Nutritional Needs of Smokers

by MediBubbler Team May 15, 2016

Nutritional Needs of Smokers


Smoking influences the body in many ways and increases your metabolic rate.  If you are making your body work harder, it's going to need some extra attention.  Don't forget to focus on any additional vitamins and minerals that you might need due to smoking.  

According to the University of California at Berkeley, smokers can improve their vitamin levels by eating more foods containing vitamins C, D, and E.   

Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Smokers need several times more vitamin C than non smokers because the effectiveness of that vitamin is decreased by nicotine, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.  Some foods rich in Vitamin C include red and green peppers, kale, broccoli, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, cauliflower, mango, chili peppers, etc. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat light and air, eat these foods raw or only lightly cooked.  Most adults need about 90 mg per day and smokers should aim for at least 125 mg a day.  Vitamin C is water soluble so that means that your body will not store any extra in your fat cells.  This also means you don't need to worry about an overdose and that's why you need Vitamin C daily.  

A cup of chopped red bell peppers contains 190 mg of Vitamin C.

One cup of brussel sprouts: 96 mg of Vitamin C.

One cup of raw strawberries: 85 mg of Vitamin C.  

Foods Rich in Vitamin D and Calcium 

Smoking has adverse effects on calcium metabolism and Vitamin D levels.  Smokers need foods like broccoli, kale, edamame, figs, oranges, and some may prefer dairy sources of calcium and vitamin D.  

The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults 19 years old and older should get 1,000 mg of calcium per day with an upper limit of 2,000 mg.  If you are a smoker, aim for the higher number please and your body will thank you for it.  

One cup of raw kale has 90 mg calcium.  

One cup of edamame has 97 mg of calcium

The Vitamin D Council (go figure) recommends that healthy adults take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily (more if they get little or no sun exposure).  Some great sources of Vitamin D include; sunlight, fatty fish, fortified milk, egg yolk, and supplements.  


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MediBubbler Team
MediBubbler Team