The Checkup: Is an Apple Better than Nicorette for Curbing Smoking?
• If you’re trying to kick your smoking habit (my lungs thank you), here’s something to try: boost your intake of fruits and veggies. A new study found that smokers who eat lots of fruits and veggies are more successful when they try to quit smoking than those who don’t. Researchers surveyed 1,000 smokers ages 25 and up about their smoking habits, then followed up 14 months later. At the follow up, they asked if the smokers had abstained from tobacco use for the past month. They found that the smokers who reported eating the most fruits and veggies were also three times (!) more likely to be smoke-free for at least the past month. And ones with higher fruit and veggie intake also smoked fewer cigarettes per day, waited longer to smoke their first butt of the day, and were less nicotine dependent. Why? Researchers don’t know for certain (this was just an observational study, after all), but it might have to do with all that extra fiber, which makes a person feel fuller longer. Apparently, some smokers misconstrue hunger pangs for the urge to smoke, so if smokers are less hungry they might smoke less. Another theory: That unlike meat and caffeine, which enhance the flavor of tobacco, fruits and vegetables do the opposite, actually making it less desirable. Interesting, right? Read more over here.
• I considered leading with this story, but I didn’t want to be responsible for any projectile, computer-frying vomit that might result from viewing the picture. The Huffington Post reports on a Thai artist who bakes and paints bread to look like human body parts—dead human body parts to be precise. He’s good, too: these loaves are extremely shudder-worthy. Click over to the photos if you dare (but consider yourself warned).
• Ahh, online commenters—a wellspring of entertainment for many a blogger. NPR did us a duty by compiling a list of the best comments it received on a recent post about the Paleo diet, some for, some against. What are your thoughts on the caveman-like eating habits it prescribes?