ANEMIA.JPG

ANEMIA

FOODS THAT HARM

Iron supplements, unless prescribed by a physician

FOODS THAT HEAL

  • Organ meats
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Egg yolks
  • Soy
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Iron-enriched breads and cereals
  • Citrus fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Red peppers

    FOODS TO LIMIT

  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Swiss chard
  • Chocolate
  • Bran
  • Nuts
  • Tea

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • Older adults and the elderly
  • People with intestinal disorders that affect nutrient absorption
  • Surgery patients
  • Women of childbearing age
  • Women with heavy menstrual periods
  • Endurance athletes
  • Alcoholics
  • Those on very restricted vegetarian diets Anemia is the umbrella term for a variety of disorders characterized by the inability of red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen
    This may be due to an abnormality of a low level of hemoglobin, the iron-and protein-based red pigment in blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to all body cells
    Symptoms of anemia, therefore, reflect oxygen starvation
    In mild anemia, this may include general weakness, pallor, fatigue, and brittle nails
    Severe cases are marked by shortness of breath, fainting, and cardiac arrhythmias
    In North America, the most common type of anemia is due to iron deficiency, which is usually caused by blood loss of some type
    Other types of anemia exist
    Hemolytic anemia occurs when red blood cells are destroyed more rapidly than normal
    Pernicious, or megaloblastic, anemia is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is necessary to make red blood cells
    Relatively rare types of anemia include thalassemia, an inherited disorder, and aplastic anemia, which may be caused by infection, exposure to toxic chemicals or radiation, or a genetic disorder

    Nutrition Connection

    The human body recycles iron to make new red blood cells
    Because the body absorbs only a small percentage of dietary iron, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) calls for consuming more iron than the amount lost: 8 mg per day for men and postmenopausal women, 18 mg for women under 50, and 27 mg for pregnant women
    Here are some general dietary recommendations to boost iron levels
    Consume as much iron from foods as possible
    The best sources of iron are animal products— meat, fish, poultry, and egg yolks
    The body absorbs much more of the heme iron found in these foods than the nonheme iron from plant sources, such as green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, soy and other legumes, and iron-enriched breads and cereals
    Boost iron absorption by eating vitamin C–rich foods, especially if you’re vegetarian
    Plant sources of iron are poorly absorbed by the body
    Adding a vitamin C–rich food, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, or red pepper, to a plant-based meal can enhance absorption of nonheme iron
    If you’re over 50, get your B12
    Up to one-third of older adults produce inadequate amounts of stomach acid and can no longer properly absorb B12 from food
    People over 50 may have to meet their needs by consuming foods rich in B12, such as meats and egg yolks, or by taking a supplement containing B12
    Avoid drinking tea during meals
    Tea contains natural compounds called tannins, which bind with iron and make it unavailable for absorption
    Drink tea between meals to enjoy its

    Health Benefits


    Watch for foods that prevent absorption of iron
    Oxalates found in spinach, rhubarb, Swiss chard, and chocolate as well as phytates in nuts and bran cereal can prevent the body from using iron
    Avoid iron supplements, unless directed by a physician
    Unless you have had a blood test that confirms iron deficiency, excess iron can be dangerous

    Beyond the Diet

    In addition to dietary measures, you can add iron to your diet by cooking with iron pots
    Ironware may discolor food, but taste is unaffected
    ANOREXIA NERVOSA

    FOODS THAT HEAL

    Eggs Milk and other dairy foods Meat, fish, and poultry Whole grains Calorie-enriched liquid supplements Multivitamin supplements, if approved by a doctor

    FOODS TO LIMIT

    Low-calorie diet foods and soft drinks Foods that have diuretic or laxative effect

    WHO’S AFFECTED

  • Between 2 and 6% of North Americans
  • 1 in 200 women in the U
    S
  • Adolescents—the average age of onset is 19, and 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
    8
  • About 10% of anorexia sufferers are men The self-starvation that is a hallmark of anorexia nervosa is caused by a complex psychiatric disorder that afflicts mostly adolescent or young adult females
    The cause of anorexia is unknown
    Researchers believe that a combination of hormonal, social, and psychological factors are responsible
    The disease often begins in adolescence, a time of tremendous hormonal and psychological change
    The behavior is marked by obsessive or strict dieting and exercise, preoccupation with food, and self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives
    As the disease progresses, menstruation ceases and nutritional deficiencies develop
    Physical indications of anorexia include fatigue, nervousness or hyperactivity, dry skin, hair loss, and intolerance to cold
    More serious consequences include cardiac arrhythmias, loss of bone mass, kidney failure, and in about 5 to 10% of cases, death in the first 10 years of contracting the disease
    Anorexia often requires intensive long-term treatment, preferably by a team experienced with eating disorders: a doctor to treat starvation-induced medical problems, a psychiatrist, and a dietitian
    Family members can also benefit from counseling

    Nutrition Connection

    The biggest hurdle for someone with anorexia is to overcome an abnormal fear of food and a distorted self-image of being fat
    To that end, these are the steps to achieving a stable weight: Think small, then gradually increase food intake
    In the beginning, small portions of nutritious and easily digestible foods are best
    Portion sizes and the variety of foods are increased gradually to achieve a steady weight gain
    Replace lost nutrition
    A doctor or a dietitian can help formulate a balanced, varied diet that provides adequate protein for rebuilding lost lean tissue, complex carbohydrates for energy, and a moderate amount of fat for extra calories
    Good foods include eggs, milk and other dairy products, meat, fish, poultry, and whole grains
    Extra calcium and multivitamins may also be given
    Monitor food intake closely
    Relapses are common and close monitoring may be necessary to ensure that the person with anorexia is really eating
    But avoid making food a constant source of attention and conflict

    Beyond the Diet

    Seek support
    Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, or family therapy can help
    Support groups can also aid in treatment
    Consider medication
    Doctors may prescribe antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers as part of a treatment program

    QUICK TIP:

    Have a lemon drop before a meal Sour foods increase saliva flow, which helps stimulate appetite