Current and former smokers should eat fruits and veggies

By Sean Dowling, Buzz60

Smokers should reach for the fruits and veggies if they want to lower their risk of some lung diseases, but they may have to channel their inner Popeye!

That's because they need to eat five or more servings of fruits and veggies a day to lower the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

For comparison's sake, an apple is one serving of fruit and one cup of raw leafy greens counts as one serving of veggies, according to the American Heart Association.

See more on smoking:

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What a Smoker's Budget Could Purchase

The average smoker spends between $1,500 and $3,300 a year on cigarettes, depending on where they live. Here are a dozen other things you could buy for that kind of money. (Or, alternatively, you could save it for an emergency). 

A few thousand dollars will go a long way in a room remodel, which not only updates your crib but could also boost its resale value.

The world's most affordable car is the Tata Nano: Its base model retails for around $2,825. Of course, you can only get that model in India, but still -- it's a whole car for the price of a year's worth of smokes.

Buy some bling for that special someone (or for yourself). Depending on cut, color, and clarity, you can buy a ring with a .5 - .75 carat diamond.

With ticket prices starting at $1,500, you could buy an around-the-world airplane ticket. Depending on the type of ticket, you could have up to a year to stop at up to 16 airports!

OK, so you won't be able to create your own Gold's, but you could definitely spring for some good cardio and strength-training equipment. (Quitting smoking and investing the savings in your health = a doubly smart move.)

If you're gambling with money that otherwise was sure to go up in smoke, you can afford to take a few risks, and also buy for the long term to ride out the ups and downs of the market. 

For $2,640 you could buy that Monogram Denim Sunrise Blue Louis Vuitton Handbag you've been secretly coveting, or another equally fantastic bag.

Believe it or not, you can get a Vespa for $3,199. The stylish motorbikes meet worldwide environmental standards for cleaner engines, not to mention they make parallel parking a breeze.

These days, gold is selling near its all-time high -- your smoke money will only buy you a couple of ounces. Still, you can start building your hoard now.

At a starting price of $1,799, who wouldn't want an authentic Fender?

Imagine having your own little getaway spot on your balcony, deck or in your own backyard. Prices start at about $2,800.

Priceless!

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Problem is, most of us don't get the recommended amount of veggies, according to the Huffington Post.

It's a bigger problem if you're a current or former smoker because the greens will do good for your lungs, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at more than 44,000 Swedish men, ages 45 to 79 for over 13 years.

Nearly two-thirds smoked at some point.

Roughly one in four were current smokers.

The men jotted down what they ate.

As the study went on, just over 1,900 new cases of COPD popped up.

In the end, fruits and veggies helped current smokers a little more than those who had already quit.

However, it did help both groups.

On the other hand, there were no benefits for non-smokers.

Researchers think the antioxidants in fruits and veggies curb the harmful effects of smoking.

COPD was one of the leading causes of death in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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