Anorexia nervosa or simply Anorexia is not about simply constricting your diet. In fact, this very laid back approach towards this seemingly harmless condition is what makes Anorexia so dangerous. It is a serious mental disorder coupled with obscured eating habits and irrational phobias that makes the patient develop an intense aversion to food, an acute fear of gaining weight, a false perception of body image, and other health imbalances.
Disregarding the implications of the condition may prove fatal and it is therefore vital that you seek professional help immediately if you or your loved one is diagnosed with Anorexia.
Of course, getting over anorexia involves diet and lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet, regular eating habits, and establishing a support system. Your diet plays a very important role and the National Health Service (NHS) recommends some basic guidelines to follow:
- Consume small frequent meals initially and try to increase the quantity gradually.
- Consult nutritional experts for correcting biochemical imbalances and working towards reaching a healthy weight.
- It is important to be very particular in eating regularly around 5-6 times a day.
- A weight gain of approximately 0.5- 1 kg per week is considered good. For this, you need to consume about 3,500-6,000 extra calories per week. Set a target weight you want to achieve, so there is a goal to work for. You may consult our Nutritional expert who can help you with this.
We’ve listed general dietary guidelines that may prove beneficial on your road to recovery.
It is important to note that any diet for Anorexia nervosa should include food items from all the major food groups. It is essential to include major macronutrients and essential micronutrients as well.
- Protein plays a major role in helping re-build lost muscle mass. Your diet should contain about 10-35% of protein. Therefore, opt for healthy sources of protein such as chicken breast, tuna, turkey, and egg white. However, avoid red meat because it is more difficult to digest and can put an additional strain on your already fatigued bodily systems.
- You need at least 45-65% of your daily calories as carbohydrates. Whole grain breads and cereals will help to provide your body with much needed energy. Other carbohydrate sources include fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and beans.
- However, eat healthier, smaller but more portions of fresh fruits and vegetables to compensate for your deficit of micro and macro nutrients.
- Preferably consume bitter and pungent vegetables such as bitter gourd, fenugreek, sprouts, radish leaf, bottle gourd, squash, asparagus, carrot and green beans. We recommend to steam-cook the vegetables, rather than eating them raw, to improve digestion.
- A healthy diet also requires 10-25% fat calories. So, choose the fats wisely. Limit saturated fats and trans fats (red meat and whole-fat dairy products, bakery items, and fried foods). Incorporate nuts, avocados, olives, flax seeds, and canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, and olive oil. Eating fish such as salmon, tuna, and cod are also healthy options.
- Make sure you keep your bowels healthy by including natural fiber, which helps with regular elimination and bowel health.
Foods for Moderate Consumption:
Avoid or minimize nightshades such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and berries, which may clog the microchannels of the body.
Foods to Avoid:
- Avoid cold food, sweets and food heavy to digest as these are known to create more internal toxins
- Avoid breads, biscuits and pastas, aged cheeses, mushrooms and peanuts.
- Avoid fermented foods such as vinegar and products that contain fermented foods as ingredients
- Avoid leftovers or frozen or preserved food as they are harder to digest
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and carbonated beverages
- Avoid High fat & fried food, spicy, dairy, alcohol, coffee, tea, soft drink
- Avoid consuming processed foods that may cause an initial spike of energy and a subsequent fall in blood sugar levels
- Garlic: Add 3 to 4 finely chopped garlic cloves to 1 cup of water. You may also add garlic in your daily food.
- Ginger: Take ½ teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and add a pinch of rock salt to it.Consume it empty stomach and 30 minutes before meals.
- Lime and Mint: Consume a glass of lime juice with mint leaves each morning.
- Oranges: Consume few oranges or drink a glass of fresh orange juice daily to increase appetite.
- Apple: Consuming apple can stimulate surge of a protein-digesting enzymes known as pepsin, which can be useful in helping digestion.
Since, Anorexia is caused by a mixture of social, psychological, and genetic factors. You need to address every aspect to harmonize the imbalances across the physical, energetic and informational spectra.
Undoubtedly, anorexia is a serious concern and people often get tangled in its rapidly declining downward spiral leading to disastrous outcomes. There has been a great deal of research on natural ingredients to identify potential treatment alternatives that safely address the imbalances created in the body.
Some of the herbs that have been used traditionally and substantiated by clinical evidence to boost mental, emotional and digestive health include Milk Thistle, Anacardium, Aloe vera, Lion’s Mane, Holarrhena antidysenterica and Zingiber officinalis to name a few.
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