All the signs suggest that anorexia nervosa – which is epidemic throughout the Western world today-is yet another disease of our civilization. It is a prime example of psychosomatic illness: stress aggravated by poor nutrition, in turn producing yet more stress. One consequence of the poor-quality nutrition that is so often a feature of these cases can be severely lowered levels of zinc.
The body’s reserves of zinc are also depleted by stress, adolescent development, and vigorous physical exercise. Also, often characteristic of anorexics – as well as by smoking, and by high intakes of tea and coffee. Zinc deficiencies are common in the Western diet. Its refined foods and the slimming diets which trigger the problem for so many anorexics make matters worse still.
The classic symptom of a deficiency in this vital nutrient is anorexia or loss of appetite, together with a reduced sense of taste. Professor Bryce-Smith of Reading University hypothesized some years ago that zinc deficiency might, therefore, be an important factor in some cases of anorexia nervosa.
In a high percentage of cases, anorexics given regular doses of zinc not only regained. With their appetite and sense of taste, they also lost the distorted mental perception of themselves as fat. Zinc supplementation kits for deficiency testing and treatment are now widely available.
The long-term answer for this Anorexia Nervosa problem, however, must be in a greatly improved diet, in which zinc is stressed, which is also rich in B-complex vitamins, and in vitamin C which aids zinc absorption. A zinc-rich diet should also be used as prevention for teenagers just showing the early symptoms of this disease.
These are listed in descending order of zinc content. The figures given here are for average zinc content – the actual zinc content of a steak or piece of crabmeat may vary wildly, from near-zero to very high.
2. Shellfish. Fresh oysters are the most zinc-rich food with an average of 450mg per kilo. But heavy metal contamination – lead or cadmium – may outweigh this advantage, whelks, winkles, crab, clams, shrimps, cockles, mussels. Wheatgerm, All the wholegrain, cereals, Cheese, and fresh cream.
3. Muscle meats. Lean beef, the dark, meat of chicken, liver – particularly calf’s and oxtail.
4. All nuts. Especially Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
5. Fish. Especially canned sardines, pilchards, herring roe, cod, mackerel
BREAD AND FLOUR
HERBS AND SPICES
ALL REFINED FOODS
There is no point in planning menus or cooking elaborate meals for anorexics. In principle, they should be encouraged to eat the Superfoods. In practice, it’s vital that they eat anything rather than nothing. The anorexic, like the alcoholic, becomes devious and dishonest. They will eat if enough pressure is put on them, and then either make themselves sick or consume dangerously high quantities of laxatives which further deplete their mineral reserves.
They have endless excuses for not dating: they lie – “I just ate with a friend”, or “I had a meal before you came home”, or “I grabbed a sandwich at work”, or “I’m busy now, I’ll eat later”, Since emotional pressures are frequently at the root of eating disorders, trying to bully an anorexic into eating doesn’t work, and is counter-productive, just adding to the stresses. Affection, security, love, and support are far better encouragement than threats and retribution.
It is a common misconception that only adolescent girls suffer from this problem. It is just as likely to occur in the 20- and 30-plus age groups, and if you are a parent, watch out for it in your sons as well as your daughters. Recent studies show that as many as 25 percents of anorexics are young males. There are two rules. Don’t have junk food in the house. Always have a readily available supply of easy-to-eat, high-nutrient-value snacks and nibbles.
Yogurt, enriched with a teaspoon of brewers’ yeast, a teaspoon of wheat germ, and a teaspoon of honey. Low-calorie fromage frais are treated in the same way. Home-made sugar-free muesli enriched with wheatgerm, soaked in fruit juice, and served with low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit.
Moreover, homemade bread or muffins with extra wheat germ and sesame seeds. Home-made soups using lots of root vegetables and parsley, liquidized to a smooth cream that can be drunk out of a cup. Purées of carrots and other green vegetables, such as courgettes, broccoli, and spinach.
Baked or stewed apple puréed with yogurt and ground almonds. Little dishes of dried fruits, fresh nuts, and seeds should always be left lying around the house. Fish pâtés – specially made from oily fish like herrings, kippers, and sardines. Oatcakes baked with extra oat-germ – are available from health stores. And if you can afford it – take them out to a seafood restaurant and tell them that half-a-dozen oysters are a mere 30 calories.
The vital need for an anorexic is calories. It may, therefore, seem strange that this list contains several low-calorie foods and dishes. The psychological reason is that you are more likely to persuade an anorexic to eat even a little if you can convince them that the calorie content is negligible. Anything is better than nothing. Many people looking for Herbal Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa on the internet. It is a disorder characterized by a disturbed sense of body image and marked anxiety about weight gain.