Nutritional Supplements to Take After Quitting Smoking

nutritional supplements

There are certain nutritional supplements to take after quitting smoking that I always highly recommend to all clients of the Geoff Anthony Stop Smoking Clinic.

For your convenience I’m dividing this article into two versions.

The ‘short version’ will enable you to follow my recommendations straight away – and the ‘longer version’ will give you the information in much greater detail.

I would definitely encourage you to read through the entire article as it will be of immense benefit to you, especially coming off the poisons of cigarette smoke!

As one who has been involved with nutrition for many years now, I should remind you that it is always better to get your nutrition from food.

However, many nutrients and essential vitamins are miserably depleted in the body when replaced by nicotine through cigarette smoking.

Therefore smokers tend to have lower vitamin levels in their bodies.

At every Geoff Anthony Stop Smoking Clinic I always strongly recommend my clients supplement their food for a few months with at least two supplements – 1. Vitamin C and 2. Vitamin B Complex.

These are freely available in all good health food stores.

(The Short Version)


Since oxidants in cigarette smoke increase the metabolism of the vitamin – smokers have less Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant vitamin. It is a nutrient that effectively helps counter the free radical cellular damage and oxidation of tissues caused by cigarette smoke.

It helps prevent and clean up the cellular damage from smoking.

Some of the best food sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits, cantaloupe, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and red peppers. (see below for a more comprehensive list)


Vitamin B vitamins have a major role in the central nervous system.

It is a major stress-reducing vitamin.

So to ensure smooth function of the nervous system, keeping energy levels up, and reducing stress – the B Vitamins are essential!

Some oft he best food sources of Vitamin B include potatoes, nuts, seeds, bananas, whole grains, dairy products, red meat, lamb’s liver, eggs, and fish. (see below for a more comprehensive list)

So my recommendation to all clients who stop smoking after attending my Easy Quit-Smoking Programme are as follows:

  1. 1000mg. Controlled-release Vitamin C tablets. (take 1-2 per day – they are perfectly safe.)
  2. Vitamin B complex, which should contain B6 and B12.
  • The Vitamin C will bolster your immune system, clean up your system, and help repair the cellular damage done though cigarette smoking.
  • The Vitamin B Complex will have a major stress reducing effect.

(The Longer Version)


Smoking depletes Vitamin C in the body.

Smoking just one cigarette uses up approximately 25mg of vitamin C!

Smoking many cigarettes a day will use up any vitamin C which you get from your meals, causing the body to function in short supply of Vitamin C.

Even moderate smokers are short on their vitamin C levels in the body.

It is advised to supplement with Vitamin C when you quit smoking, as Vitamin C will provide a lot of support to the body at this time.

Vitamin C boosts the immune system and keeps the body strong and energised.

Vitamin C also builds healthy tissues and helps restore function to blood vessels which have been damaged by years of smoking.

By taking Vitamin C the body can eliminate nicotine and other toxins the body has accumulated due to cigarette smoking.

Cigarette Smoking and Vitamin Depletion

Smokers dramatically lose vitamin C from the bloodstream.

Cigarette smoking speeds up the production of free radicals, and at the same time, depletes levels of important antioxidants in the body.

Not a good situation for smokers, who especially need the health benefits of antioxidants.

Cigarette smoke is a toxic blend of poisons and cancer-causing chemicals that put virtually every internal organ at risk when we smoke.

It creates an abundance of free radicals that can cause cellular damage and deplete essential vitamins and minerals in our bodies.

Cigarette Smoking and Free Radicals

Free radicals are atoms or molecules that have an odd number of electrons.

This makes them unstable, and they travel around the body looking for an electron to grab from other molecules so that they can stabilise.

This causes a chain reaction of damage, and can wreak havoc on healthy tissue and even DNA.


The body’s defence system uses antioxidants to combat the damage caused by free radicals.

Antioxidants are molecules that are able to donate electrons to free radicals without losing their own molecular integrity.

In this way, they are able to slow the destructive impact that free radicals have on the body.

Science has identified upwards of 4,000 antioxidants, some of which are produced in the human body naturally. Others come from the foods we eat.

Vitamin C is such an important antioxidant. It helps fight off inflammation and toxins in the body and is critical for a healthy immune system.

Vitamin C is needed to make collagen, a protein responsible for growing and repairing cells in our bodies that produce everything from skin to muscle, ligaments and blood vessels.

Since our body doesn’t produce it or store it, we must get it daily from the foods we eat.– vitamin C is essentially the most important vitamin you’ll ever consume for overall good health.

Vitamin C can help prevent, lessen, and even reverse degenerative health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

If taken in large enough dosages – it offers protection against colds and flu and can eliminate the threat of every virus known to man

One of the most important health tips you’ll ever receive, would be to consume vitamin C, on a daily basis.

Generally speaking, most people would benefit from 1 to 2 grams of vitamin C (daily) – but those suffering from serious health conditions may require substantially more. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for best results.

Naturally, choosing the right foods to consume each day will go a long way to keeping you healthy and strong.

Vitamin C can be found in all fruits and vegetables.

Let’s take a closer look at the more common and best sources of vitamin C – some of them may surprise you.

Foods That Are High In Vitamin C

1. Red and green hot chilli peppers.

While you might not be able to chilli tolerate eating one on its own, both red and green hot chilli peppers are also among the absolute best sources of vitamin C.

2. Red Pepper.

Using red peppers is a great way to jazz up your salad. A half cup of red sweet peppers offer 142 mg of vitamin C. If you cook them, the level gets reduced a little, but it’s still impressive.

Green peppers are lower in vitamin C, as they have about 60 mg in a half cup.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo found that capsaicin, the compound that makes chilli peppers hot, may help relieve joint and muscle pain.

3. Acerola cherry.

Uncommon to many people, it’s a tiny fruit that has about 65 times as much vitamin C as an orange.

This fruit is available in powder, supplements and also as a frozen berry that you can add into shakes and smoothies.

4. Kiwis.

Kiwis have about 70 mg of vitamin C, so it also easily tops the orange.

A little known fact, when you eat a kiwi, you’ll also receive as much potassium as you would from a banana!

Kiwis are also rich in copper.

5. Mango.

Taste the tropics for a 122.3 mg boost of vitamin C. Mango is also a great source of vitamin A, which like vitamin C plays a key role in immunity and additionally keeps your eyes healthy.

6. Papaya.

Research shows that eating papaya can help clear your sinuses, brighten your skin, and strengthen your bones.

A one-cup serving delivers 88.3 mg of vitamin C.

7. Oranges.

Oranges aren’t at the tip-top of the list of the best sources of vitamin C, but they still offer a substantial amount.

One orange or a 3/4 cup of juice has about 70 mg.

Orange zest is also packed with Vitamin C, so don’t just throw away this amazing part of the fruit. It’s amazing when added to soups or salads.

8. Pineapple.

In addition to 78.9 mg of vitamin C, pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food and reduce bloating. Bromelain also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory that can help you recover faster after a tough workout.

9. Strawberries.

Strawberries have about 50 mg of vitamin C per ½ cup. You’ll also get a high amount of fibre and antioxidants with this fruit or just about any other whole fruit or vegetable.

10. Melon.

From cantaloupe and honeydew to watermelons, they are a delicious way to boost up your vitamin C intake. One cup of cantaloupe has about 67 mg of Vitamin C.

11. Leafy Greens.

Leafy greens such as kale and mustard greens, are quite high in vitamin C. For example, just one serving of raw kale provides 120 mg.

12. Cruciferous Vegetables.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower are great additions to a vitamin C rich diet.

You can get 89 mg in a serving of broccoli, and 75 mg per cup of brussels sprouts.

Just don’t overcook the vegetables or you’ll lose the nutritional value.

13. Sweet and White Potatoes.

Potatoes are just bursting with an assortment of Vitamins and Minerals. They provide an excellent source of Vitamin C.

To gain optimum nutrition from your potato be sure not to boil them in too much water and serve with their skins on where possible.

Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate.   The majority of carbohydrates in potatoes are complex carbohydrates, your body’s main energy source.

Only about 20% of the potato’s nutrition is found in the skin.  In fact, most of the vitamin C and potassium are found in the potato’s flesh, but that good for-you fiber is found in the skin.  That’s why it’s best to enjoy every part of the spud.

To gain optimum nutrition from your potato be sure not to boil them in too much water and serve with their skins on where possible.


People reach for vitamin C during the winter when they are facing a cold or flu. However, it really makes sense to get enough vitamin C all year long, as it strengthens the immune system, helps to maintain healthy tissue and cellular function.

Consuming these delicious natural sources of vitamin C daily will improve your iron absorption rates, protect your cells from free radical damage and lower your cancer risk in the process. What’s not to love?


Vitamin B complex is a big family of diverse vitamins with a specific number attached to it.

Each vitamin belonging to this family has its own behaviour, action and function but they are clubbed together to form a complete solution to all the body requirements.

B vitamins help to regulate and calm the nervous system, while reducing stress and fatigue.

Your body uses more B vitamins when you are under stress and smoking depletes the body of B vitamins, so it is important to start taking B vitamins after you quit smoking.

Each B vitamin has different benefits for the body and the mind.

There are 8 vitamins in the B group. Each vitamin plays a slightly different role in promoting good health.

Below, each B vitamin is addressed individually with it’s functions that are most relative after quitting smoking.

You may feel that a few B vitamins are more useful than others, but it is advised to take the B vitamins together because they work in synergy with each other.

• Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Helps regulate the nervous system and stabilise mood. A lack of B1 can result in irritability, depression, fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Important for the production of healthy red blood cells which transport oxygen throughout the body. More oxygen reaching the brain means a greater capacity to stay alert.

• Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Also called nicotinic acid, B3 is chemically similar to nicotine. It also helps to dilate blood vessels and improve circulation – the opposite of nicotine which causes blood vessels to constrict.

• Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Helps to protect from the effects of stress and is important for proper adrenal function. B5 is also necessary for a healthy metabolism.

• Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Helps synthesise the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin and regulate the nervous system.

Important for the control of mood swings, irritability anxiety and depression.

• Vitamin B7 (Biotin): Essential for the breaking down of dietary fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. Biotin also helps the body get rid of toxins.

• Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid): Folic Acid is important for proper functioning of the nervous system. It also reduces the effects of nicotine on the lungs and protects from cell damage which may lead to cancer.

• B12 (Cobalmin): Vital for maintaining energy levels in the body. Also helps to decrease cellular damage.

Vitamin B Complex Foods

Vitamin B complex is made up of 8 water soluble vitamins that take care of several functions in the body.

A deficiency in any of these 8 vitamins that make up Vitamin B complex can cause serious health problems. It is for this reason that one should include vitamin B complex foods in one’s diet.

Here is a list of vitamin B complex foods:

(B1)  Pork; berries; legumes; lean meats; nuts; whole wheat bread; soy milk.

(B2)  Eggs; dark green vegetables; fish; grains; lean meat; mushrooms; almonds; sesame seeds; oysters; clams; squid; mussels; goat cheese; spinach or beet greens.

(B3)  Sunflower seeds; peanuts; mackerel; salmon; halibut; tuna; poultry; potato; cottage cheese; liver; mushrooms.

(B5)  Sunflower seeds; organ meats; avocados; broccoli; mushrooms; trout and salmon; avocados; eggs; red meat; chicken; sweet potatoes.

(B6)  Green beans; whole grains; spinach; fish; bananas.

(B7)  Soy products; egg yolks; fish; organ meats like liver; cheese; sweet potatoes; leafy greens like spinach or swiss chard; carrots; almonds; eggs; milk; whole wheat bread; strawberries and raspberries.

(B9)  Green leafy vegetables; citrus juice; legumes; tofu; tomato juice; lentils; spinach and turnip greens; asparagus; romaine lettuce; broccoli; pomegranate; wheat bread.

(B12)  Milk; fish; fortified breakfast cereal; eggs; shellfish; swiss cheese.

Vitamin B Complex Deficiency

Deficiencies of any of the 8 vitamins that make up vitamin B complex causes several health problems and give rise to symptoms depending on the problems.

These health problems include beriberi, amnesia, emotional disturbances, memory loss, high blood pressure, dermatitis, mental confusion, pellagra, inflammation of the tongue and so on.

A deficiency of folic acid or B9 during pregnancy can lead to premature births, birth defects, miscarriages, depression among other problems.

Nervous systems disorders may result due to a deficiency in vitamin B12, as this vitamin maintains the health of the nervous system.

Migraine, insomnia, irritability are some of the symptoms one may exhibit when there is less Vitamin B6 being ingested.

Vitamin B Complex Helps Relieve Stress

There are many causes of stress and stress can cause many problems like depression, heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal distress and so on.

Vitamin B complex can help combat stress.

It is also believed that a deficiency of Vitamin B leads to certain stress related symptoms like anxiety and depression.

Keep in mind that vitamin B complex is made up of 8 water soluble vitamins. Vitamin B 5 or pantothenic acid plays an important role in alleviating stress. It is essential to the manufacture of stress related hormones which are produced in the adrenal glands.

Research has shown that B complex vitamins can help to restore the adrenal glands from stress. The Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 are helpful in dealing with physical stress.

If you have attended the Geoff Anthony Stop Smoking Clinic, a wonderful, healthy, smoke-free life is ahead of you!

I now encourage you to get your body into the best health of it’s life!

As I say – “It’s good to feel good!”

*If you suffer from any serious medical problems or if you are pregnant, please consult with your doctor.

About the Author

My name is Geoff Anthony. As a leading expert in Smoking Cessation and Behavioural Modification, I have had the privilege of empowering literally thousands of smokers around the world to become happy and confident non-smokers!