Medical conditions that involve abnormal eating habits where the person may either eat insufficient or excessive quantities of food are referred to as eating disorders
Eating disorders are detrimental to both the physical and mental health of an individual. The most common eating disorders in the US are Anorexia and Bulimia which affect almost 5-10 million people.
Eating disorders are not aged or gender specific and can affect men, women and even children in some cases. They tend to arise more often in teenagers however because of the awkwardness and self-esteem issues that torment you in adolescence.
Although cases of eating disorders have been recorded almost all across the globe, studies have shown that men and women in the western countries are more affected or are at a higher risk of developing these disorders as compared to people in other parts of the world. Eating disorders have also become common among young people who are very self-conscious about their appearances.
This is especially true during puberty where young people go through various physical and mental changes and are also subject to more social pressures. Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia can cause drastic fluctuations in body weight, start interfering with everyday life and even damage important functions in the body. People suffering from anorexia are under the constant fear of gaining weight and as a result, they start restricting their food intake by starving, dieting or extreme exercise.
On the other hand, people who suffer from bulimia resort to purging and binge eating and also experience fluctuations in weight. People with these eating disorders also resort to self-induced vomiting and excessive use of laxatives.
Diet for Eating Disorder
A diet plan for eating disorders depends on the type of eating disorder the person is suffering from. A good diet plan is one which provides enough nutrients and calories to the patient’s body and also helps regularize eating habits. The diet of the patient plays a vital role not only in the recovery process but also helps in promoting long-term emotional and physical recovery.
Eating regular meals and healthy snacking at similar time’s everyday is very important while recovering from an eating disorder. High protein foods like lean meat, fish, and eggs should be included in the daily diet of the patient. Fiber rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains must be eaten in plenty to strengthen the immune system and also aid in digestion and metabolism.
Dietary fats are also vital to improve nutrient absorption, brain function and skin and hair health. Preparing interesting recipes using healthy ingredients is a great way to make food more appealing to the recovering patient and also boost his will to eat.
In addition to making healthy changes in the eating habits of a patient, it is also important to introduce vitamin supplements in the daily diet. Most patients suffer from various vitamin deficiencies which can be treated with additional supplements. Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and riboflavin, folic acid and niacin are extremely important for a recovering patient and must regularly be given. It is also very important to follow these dietary and lifestyle changes even after complete recover to avoid relapse.
Home remedies & treatment
The treatment of eating disorders depends on the severity and type of the eating disorder. Instead of using just one method of treatment doctors generally, use a combination of treatment options to get good results. Some of the main treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, recreation, art or music therapy, nutritional counseling, psychoanalysis, and medications. Family and friends play a very important role in preventing eating disorders.
Helping a person change the way she looks at herself is the first step in preventing this condition. In many cases, if the eating habits and lifestyle of the parents are healthy, it can help in preventing eating disorders for the children in the family as well. Parents should help their children feel good about their body and help them increase their self-esteem so that eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can be avoided.
Also, healthy eating habits and regular exercising should also be encouraged in the family. Fad diets, fasting, starvation and use of diet pills should be strictly discouraged as these can soon become an obsession that can lead to eating disorders. There are also many home remedies that can be followed to prevent and recover from eating disorders. Healthy food habits such as eating frequent smaller meals through the day can prevent a body from starving and also lower the chances of overeating or binging.
It is also helpful to eat a variety of spicy foods such as chilies, peppers, jalapenos and spicy curries and sauces as they can help in controlling an over active appetite. It is always healthier to eat low fat and low carbohydrate foods which can not only make you feel heavier but also guilty and depressed. Eating licorice when you feel like snacking helps avoid imbalances and also acts as a good diuretic.