Harmful Ideas About Diet

In many areas there is a popular believe that, a mother who eats plantain when pregnant will cause here child when born to have a sunken fontanel. This is not true. Many ideas about diet during pregnancy and childbirth are even more harmful, and forbid mothers most nutritious food. If she eats little more than cornmeal, she becomes weak and anemic. It may even cause her death by lowering her resistance to hemorrhage (bleeding) and infection. During pregnancy and after birth, a mother needs to eat more nutritious foods she can get. In order to fight infections or bleeding and to produce enough milk for her child, a new mother should eat the main food, together with plenty of body building foods such as beans, eggs, chicken, and if possible, milk products, meat and fish. She also needs protective foods such as fruits and vegetables, and high-energy helpers (oils and fatty foods). None of these foods will harm her. They will protect her and make her body stronger. It is also not true that oranges, guava’s or other fruits are bad for a person who has cold, flu or a cough. In fact, fruits like oranges and tomatoes have a lot of vitamin c, which may help fight colds and other infections. It is not true that certain foods like pork, spices, or guavas cannot be eaten while taking medicine. However, eating fat or spices when one has a disease of the stomach or other parts of the digestive system may make things worse-whether or not one is taking medicines. It is not true that giving a child meat will make him steal. All children need their share of meat from their family pot, to make them grow well. Anemia A person with anemia has thin blood. This happens when blood is, lost or destroyed faster than his body can replace. Blood loss from large wounds, bleeding ulcers, or dysentery can cause anemia. So can the monthly bleeding (menstrual period) of women, if they do not eat the foods their bodies need. A diet lacking meat, dark green leafy vegetables, and other foods rich in iron can cause anemia or make it worse. In children, anemia can come from not eating foods rich in iron. It can also come from breast feeding or bottle feeding after 6 months without giving other foods too. Other common causes of anemia includes malaria, hookworm, chronic infections such as diarrhea and sickle cell disease. Signs of Anemia Pale inside of eye lids Pale gums White finger nails Weakness and fatigue If anemia is very severe, face and feet may be swollen, the heartbeat is rapid and the person may have shortness of breath. Treatment and prevention of Anemia: Eat food rich in iron. Meat, fish and chicken are high in iron. Liver is especially high. Dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils also have some iron. It also helps to cook in cast-iron pots. To help the body absorb more iron, eat raw vegetables and fruits with meals, and avoid drinking coffee and tea with food. If the anemia is moderate or severe, the person should take iron (ferrous sulfate pills.) this is especially important for pregnant women who are anemic. For nearly all cases of anemia, ferrous sulfate tablets are much better than liver extracts or vitamin B12. As a general rule, iron should be given by mouth and not by injection. This is because; iron injections can be dangerous and are no better than pills. If the anemia is caused by dysentery (diarrhea with blood), hookworm, malaria, or other diseases, this should be treated. If the anemia is severe or does not get better, seek medical help. This is especially important for a pregnant woman. Many women are anemic. Anemic women run a greater risk of miscarriage and of dangerous bleeding in childbirth. It is very important that women eat as much foods that are high in iron as far as possible, especially during pregnancy. Allow 2 to 3 years between pregnancies lets the woman regain strength and make new blood. Children whose skin is almost never exposed to the sunlight may become bowlegged and develop other deformities (rickets). This problem can be combated by giving the child fortified milk and vitamin D (found in fish liver oil). However, the easiest and cheapest form of prevention is to be sure direct sunlight reaches the child’s skin for at least 10 minutes a day or for longer periods more often. (be careful not to let the skin burn) never give large doses of vitamin D over long periods as it can poison the child. Signs of high blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause many problems such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. Fat people are especially likely to have high blood pressure. Frequent headaches Pounding of the heart and shortness of breath with mild exercise Weakness and dizziness Occasional pain it the left shoulder and chest. All these problems may also cause other diseases. Therefore, if a person suspects he has high blood pressure, he should see a health worker and have his blood pressure measured. Warning: high blood pressure at first causes no signs, and it should be lowered before danger signs develop. People who are overweight or suspect they might have high blood pressure should have their blood pressure checked regularly. What to do to prevent or care for high blood pressure: Overweight people should lose weight. Fatty foods especially pig fat, and foods with a lot of sugar or starch should be avoided. Always use vegetable oil instead of pig fat (lard. Do not smoke. Do not drink much alcohol. When the blood pressure is very high, get medical advice. The medicines to control blood pressure should be taken regularly. Many people can lower their blood pressure by losing weight if they are fat and by learning to relax. To be very fat is not healthy. Too much fat helps cause high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, gallstones, diabetes, arthritis in the legs and feet and other problems. Fat people should lose weight by: Not eating greasy, fatty, or oily foods Not eating sugar or sweet foods Getting more exercise Not eating so much of anything, especially starchy foods like corn, bread, potatoes, rice, yam, cassava, etc. fat people should only eat a small amount of yam, cassava or plantain with each meal. However, they can eat more fruits, vegetables and lean meat. When you begin to get overweight, start following the above guidelines. Constipation A person who has hard stools and has not had a bowel movement for 3 or more days is said to be constipated. Constipation is often caused by a poor diet (especially not eating enough fruits, green leafy vegetables, or foods with natural fiber like whole grain bread) or by lack of exercise. Drinking more water and eating more fruits, vegetables, and foods with natural fiber like whole grain bread, cassava, wheat bran, rye, carrots, turnips, raisons, nuts, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds, is better than using laxatives. It also helps to a add a little vegetable oil to food each day. Older people especially may need to walk or exercise more in order to have a regular bowel movement. A person, who has not had a bowel movement for more than 4 days, if he does not have a sharp pain in his stomach, can take a mild salt laxative like milk of magnesia. But do not take laxatives often. Do not give laxatives to babies or young children. If a baby is severely constipated, put a little cooking oil up the rectum (asshole). Or, if necessary, gently break up and remove the hard “shit” with a greased finger. Warning: never use strong laxatives or purgatives-especially if there is stomach pain.