After smoking a cigarette, the nicotine circulates in the bloodstream and creates a kind of high. It takes about 6 – 8 hours to remove the nicotine from a single cigarette out of the body. Most of that nicotine gets eliminated through the urine. Most of the stored nicotine takes 48-72 hours to be metabolized and leave the body. The nicotine by-product cotinine can continue to circulate in the bloodstream for 20-30 days.
The best known substance for removing nicotine from the bloodstream is Vitamin C. It increases your metabolism and creates white blood cells. Eating fruits and vegetables can also help your body flush nicotine – they’re good for the health, they contain water and can make cigarettes taste less appealing.
And research has shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can help you stay tobacco-free for longer. The University of Buffalo published a study in which public health researchers, authors from UB’s School of Public Health and Health professions surveyed 1,000 smokers aged 25 and older. After 14 months, the authors did a follow up with the participants to see if they stayed tobacco-free during the previous month.
They found that the participants who consumed more fruits and vegetables were 3 times more likely to abstain from tobacco for at least 30 days than the participants who consumed smaller amounts of fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, those who consumed more fruits and vegetables smoked less per day, waited longer before having their first cigarette, and had better scores on a nicotine-dependent test.
Here are some reasons why an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables can help people quit smoking:
- They reduce nicotine dependence.
- Their content of fiber makes people feel fuller – it is known that smokers sometimes confuse hunger with smoking urges.
- Meats, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages may enhance the taste of tobacco. However, fruits and vegetables don’t enhance it and may even worsen its taste.
- Living a healthier lifestyle could consciously or subconsciously cause smokers to make a shift from an unhealthy lifestyle that involves smoking.
Foods That Naturally Flush Out Nicotine
You should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated because nicotine dehydrates the body. Drinking lots of water will help your body sweat and therefore flush out the nicotine.
Nettle is rich in iron and is great for destroying bacteria and fighting infection.
Celery, zucchinis, egg-plants, beans, and cucumbers can all affect the taste of cigarettes and decrease nicotine dependence. However, avoid eating a lot of sweet vegetables that are high in sugar, because an increased amount of glucose activates the areas of the brain that are responsible for pleasure and satisfaction and can therefore stimulate cravings.
- Pine needle tea
Pine needle tea has been used in traditional medicine as a disinfectant of the mouth and throat, but it can also be helpful for maintaining lung health.
Oranges contain high levels of vitamin C and you should eat them regularly in order to replace the vitamin C in your body that is reduced by smoking. Oranges will boost your metabolism to flush the nicotine faster and reduce stress.
- Kiwi fruit
Kiwi can help you eliminate nicotine from your body and it will replenish the vitamins A, C and E that are reduced by smoking.
- Carrot juice
Carrot juice contains vitamins A, B, C and K that will help you eliminate the nicotine from your body. Nicotine damages your skin, and carrot juice is rich in vitamins that are good for the skin.
Broccoli contains high levels of vitamins B5 and C. Eating broccoli will help you replenish vitamin C and keep your metabolism high. It also contains a substance that can protect the lungs from toxin-related damage.
Spinach is rich in vitamins and folic acid, which are good for your body and especially good in worsening the taste of tobacco.