Will power alone is usually not enough to beat the daily (and nightly) cravings of any addiction and the addiction to nicotine is no exception. Some people use nicotine patches while reducing the amount they smoke to try to reduce the urge to smoke. For some this works, but the fact remains that they are still using the substance. Others try to quit “cold turkey" and either rebound disasterously and get discouraged or they find themselves stopping and starting for years on end. Some people use the ten step program. Although this program is a good strategy, in that you utilize an accountablility friend so that you don’t go it alone, the most important part of it is the strength of your desire to stop smoking. With the best of self will in the world, your desire to quit does not address the physical urges to smoke which is nothing less than chemical warfare in the brain. There is a way using the correct balance of nutrients, to help hold off the urges to smoke without resorting to nicotine in patch or cigarette form.
This is not a cure for addiction but a natural way to reduce the psycho-physiological urges which, with a strong desire and an accountablility friend will help you to stop for good. We still need to reduce the triggers to the undesirable action as much as we possibly can. These would include reducing stress, increasing exercise, and staying away from smokers, at least for a while.
Here is what you need from food sources. I have included the doses in case you get these from supplement sources. Make sure any supplements are extracted and concentrated from real food. Not all supplements are the same. If you have any questions regarding supplements, please do not hesitate to email me.
Beta-Carotene (15,000 IU) *IU refers to International Units which is the measurement used often in nutritional supplementation.
Found in: Best found in Red Meat and in good supplements.
Folic Acid (400mcg per day)
Found in: Pinto beans, broccoli, brown rice, chicken, milk, okra, and whole grains.
Vitamin A (10,000 IU per day)
Found in: Raw carrots, pumpkin, yams, tuna fish, spinach, and eggs.
Vitamin B complex (100mg two to three times per day)
Found in: Fish, most meats, and spinach. Best found in good nutrition supplements.
Vitamin B12 (1,000 IU three to four times per day)
Found in: Clams, ham, tuna fish, salmon, lean beef, and blue cheese.
Vitamin C (5,000 – 20,000mg per day)
Found in Broccoli, Oranges, stawberries, and mangos.
Vitamin E (200 IU per day, increase by 200 IU per month up to 1,200 IU per day. Return to 200 IU per day if higher levels are not tolerated by your body. The things to look for if your body cannot tollerate higher doses of Vitamin E include but are not limmited to: stomach upset, dizziness, and diarrhea.)
Found in Vegetable and nut oils (including soybean) corn, spinach, while grains, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds.
Zinc (50-80mg per day)
Found in: beef, lamb, whole grains, eggs, yogut, liver, sardines, and sunflower seeds.
I do not know if this helps with all addictions, it may well do. But many smokers have benefitted from this in their quest to kick the habit right out of their lives forever. Good luck!
By Fr Richard Heilman