Nutrition to support smoking cessation

In January many of us make positive lifestyle changes, with quitting cigarettes being one of the top New Year’s resolutions. This is brilliant news with more than 5,200 lives lost to tobacco related illness each year in Ireland. We are now over halfway through the year, have you still stuck to your resolution or have you, like many, found the temptation too hard and abandoned your efforts?

The good news, according to nutritional therapist and CNM graduate Tara Zuluaga Dorgan, is that many of the attractive effects of nicotine are due to its effect on the adrenal hormones, blood sugar, and brain chemistry. With some simple dietary changes you can support your body and mind and reduce those unwanted cravings and side-effects.

Here are Tara Zuluaga Dorgan’s nutrition tips to help quit for good.

1 ) Go stimulant-free: Eliminate stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and foods containing sugar.

2 ) Eat small meals frequently: This gives the body a constant supply of energy, avoiding wide swings in blood sugar levels and mood.

3 ) Choose slow-releasing carbohydrates: Non-starchy vegetables such as kale, cucumber, and broccoli, and whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Avoid white breads, rice, pasta, and all processed foods.

4 ) Eat protein-rich foods with every snack and meal: This includes meats, eggs, wild-caught fish, legumes, nuts, and seeds.  Choose local and organic where possible.

5 ) Boost the body’s ability to detox: Increase the intake of dark leafy greens, and brightly coloured fruits and vegetables containing important phytonutrients.

6 ) Eat a nutrient rich diet: Cigarettes diminish the nutrients we need to maintain positive brain chemistry and remove toxins. Variety and quality is important. Aim for seven to 10 servings of vegetables and two or three fruits each day.

7 ) Stay hydrated: Drink a minimum of two litres of water per day.

Join the College of Naturopathic Medicine on August 19 in Galway Business School, Salthill, at 7pm to find out how you could train at CNM Galway for an exciting new career in naturopathic nutrition. Reserve your free place online at


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