Like exercise, healthy nutrition has been shown to help make quitting or reducing smoking easier. Eating healthy will help your body recover more quickly, give you more energy and will help you combat some of the stress of quitting or reducing.
Many women who are quitting or reducing smoking find that they are eating more food than usual. Here are some common reasons why:
- Some people find that their appetite increases when they are not smoking.
- Others eat more than usual when quitting or reducing to keep their hands and mouth busy.
- Lastly, when people stop smoking, food often smells and tastes better. This can also contribute to an increased appetite.
If you find that you are eating more than usual when you are quitting or reducing, try to eat healthy food like celery or carrot sticks, fresh fruit, unbuttered popcorn or vegetable chips. Eating healthy will also help if you are concerned about weight gain when quitting or reducing.
What foods are nutritious and healthy?
Health Canada makes the following recommendations for women’s nutrition before and during pregnancy:
- Follow Canada’s Food Guide to eat the amount and type of food that is right for you. Click here to view it online or click here to download a printable PDF version of the Guide. Here are some highlighted suggestions for women 19-50 years of age:
-Eat 7-8 servings of vegetables and fruit per day;
-6-7 servings of grain products per day;
-2 servings of milk and alternatives per day;
-and 2 servings of meat and alternatives per day.
- In Canada’s Food Guide, you will find examples of servings from each category. For instance, 1 fruit or vegetable serving could be a 1/2 cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables, 1 fruit, 1/2 a cup of chopped fruit, 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables or a 1/2 cup of juice.
- When pregnant or trying to get pregnant, take a multivitamin everyday containing 0.4 milligrams of folic acid and 16-20 milligrams of iron. Click here to learn more about folic acid.
- Eat 150 grams or more of cooked fish per week. Fish contains nutrients that are good for pregnancy such as omega-3 fats.
- Eat an extra 2-3 servings of food per day during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding.
Are there any foods I should avoid?
Some foods may pose a risk to pregnant women because of the way they are made and how they are stored. Here are some examples of food that Health Canada recommends be avoided during pregnancy:
- Cheeses made with unpasteurized milk such as brie and camembert, and blue cheeses such as gorgonzola and stilton
- Uncooked hot dogs
- Raw seafood such as sushi or oysters
- Non-dried deli meats such as turkey or bologna
- Raw or lightly cooked eggs or egg products including egg nog and uncooked batter or dough
- Raw or undercooked meat