Quitting smoking is one of the most crucial things you can do for your health. You decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, pulmonary disease and chronic infections. According to the American Cancer Society, there are over 4,000 different types of chemicals in tobacco smoke and more than 60 of them are carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents. You begin the process of detoxifying your body as soon as you quit smoking.
Eat foods that are high in antioxidants like vitamin C, such as oranges, spinach, cranberries, peppers and mangos. According to the National Institute of Health Medline Plus, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to repair the damage to your body caused by smoking. If you're not getting enough vitamin C from the foods you eat, consider taking an over-the-counter supplement.
Drink at least two liters of water per day to help purge the toxins from your system. When you smoke, you place a tremendous strain on the detoxifying organs of your body, which are mainly the lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and keeps you hydrated. Staying hydrated may help to combat nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or sweating.
Exercise outdoors in areas free of pollution. Give your lungs a chance to open up and take in fresh air. Exercising is a beneficial way to combat excess weight gain after you quit smoking and helps to cleanse your internal organs by promoting increased circulation and blood flow. Exercise also promotes the flow of lymph fluids, helping to detoxify your entire body.
Drink green tea. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea contains antioxidants that help to repair the damage caused by free radicals in cigarette smoke. Drinking green tea might even help to prevent free radical damage to your body, for example, if you're exposed to others who smoke after you quit.
Take a licorice root supplement. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, licorice root is an expectorant, which helps to break up mucus in your lungs and soothes the respiratory tract. You can take licorice root in liquid or capsule form. Licorice root is available in most drug and health food stores.
Ask your doctor before taking any herbal supplements, particularly if you have any medical conditions or take any medication.