Nicotine in any form is a highly addictive substance found in tobacco. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people are addicted to nicotine than any other drug, which may be as addictive as alcohol, cocaine, or heroin. Withdrawal symptoms, weight gain, and stress are the three main reasons people “light up” again and again.
Some people who smoke or dip chewing tobacco find it easier to quit than others, but anyone can stop using nicotine given the proper advice and guidance. Nobody should be disillusioned: abstaining from nicotine is difficult, and often requires numerous attempts. But it can be done.
Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to quit nicotine naturally. It is also entirely feasible to detoxify the substance naturally, which is the focus of this article.
Tobacco smoke contains a deadly mix of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer. Smoking increases the risk for serious health problems, many diseases, and death. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Here are ways to naturally detoxify the body of nicotine:
Here are some tips on starting a nicotine detox from Recovery.org.
1. Drink water. Lots of it.
Purified water is, without a doubt, the most powerful way to flush toxins from the body. Water also consists of properties that seem to reduce nicotine cravings for many; unlike alcohol or nicotine, which often stimulates nicotine cravings.
Consuming at least a half gallon of water every day is not only effective at flushing toxins, but it also provides the necessary energy to enable one to quit. A good idea is to purchase a large water bottle and keep it filled. Bring the bottle with you wherever you go, and you’ll naturally find yourself reaching for some H2O.
2. Change your diet.
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help the body naturally rid itself of nicotine toxins. Also, consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables may ward off the weight gain that often occurs after quitting.
Broccoli and spinach are both “superfoods” (nutrient-dense foods) high in folic acid, and vitamins C and B5. The former is depleted by nicotine use, and replenishment of this vital nutrient can ward off cravings. The latter strengthens the immune system, aiding in the detoxification process.
3. Exercise to distract you from nicotine cravings.
Get your body moving. Do something, anything for at least thirty minutes a day that requires some physical exertion. Exercise, of course, causes the body to sweat which expeditiously detoxifies the body. Also, physical activity helps some people deal with the stress and agitation that often accompanies someone trying to quit nicotine. Finally, exercise serves as a great alternative when experiencing cravings.
Perhaps just as important, exercise invokes the release of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain. This effect often leads to being “addicted” to exercise – a much healthier alternative than nicotine.
4. Keep your mind occupied as you quit nicotine.
Here’s the thing: by not smoking – and, ideally, following the above-mentioned advice – your body will naturally detoxify and heal itself from past nicotine use.
But the truth is that you’ll still experience cravings, and some of these episodes can be rather intense. Keeping your mind busy via work or play (preferably the latter) will help suppress some of the inevitable impulses to drink or dip tobacco.
When a craving is present, delve into the task at hand. During your free time, open up an app you enjoy on your phone, or challenge your brain with some fun activity. Distraction works wonders on cravings, and your body will continue to naturally detoxify.
5. Practice mindfulness or meditation (or both)
Mindfulness is just experiencing thoughts as they arise without judgment; as a sort of distant observer. You needn’t dwell on thoughts that make you want to head to the corner store for a pack. Acknowledge the thought (craving), but don’t interact or overthink it. These feelings will fade, and your body will continue to detoxify and heal itself naturally.
Various types of meditation exist – transcendental meditation (TM), mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), focused attention meditation, Zen meditation, etc., that are powerful mind and body practices. Fifteen to twenty minutes a day (minimum) is all you need to reap the benefits of meditation; which, in this case, will optimize your body and mind to detox from nicotine.