a nice plate of raw or cooked vegetables (Al Dente) for half and proteins and carbohydrates for the other half.

At snack time between 4 and 6 pm: A seasonal fruit and/or a handful of almonds and why not a square of dark chocolate.

In the evening: Certain foods help to secrete neurotransmitters (serotonin, melatonin) to relax and sleep well: lettuce, sweet potato, rice, dates, almonds, hazelnuts, banana, pineapple, cheese, turkey, pulses. Put them on the menu!

It is also a good idea to increase your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, as their vitamin C content is involved in dopamine synthesis. Remember that raw fruit is best eaten outside of mealtimes.

Reduce stress to avoid breakdowns

Quitting smoking increases stress and anxiety and it is therefore essential to reduce the consumption of sugar, alcohol and coffee.

Then, to limit this stress and promote sleep, think about eating foods rich in magnesium such as seaweed, wholegrain cereals, sprouted seeds, oilseeds, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Every day: 2 to 3 tablespoons of raw organic virgin oil from the first cold pressing, rich in omega 3: rapeseed, camelina, flax, walnut, hemp.

Store in the refrigerator!

Un bol rempli de fleurs sèches entouré de fleurs fraîches

1.Lemongrass and liquorice end-of-meal infusion

This very fragrant infusion is a good substitute for coffee, which should be avoided during withdrawal because it “calls” for cigarettes.

  • Boil 1L of water.
  • Add a stick of liquorice and a tablespoon of dried lemongrass.
  • Leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
  • Strain and serve hot. Or put in a carafe to enjoy cold throughout the day.
2. Draining and balancing herbal tea by Claudine Luu and Annie Fournier
  • Prepare a mixture with 20 g of each of the following plants: passionflower, hawthorn, nettle, thyme, St John’s wort, liquorice, angelica, rosemary, burdock.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of this mixture for 1 litre of boiling water.
  • Leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  • Drink it warm throughout the day (1 to 1.5 litres per day).
3. Curbing cravings and quitting smoking with valerian

There are several herbs that can help you slow down your cravings for cigarettes. Here is Dr Beck’s protocol:

  • Extract of passion flower and valerian: 1 capsule of each 2 to 4 times a day for 3 to 4 months.
  • Herbal extract (EPS) of rhodiola + griffonia or St John’s wort + griffonia (ask your pharmacist for the mixture): 5 ml morning and evening for 3 to 4 months.

But the most important aspect of quitting smoking is motivation, which will greatly increase the chances of success. If you want to be accompanied, consider asking for help. Quitting alone is difficult. It is important to talk to each other in order to get a holistic view of the reasons that led to smoking.