Smoking stinks! An estimated 37.8 million adults in the US currently smoke cigarettes and more than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Smoking is also a killer, contributing to 80% and 90% of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. Smoking is a hard habit to kick, but fear not, in addition to many successful smoking cessation products and programs out there, you can quit the good ole’ fashion way—with sunflower seeds! Research shows that carrying shelled sunflower seeds are particularly good for people trying to wean themselves from cigarettes, and here’s why.
Sunflower seeds contain compounds, particular several B vitamins and magnesium, that can mimic the relaxing sensation of nicotine. Magnesium naturally calms the nerves, soothes muscles, and can elevate mood and help you sleep. So, while a cigarette might make you feel the same way, just a handful of sunflower seeds can have the same effect, and it’s better for you!
IT TAKES TIME
Many people enjoy the ritual of smoking—buying a pack, lighting the cigarette, and sitting back. Sunflower seeds can offer a similar routine. Think about it: Grab a few crunchy seeds, pop one in your mouth, crack it open, and enjoy the salty kernel inside! It is repetitive, relaxing, and can be done anywhere you would light up. It also satisfies a similar oral fixation that smoking a cigarette does.
TRASH THE PACK AND REPAIR WITH THESE POWERHOUSES
It’s no secret that cigarettes can wreak havoc on the body. Once you’ve decided to trash your pack, replacing the smokes with seeds can work to repair some of the damage. Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cell membranes, brain cells, and lowers the risk for chronic diseases and some cancers. They are also chock full of iron, which helps transport oxygen from the lungs throughout the body.
So, the next time you feel the urge to smoke, grab a handful of South 40’s simply roasted and salted sunflower seeds, and kick your habit in the butt for good.